So you want to know how to stop dog barking without hurting your beloved pets? There are tested and proven strategies for dog barking that don’t require using fear or pain!
Barking dogs can be an absolute nightmare! From yapping puppies, to barking dogs around the house, to sad dogs whining at home because they’ve been left on their own — barking can quickly get into our nerves.
And the good news is you are NOT alone in this struggle!
And because I have helped thousands of dog owners find the best solution for their dog’s barking problem, I’m going to share the best ways you can approach dog barking.
Read on to learn more.
- A dog barking is simply not acting out. There’s always an underlying reason that triggers barking.
- Triggers like separation from owner, fear, and danger are some of the biggest reasons for dog barking.
- Instead of shouting at your dog, or using painful shock collars to stop dog barking, you can use a positive, kinder approach such as timeouts.
Table of Contents:
- How to Stop Dog Barking: It’s the Most Common Problem for Dog Owners
- How to Stop Dog Barking: Know Why Your Dog is Barking
- Ways on How to Stop Barking: Five BIGGEST Reasons Why Dogs Bark + What to Do
- 5 Ways on How to Train Your Dog to Stop Barking WITHOUT Hurting Them
- Conclusion: The Secret on How to Stop Dog Barking is Knowing The Right Reason AND Right Solutions
How to Stop Dog Barking: It’s the Most Common Problem for Dog Owners
In fact I was working with one dog owner and their pet yesterday!
There’s this poor little Golden Doodle who was annoying the neighbors.
The owners felt so bad; they were tempted to use an electric shock collar on him! They decided to have a consultation with me before going to the last resort.
The problem of the dog owners above is very common. Dog barks, owners don’t know how to properly solve the issue, dog continues barking, and frustrated dog owners opt for the harsh solution.
That should not be the case.
So in today’s post I’m going to show you the simple techniques (techniques I’ve used to train over 88,000 dogs) to stop all this barking WITHOUT using any force, fear or gadgets that may hurt your dog.
And because this approach is all about dealing with cause of the problem and not just the symptom, it results in a much happier dog…and that will result in a much happier YOU (and neighbors too)!
How to Stop Dog Barking: Know WHY Your Dog is Barking
To know how to stop barking, it’s crucial that we understand the root cause of why our dogs are barking non-stop.
The most common reasons for non-stop barking are anxiety, aggression, and restlessness. Dogs use barking to call other dogs, express emotions, guard their territory, or if they want to call their owner’s attention.
It’s always different for each dog! Some dogs bark because of fear, some because of anxiety, and some because it’s the only way to communicate.
How To Stop Dog Barking: It’s Important to Know the Reason Why
First of all we have to identify WHY your dog is barking, because the solution we use is not always going to be the same.
After all, you’d never use the same approach to stop a child who was shouting out for help as a child who was screaming at you for more chocolate, now would you?
In fact, once you correctly identify why your dog is barking, stopping the noise becomes one of the easiest behavioral issues to prevent.
You see, the reason your dog is barking is because they’re not happy about something. Put another way, they are looking for help!
Here are the four most common reasons that dogs and puppies bark that I gathered from years of dealing with dogs with barking problem.
It’s not a comprehensive list but most dogs and puppies will fall into one of these categories. Once you’ve decided which one best describes YOUR dog, then take a look at the action plan to put an end to it once and for all.
Important Note: I should add here that many years ago (when I was pretty new to dog training) I used to think that barking could all be sorted out with the same approach. Now I’m a few years older and wiser (hee hee), and I can see the error of my ways.
I’ve realized it’s so much easier to stop barking if you FIRST correctly understand why your dog is barking. And then apply an appropriate solution. Kind of makes sense, doesn’t it?
Ways on How to Stop Barking: Five BIGGEST Reasons Why Dogs Bark + What to Do
Reason #1: Barking Because They Want Something
Barking occurs when your dog wants something, just like a nagging child. They’re not happy and they’re letting you know about it. Dogs bark to let you know they want to come inside, or be let out of the crate, or be given some food, or when they simply want your attention.
Ever had your dog tell you to speed up with their dinner? Yep? Well that’s what I’m talking about.
Or bark at you again and again because they want you to throw the ball? That’s this one!
Focus and Solution: If Your Dog Barks, Don’t Reward Bad Behavior
The key to stop your dog from barking to get attention is not rewarding any bad behavior.
For example, if your dog is barking outside to come inside, don’t let them in (I know it’s tempting and you don’t want to upset the neighbors) but if you reward them with what they want then it will happen again and again.
Think of it as a little short term pain for some long term gain!
So simply wait and ignore your dog until they’re calm and then open the door. They’ll get the message pretty quickly.
Imagine a child shouting at you to do something, would you just give in to them? No! Hopefully you would wait until they were calm. It’s the same approach.
(Now if you are thinking “Well that won’t work with our little Rover, he NEVER gives up”, then there are a lot of other tips and tricks which will convince even the most stubborn barking dogs that it’s best to be quiet, which I’ve added at the end.)
Reason #2: Dogs Are Barking Because They Think They Are in Danger
In your dog’s eyes, there is danger that needs to be dealt with. It’s important to note that barking in the midst of danger stems from your dog’s protectiveness. Dogs bark because they want to alert you or ward off the perceived harm.
This can occur inside or outside the house.
However to keep things simple let’s imagine that it’s inside the house. Your dog hears a noise and jumps up, runs over to the window and starts barking at the people outside your house.
Of course your dog could be barking at other dogs, a noise they’ve heard or something as small as a bird in a tree.
Whatever it is, imagine that there’s no need for your dog to respond with barking. And what we want to communicate to our dogs is “There is no need to bark.”
But first lets look at where it all goes wrong! Now what typically happens here is:
Your dog barks…
You shout something at them in a very authoritative manner…
Only to find that your dog barks again even louder. Eventually, it all starts to escalate!
In the end, you will find yourself shouting your head off and your dog barking back at you “I’m barking as loud as I can!”
Focus: Stay Calm and Check it Out
If you’re wondering how to stop dog barking, especially when its triggered by fear of danger, I have one important advice: Calm down.
Relax. When you’re more relaxed, your dog will start to see that there is no need to worry. Because dogs mirror your energy, show a calm demeanor. Don’t rush around, or panic!
When they bark, simply say something like “Thank You”, in a VERY gentle voice like whispering in someone’s ear.
If they continue with the barking, go and take a look out the window and again say “Thank You” again very softly, before walking away.
Now I know this may seem odd, BUT it makes total sense to your dog – I promise!
How can showing a calm demeanor and checking your dog’s concern stop dog barking?
What you’ve just done is checked out the danger (even if it was just a bird in a tree) and calmly communicated to them using your body language, the tone of your voice and your energy that there’s no need to worry.
If they continue barking after you’ve done this then you can very calmly pop them into time out for a couple of minutes.
Of course with all dog training the more your dog takes notice of YOU the better!
If your dog is not taking a blind bit of notice then we need to go back a couple of steps and get their focus and attention first!
Reason #3: Non-stop Dog Barking Because of Separation Anxiety
This is what’s generally known as “Separation Anxiety” because your dog becomes anxious after separating from you. I should add here that this stress results not only in barking, but can also manifest in destructive behaviour, chewing, injuring themselves, escaping, and excessive digging.
The great news is that the following approach will remove the cause of the problem and with it the stress. So all of these issues will disappear.
Barking Because of Separation Anxiety is NOT “Naughty Behavior”
When they have separation anxiety, barking is a form of calling for help for dogs. This has nothing to do with boredom which is why using a shock collar to try to stop this behavior is such a cruel idea. Let me explain.
Imagine you were sitting at home looking after your young child and suddenly noticed the toddler out on the street! What would you do?
Of course you’d rush out and get them.
But what if the doors were locked and you couldn’t get out? Would you sit down, relax and have a cup of tea? Of course not. You’d shout for help and call your child back, or try and break free so you could get to them.
And THIS is why your dog becomes stressed.
You see, when our dogs think they are in charge, and responsible for looking after us, they automatically get very stressed when you leave. That’s why it only occurs when you are not there.
Focus: To Stop Dog Barking Due to Separation Anxiety, Become the Pack Leader
Now in this situation I want to give you an overall idea of what to do and what not to do.
The key thing is to realise that your dog or puppy’s barking has got NOTHING to do with boredom!
This means that trying to keep your dog occupied by leaving bones down and loads of chews and toys stuffed with peanut butter are unlikely to work. In fact it can make things much worse, so pick up the food.
Really, if it solved the problem everyone would say “Hey, your dog’s barking – leave a bone down!”
Instead what I would focus you on doing is giving your dog the message you are the Pack Leader and there is no need for them to worry about where you are.
Now one way you can do this is by leaving your home calmly and then coming home calmly and ignoring your dog. (I know this may sound a bit harsh to some of you, and it may not be what you want to do, but this advice is all about doing what’s best for your dog and how to stop the barking!)
To Stop a Dog From Barking, It’s Also Essential That You Learn to Ignore Your Dog
Also, remember they are a different animal, and just like ignoring the cat or a goldfish when you enter the house it will not result in them being upset.
In fact this is one of the key ways you can HELP your dog relax when you are not there.
It gives your dog the message that YOU are in charge, not them, and as explained above, it will help them stop worrying about you when you are not around. When you’re ready, you can always call them over to you, on your terms, for love and cuddles.
Now of course there’s a lot more to becoming the Pack Leader. It’s an essential key to having a happy, obedient dog, which I’ll touch on later.
Reason #5: Over-Excited Barking
The best way to think of it is to imagine some children playing… then you’ll get the idea of what is going on… They start to have fun, then they get excited, then they start shouting and then start yelling!
Bottom line is they are NOT being naughty, but it can be really annoying, and it’s certainly something you want to keep handle of.
Now of course with children, shouting at them does NOT work! And it’s the same with your dog.
If the barking is starting to get out of control as they race around the garden playing, here’s what to do.
Focus: Calm Actions
First you need to step in and take control of them calmly without a word and then demonstrate calm energy by doing one of the following two actions or a combination of both:
Option 1. The Calm Freeze:
Here’s how to use the Calm Freeze to pacify your dog:
- Take your dog by the collar, using an underhand grip, under the chin, palm facing up.
- Say nothing, look away and breathe slowly and deeply.
- Hold them for a couple of seconds until they are calm.
- Then release the hold and stand up…
They will be much calmer. See the video below
Option 2. Stop-Start-Change-Direction:
- Here you first attach a lead.
- Then simply walk your dog around changing direction every second or two.
- Again, what you’re doing is taking control of your dog calmly. Then you’re calmly showing them how to behave.
- In both the above examples, there is no need to speak. The aim is to calm your dog’s energy with your actions.
- Silence is very powerful and dogs respond to it. In fact it may surprise you just how well they respond when you give it a go!
When you’re trying to calm excited dogs it may take some repetition, however dogs are smarter than you think and they’ll soon work out what you are asking for.
5 Ways on How to Train Your Dog to Stop Barking WITHOUT Hurting Them
As with many things in life there are lots of shortcuts and ways of making things easier for yourself. So here are some big tips to help you get to your end goal quicker.
#1: Your Energy is Everything
Dogs are super sensitive and pick up on our deepest emotions and slightest body movements. If you think of your dog as like your mirror, then you will start to understand that the calmer you are, the more chance your dog will be relaxed.
Here are a few things to practice which will help you achieve success.
Often our voices betray our fears, we end up talking too fast and too much, and our dogs pick up on concerns and panic.
Breathing slowly and deeply is the simplest way to slow your heart rate and calm your body.
Focus your mind
Visualize exactly what you want you and your dog to do. Now there is no room in your mind for anything else but success.
Watch an example of my two dogs demonstrating this calm energy perfectly with a young, over-excited barking dog.
How to stop a dog barking
#2: Control the environment
If things are getting out of control then learning to control the environment is the first stage you need to master.
The key concept is to keep control at all times. In other words DO NOT LOSE control of your dogs (think of a horse that has bolted from a stable)…a dog who is off leash and does not respond to a recall is by definition “out of control”.
To avoid this situation you need to leave a short or long line (as in the video above with the barking dog) on them so you can take control quickly and calmly when you need it. At the same time your dog still gets to run around.
Eventually when the recall is up to scratch you can remove the lines altogether and just rely on good old verbal recall to get your dog to come!
#3: Become the Pack Leader
The more your dog respects you and sees you as the Pack Leader the more they will listen to you.
Unfortunately good information on this topic is hard to come by and so while most dog owners believe that they are the Pack Leaders, their dogs DO NOT!
“To help a dog you need to think like a dog!
You would never think like a bird or a fish and apply bird or fish psychology to your dog! And yet most of us are applying our human psychology to our dogs and expecting them to be impressed!”
Our dogs are totally different animals…for example: take a goldfish. Would you put them on the couch, make them a cup of coffee and turn on the TV for them…No, of course not. They’re not human!
And it’s the same with your dog. The way that you communicate to them that you are the Pack Leader is COMPLETELY different to how most people think.
#4: Set Your Dog Up to Win
No matter what training you do with your dog, setting them up to win is the best approach.
This will return the best results, both in terms of minimum time and effort.
Very often we push things too fast and do not realise that our dogs are struggling with the speed that we are progressing. Then things fall apart and we all get stressed. By slowing the training down, dogs relax more and start to succeed!
This includes finishing on a high rather than continuing until your dog gets tired, can’t cope and starts to fail!
#5: Be Consistent
The more you can get everyone onboard with what you are doing the better.
This means it’s best if:
- Everyone in the house is up to speed with the plan and what’s going on
- Everyone in the house follows the plan at all times
- And sticks with it!
How to Stop Dog Barking: Learn the BEST Training Principles From the Dog Calming Code
Do you want to know how you can help your dog with their separation anxiety so they’ll stop with the barking?
Are you eager to become the pack leader in your dog’s eyes so they’ll know it’s okay to relax because YOU are in charge?
Do you want to know how to encourage obedience to your dog without using force or fear?
You will learn all of that and more from my Dog Calming Code program.
After helping almost 88000 dogs using the principles of the Dog Calming Code, I can truly say that I found the formula to calmer dogs and happier dog owners!
Dogs have become less stressed and anxious, and owners finally know how to communicate in dog language, and dog psychology.
You can learn more by checking the Dog Calming Code program here.
Conclusion: The Secret on How to Stop Dog Barking is Knowing The Right Reason AND Right Solutions
I just shared the most common reasons that dogs bark, with a plan of action on putting a stop to it, along with 5 tips on how to accelerate your dog’s training.
Quick note: patience is king. I love to emphasize that dogs follow what is natural to them. Sometimes, barking to protect and communicate with you is the most natural thing they know, and it will take several tries to re-train them.
Remember; taking the time to understand WHY our dogs are actually barking will result in happier dogs and therefore happier owners 🙂
You got this!
~ Doggy Dan 😄
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