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Why Do Dogs Bark? And How Can I Stop Mine From Barking Constantly?

Karie Reynolds

Posted on October 16 2018

In the most basic sense, dogs bark to communicate. While you may not be fluent in bark, there is a message behind most barks, whether it be anger, concern, desire, or — perhaps the worst of all — boredom.

If you are the owner of a non-stop barker, you may be wondering how you can reduce this annoyance. As is the case with all dogs’ bad habits, the best approach is to prevent a bad habit from forming. However, if it’s already a bonafide habit, don’t worry — it’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks. In today’s blog post, we are going to discuss some of the ways you can reduce your dog’s incessant barking. Remember that with all of these tips the key is to never reward or encourage barking. And yes, laughing at your dog as it loses it when someone on the TV rings a doorbell is a potentially positive reinforcement.

Teach How To Bark On Command

We know, it seems counter-intuitive — teach your dog to bark on command so that it’ll stop barking? But, believe it or not, this is one of the best ways to take control of your dog’s barking. Doing this can essentially put you in control over their behavior. Once you teach your pup to bark on command, you can also teach them how to be quiet on command. 

Don’t Reward Barking

It’s easy to reward a dog’s behavior. A pat on the head and a cheery smile can be all they need to feel reinforced in their behavior. Because of this, it can be easy to accidentally positively reinforce a behavior that you don’t necessarily want to be a regular behavior. For example, if your dog is barking and trying to get a toy that is stuck under the couch, don’t quickly retrieve the toy. Instead, take her outside or put her in the other room. By immediately getting the ball, this could quickly turn into a game where barking becomes the way he keeps a game of fetch going.

Avoid Yelling

Although it can feel really good in the moment, yelling is not going to help teach your dog much. In fact, it may be construed by your dog as your attempt to join in on the barking — finally, we are a pack! Remember that your dog has great hearing and you can shhh them without yelling. Remain calm and respond to its bark with something it doesn’t want. For example, maybe you send him outside or put her in her crate.

Allow For Plenty Of Exercise

When your dog is driving you mad because he appears to be barking for no good reason, this is probably a good indication that he is bored and is lacking the appropriate amount of stimulation and exercise. Running and moving is a necessary and natural part of a dog’s life. Giving your dog plenty of exercise can not only help reduce frivolous barking, but it can also keep them healthy. Additionally, when taking them out to the park or for a walk, you will have plenty of opportunities to practice obedience and training. For instance, you can make your pup sit, heel, and bark before you throw her favorite toy.

Speaking of training your dog, do you let your dog have free reign of your home? Are there some areas you would prefer they didn’t go — like, say, the upstairs? If so, you need a durable dog gate for your stairs. At The Stair Barrier, we specialize in making ultra-durable, easy-to-install, and stylish pet gates for stairs. Learn more about our bottom of stairs gates, and check out our full gate collection here!

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