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How To Stop Your Dog From Barking

by dogtoysadvisor

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It’s late at night and your dog is barking incessantly for no apparent reason. The sound is traveling through your ears straight into your brain and turning it into mush.

You can’t take it anymore! You yell, beg, cry and nothing works, the barking only seems to be getting worse.

Luckily we know a few tips on how to stop noisy dogs from turning your life into a nightmare.

Find out here how to stop excessive barking in three easy steps.

Teaching a Dog to Stop Barking

Yes, it’s that simple!

Dogs learn differently than humans and if you understand how their mind works, you can solve MOST dog behavior issues, including barking!

After months of despair and trying everything we knew to stop our dogs from barking at any hour of the day, a friend told us about Adrienne and her online dog training course.

Using her positive-reinforcement training techniques, we were able to work with our dogs and cease the unwanted barking once and for all.

First, Teach Your Dog to Bark!

To stop the unwanted barking, you’ll need to teach your dog a “cue” that tells him it’s time to be quiet.

Granted, it probably won’t work every time you use it, if your dog gets too excited he won’t even notice you’re talking, but it’s a first step that will help on most occasions.

In order to do this, you’ll first need to do the opposite and teach how to bark on command.

That will give you an expected behavior reference that will make it so much easier to teach the opposite.

We trained our 3 stubborn dogs to stop barking by following this steps that we learned from an online dog training course that changed our lives.

Let’s begin!

Step 1 – Mark the Bark

Use the clicker to acknowledge the intended behavior, as soon as your dog barks you click or use the chosen cue word, followed by a reward.

Make sure you do this while the dog is still barking to make sure he gets what it is your marking.

If you’re trying to get your dog to bark but he isn’t cooperating, bring out whatever usually makes him bark and use it for this step.

Repeat this sequence several times.

Step 2 – Barking on Command

Pick a word to use when you want your dog to bark.

Use the object that makes your dog bark and use the chosen cue word to make him bark. Once he does, mark and reward, as in the previous step.

Repeat this sequence until you’re certain he’s barking on cue and that he understands that only when he barks on cue will he be rewarded.

Step 3 – Stop Barking

For this, you’ll need to trigger your dog into barking without the cue word.

Once he stops barking, you’ll begin using the cue word for “quiet” and reward him immediately. Try using the cue word as closely as possible to when the dog stops barking so he’ll see the connection.

Repeat this sequence until your dog looks for the treat once you use the cue word, this means he has associated the word with the reward.

Finally, use the bark cue word to make your dog bark for a while and then the quiet cue word. Reward your dog as soon as he complies.

As soon as he figures this out and responds to each cue word correctly, you can practice his new found skills for as long as you’d like.

This simple exercise will make your dog aware of his own behavior.

Simple Hack to Stop Barking

One of the most creative and effective solutions we’ve found during our search will blow you away: an anti-barking device!

The device has a microphone to sense barking and then send out an ultrasonic sound that surprises dogs into stopping.

It has a pretty good range and you can set the sensitivity and the strength of the signal, depending on the dog size or the distance of the device.

If You Want REAL Progress, Train Your Dog!

Even the most effective anti-barking tool in the World isn’t mean to be used forever or all the time.

The best way to do it is committing to training your dog and be consistent with it.

Trust us, we know what it’s like to want to train your dog and have no idea how to do it.

Trainers charge a lot of money to tell you what to do, but don’t do the work for you. This means that you’ll spend $50/hour, having the results depend solely on you.

We wanted to be able to learn how to train our dogs to do what we wanted (and what we didn’t want them to do) without breaking the bank.

But we still needed help!

The Solution Is Simple: Get An Online Trainer

We did it and we highly recommend it!

It helps tremendously that Adrienne is a CPDT-KA certified dog trainer with over a decade of experience.

It has allowed her to study dogs, really understand them and get to the bottom of their issues and behavior before creating the course.

It was like this online dog training course had been designed specifically with our dogs in mind.

We were afraid we wouldn’t be able to follow this course, but it’s actually divided into Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced levels.

This allowed us to start at the very beginning (a very good place to start!) and work our way up from there.

If your dog is still barking …

We suggest trying bark control collars.

Yes, we know bark collars have a bad rep. And we were a bit on the fence until we actually got some.

We tried citronella spray and vibration collars. We’ve tested it ourselves with different intensities before placing it on our two tasmanian devill-like dogs.

As for the citronella, we weren’t really comfortable with the dogs smelling like something they disliked for long periods of time, given their sensitive noses, so we didn’t keep them on all the time. Also, we underestimated Tommy and Coco’s stubbornness; eventually, they got used to it and that was that.

So, for us, the vibration collar worked much better. It annoys them more than is bothers them. It reacts to the vibration of their vocal chords meaning it won’t confuse your dog’s bark with another dogs’.

Also, you can control the intensity of the vibration, which is important for us, because Tommy and Coco are small dogs.

Our favorite part is it worked quickly with long-lasting effects. After a short period, they began associating barking with the vibration so they would stop themselves even without the collar.

There is no problem in using this collar permanently but, odds are, you won’t have to.

Don’t knock it ’till you’ve tried it, this collar has done wonders for us and our ears.

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11 Comments

      • Tammy

        I have 5 dogs that used to never bark but this past 8 months things changed. I have bark collars but I am afraid they will get strangled by them since they are crated when I am gone. The barking is insane when I return home. Any suggestions?

        Reply
        • dogtoysadvisor

          Hi Tammy.

          Thank you for reaching out.

          Do you know what’s changed? It could help solve it, if they didn’t use to bark before.
          Are they getting less exercise so they have more energy acumulated? Are they just bored? Is there something in their surroundings that causes them to bark?

          We once got complaints from our neighbours because Tommy and Coco would bark during the day and we couldn’t figure out why, because they never used to. Then we got one of those pet cameras (see post here) and we learned that the seagulls were landing on the window sill and driving them crazy. We just needed to close the shades and the problem was solved.

          Or you could maybe add some interactive toys in their crates to keep them distracted and quiet. Check out this post: 10 Toys To Keep Your Dog Busy

          If there is nothing you can do to solve this issue, we do think the collars are your best option.
          We’re not quite sure why you’d think they can get strangled by using a collar, most dogs we know that spend some time on a crate usually wear one. Just make sure it isn’t too loose because that can make it easier for them to get it stuck somewhere, their own paws included.

          Let us know how it went. Good Luck!
          Mike & Sandy

          Reply
    • Michelle

      Thank you for the tips. We have a smart dog who should learn quite quickly now that we know to teach barking before being quiet.

      On another note, please proof read.

      Reply
      • dogtoysadvisor

        Hi Michelle.

        Thank you for your feedback. We hope it all goes well, let us know how it went.

        Reply
  1. Sue

    The collars work because the dogs are afraid to bark. Although barking can be annoying, I highly recommend Not using aversive methods like a vibration collar.
    These collars can have long term damage such as fear or aggression (ex: dog barks while looking at another dog, he feels vibration that is annoying at least, painful at worst. The dog can start to associate that negative feeling with looking at dogs – or people).

    Reply
    • dogtoysadvisor

      Hi Sue,

      Thank you for your input.
      We were hesitant to try this collar, like we’ve mentioned, but were pleased with the results.
      Even though we agree that a dog barks and should be able to bark, sometimes it can become a real problem, when you start getting complaints from the neighbors because your dog barks at all hours and you’re not home, for example.
      In our case, we were trying to get our cats used to the dogs’ presence and, since they wouldn’t stop barking, the cats would become aggressive and it was becoming an issue.
      We do advise trying the steps we’ve mentioned first but, if everything else fails, this collar is a good (and temporary) option.
      We used it on a lower setting and we didn’t feel they were scared at all, in fact, even when we took if off and put it back on they didn’t seem to fear the device whatsoever nor did they ever try yo remove it.
      They looked mostly surprised when they felt the vibration, making them stop barking and quickly understood the behavior we expected of them, so the collar very soon became unnecessary and we just resumed the previous training.

      Thank you again,
      Mike & Sandy

      Reply
  2. colin

    I prefer the method of training a dog to react appropriately, so when it barks there is a really good reason, one must expect them to be excited at times and they have so many kinds of barks to consider.

    My dogs are correctly fed and well trained, they are worked hard and will bark if the situation warrants it and I as the owner/handler try to act accordingly in order not to reinforce a behaviour that I do not like in them or deem to be a symptom of an underlying imbalance.

    I am not apposed to using technology to assist in curbing unwanted behaviours but to date still find that by managing energy levels through diet, keeping their minds correctly simulated and proper training, I am able to keep two well adjusted dogs in my home and not be too troubled by, in this case excessive barking.

    I want dogs and not automatons, companions that I can share my life with, so I can and do expect them to misbehave at times, they will test boundaries, but as owners/parents of these wonderful creatures, we have to be the leaders and do what we can, through love, learning an practice in order to get the best results possible.

    Reply
    • dogtoysadvisor

      Hi Colin.

      Thank you for your feeback. We absolutely agree with everything you’ve said and feel your dogs are very lucky to have such a dedicated owner, it does take commitment to have well-balanced dogs such as yours.

      Best of luck,
      Mike and Sandy

      Reply
  3. Robert

    Thank you for this blog it is literally the best around. I read this every day. It helps me a lot i hope it helps others
    thank you

    Reply

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Simple Hack to Stop Barking

One of the most creative and effective solutions we’ve found during our search will blow you away.

We first heard about this anti-barking device during a chat with petless friends, who actually bought this device to stop the neighbor’s dogs from barking at all hours of the day and night.

It’s a simple concept, the device has a microphone to sense barking and then send out an ultrasonic sound that surprises dogs into stopping.

It can be used indoors or outdoors (if you’re using it indoors, you’ll probably want to hide the light somehow and it can become annoying).

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