How Do You Stop a Dog from Barking?
You can stop a dog from barking at inopportune times by finding the stimulus of the barking and working to eliminate it. It is important to note that for dogs, barking is simply how they communicate, so seeking to stop barking entirely shouldn't be the goal. Instead, isolate the barking that you find problematic, such as barking when company comes over or when the dog is left alone, and seek to address that specifically. Once you pinpoint the stimulus of the problem barking, it will be easier to develop a solution.
Why Dogs Bark
Dogs use their voices to get something they want, to express themselves, to sound an alarm, or simply out of boredom. The solution to excessive dog barking depends on why they are barking. Sometimes, it's easy to figure out, such as when there is a knock on the door. Whether the reason for the barking is clear or not, there are some basic techniques you can try to curb excessive barking.
Eliminate the Reason for Barking
If you know what causes the barking, try simply removing that stimulus. For example, if your dog barks at people walking by, shut the blinds. If he barks at outside noise, try putting on some soothing music. This is a very simple solution that may not work for your dog, but it is worth trying.
Barking for Attention: Don't Give In
Many dogs bark simply because it's a way to get your attention. The problem is that if you give him what he wants, he'll continue to bark. Instead, ignore your barking dog and then lavish him with attention once he quiets down.
Try More Exercise
Dogs who are bored are often quite vocal. Make sure your dog is getting plenty of daily exercise. Also, try giving him interactive dog toys that make him work for a treat.
The bottom line is that barking is normal, but there are ways to curb problematic barking. If DIY methods don't work, a chat with an animal behaviorist can put you on the right path.
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