Dogs are known as man’s best friend. If you had a rough day, your dog will happily lick you and play with you as soon as you get home. That’s how dogs are – they love their masters and will do anything to make them happy. Unfortunately, there’s a tiny problem when it comes to a dog’s nature – they bark.
Okay – barking is normal. Heck, humans speak, right? Barking is how dogs speak; it is their way of expressing themselves.
It’s really simple logic: when you are hungry, what do you do? You tell your friend or anyone who’s with you that you’re hungry and you want to grab a bite. The same thing goes with dogs – when they’re hungry, you don’t expect them to TALK and tell you that right? They bark to get your attention. They bark because they want to tell you something – perhaps they are hungry or they want something.
Dog barks for a variety of reasons. Some dogs bark because, as mentioned a while ago, they want to express something – some dogs though bark for no apparent reason. There are dog breeds that are naturally quiet. Sometimes, you won’t even hear them bark at all!
Of course, there are some that bark relentlessly! Oftentimes, the continuous barking gets annoying. When you’re alone at home with your dog – somehow you can still tolerate the barking. But when you have your family or friends come over and the dog keeps barking non-stop, that’s when it becomes a problem. There’s always a right time for everything, and barking when you need peace and quiet is definitely not one of them.
The reason why you’re reading this is because you want to know how to stop dog barking. Luckily for you, we will be discussing exactly how you can put your dog under control and stop it from barking relentlessly.
Before we go to that part though, let us first examine why dogs bark.
Reasons Why Dogs Bark
Dogs bark due to a plethora of reasons. First, dogs bark because they want to warn you with something. Don’t you always see in movies or in TV shows that dogs bark angrily whenever burglars try to break-in? Dogs bark because they want to warn you about certain situations that may cause you harm.
Another reason is because they see another dog or an animal. They want to socialize too – after all, they are also living things just like us. They bark, as a way to say “Hi” to other dogs or animals that they encounter.
Dogs also bark when there’s too much noise. If an alarm continuously sounds off or if there’s an ambulance or fire truck that’s making siren noise – dogs will be alarmed and bark.
One of the most common reasons why dogs bark though is because they are seeking your attention. Your dog loves you; and surely, you love your dog too. And what happens when you love somebody? You always want to have him or her around you right? Dogs feel the same way. They want to have your attention. Your dog wants you to play with him/her. Sometimes, all it wants is a few minutes of cuddling and playing time with you!
Fear is also another reason why dogs bark. You can’t stop dog barking when it’s clear that your dog is being bothered by something. Sometimes dogs are afraid when the weather looks gloomy. They can feel a storm coming before you can even sense it.
Believe it or not, dogs (animals in general) can feel the supernatural. They feel it much more than a human (unless the person has a sixth sense). When there’s something going on, dogs feel it first. Sometimes they bark because they can sense something in a certain area. As much as I hate to throw it out here – yeah, in short dogs know when there’s a ghost or lost spirit somewhere out there. Don’t think about this too much though, because most of the time your dog just barks because of…
Yes – you read that right! Dogs bark “just cause”. As mentioned in the beginning of this article, dogs bark as a way to tell us something. They bark just because they can and that’s how they speak to us. You don’t always have to analyze why your dog barks. It could be that they are just being what they initially are (animals). You can’t blame a dog for barking, although it can get annoying at times. The best way to handle this situation is by learning exactly how to stop dog barking.
How to Stop Dog Barking
There are a lot of ways to stop dog barking, but not all of them are easy to do. The least we can do is to give you some tips and methods on how to stop dogs from barking.
Keep their mouth closed
- A dog can’t bark if his mouth is closed, right? Now, you don’t necessarily need to buy him a mask that resembles that of Hannibal Lecter just to stop your dog from barking. What you can do is to simply close their mouth when they bark.
- Hold their mouth gently and close it. Try to talk to your dog and make him understand that he needs to stay quiet. Once you do this, you can let go of his mouth and observe if your dog barks again. Chances are, your dog will stop barking for a while – but he may and most probably will continue barking again after a few minutes.
- To prevent that from happening, you can distract your dog by giving it a toy to bite on. Dogs love to play with toys, so use that to your advantage. By using interactive toys, your dog will be too preoccupied with it. This means that he is less likely to bark!
- When the dog plays with a toy that requires him to use his mouth, you are more than assured that he will not bark for as long as he continues playing. How can a dog bark if his mouth is closed, right?
Ignore Your Dog
- This one is more of an experiment rather than an actual “sure fire” method. The key here is to ignore your dog’s barking for as long as possible. Eventually, your dog will get tired and just stop. When your dog notices that you are not looking at him or even shouting at him when he barks, he will feel that what he does is ineffective (in terms of getting your attention), so he will stop doing barking altogether.
- Once your dog stops barking, you can give him a delicious treat for being a good dog. But don’t do this immediately after he stops barking – your dog might think that you are rewarding him for barking!
- Teach your dog the “Quiet” command. It’s not necessary that you shout at your dog when you want it to stop barking. All you really need to do is to train your dog to stop barking when you say “quiet”.
- It’s just like teaching your dog how to roll over or fetch an item – you just have to practice him repeatedly. Once your dog gets the hang of it, he will surely behave better once he hears you say “QUIET”.
- Important: You must remember though that you should say it gently to him. If you shout, the dog will assume that you are barking with him – which will lead to him continuously barking! Make sure that you hold your dog and calm him down while you tell him to keep quiet. This way, your dog will understand you better. Dogs aren’t stupid, they too have emotions and a functioning brain; so make sure that you talk to them properly.
- A dog with a happy tummy will be easier to control. If a dog is full and satisfied with his meal, you can command it to keep quiet easily. Oftentimes, dogs bark because they want something from you – which could be FOOD! The answer to stop dog barking is simple: Feed him.
- You don’t have to worry about your dog making noise if he’s satisfied with what he ate. That is if hunger was his problem.
Make Your Dog Feel Comfortable
- Dogs just like humans get irritated if it’s too hot. Likewise, they also get bothered if the room temperature is too cold. Make sure that your dog gets exactly what it wants in terms of room temperature. Don’t let it shiver in the cold or suffer from the heat. If you’ve had that dog for a long time, you should already know his tendencies and preferences.
- Another thing you can do to stop dog barking is to give him a nice, thick blanket or comforter. Dogs love to lie down on soft blankets – they enjoy the soft and comfy feeling.
- All in all, you just need to make sure that your dog is in tip-top shape when it comes to comfort. You can avoid hearing those annoying barks for as long as your dog is comfortable enough.
Make Some Noise!
- Before you start shouting at your dog – that’s not the kind of noise that you will need if you want to stop dog barking. What we mean by noise is creating a loud sound, slamming the door or a piece of wood for example, to distract and startle your dog.
- Fear is a great way to make your dog shut up. Take Note: You should not hurt your dog. All you have to do is make him fear you. Once your dog is afraid, he will stop barking and probably run off on a different part of the room or house. This is a great technique to stop dog barking, especially when you have guests over and you really need some peace and quiet.
- A funny trivia is that some dog breeds are easily intimidated. You can search more about this online or you can try it out on first-hand experience. Try startling your dog and see how it responds. If it stops barking – then congratulations! If not… well, try other tricks instead.
- Thanks to the ever-advancing technology, there are now bark collars that can help you stop dog barking. This is, by far, one of the most effective ways to stop dog barking.
- Bark collars come in different kinds – all of which are designed to help stop your dog from barking. There are bark collars that emits a noise; this noise distracts the dog and makes it stop barking.
- Another kind of anti-bark collar produces an electric stimulation that interrupts the dog from barking. It is considered as one of the most successful kinds of anti-bark collars. The only draw-back is that it can be triggered when other dogs bark too. So it’s always wise to consult an expert before you proceed to using a bark collar for your dog.
Play With Your Dog
- If you want to stop dog barking, you have to give it some attention. Let’s face it, dogs love attention. If you can give them exactly what they want, they will behave and stop barking. Let’s say you have guests coming over… What you can do to make sure that your dog will keep quiet when your guests arrive is to play with it first. Give your dog 30 minutes of your time. Play, cuddle, pet… Do all these things and your dog will be very happy. This could lead to your dog being extra behaved by the time your guests arrive. It’s worth a try!
Dogs Will Always Bark
No matter what happens dogs will always be dogs. Barking is part of their nature, and you can’t expect them to just stop barking forever. With enough discipline, you can control your dog from barking. It’s up to you as his owner to teach him how to stop and keep quiet when need be. If you’re lucky to have a dog that rarely barks, then that’s good for you. But if you’re part of the 95% of the dog owners who have dogs that bark 24/7 – then these tips will surely help you stop dog barking.
Try it out and see which works best for your dog!
Image courtesy of James Barker / Savit Keawtavee / SOMMAI / FreeDigitalPhotos.net