How to Stop a Puppy from Barking
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Hands up- who has a dog that ALWAYS seems to bark at people?
It’s safe to say that we all absolutely love our furry friends but, much like their owners, they can have a few habits that can sometimes be a little irritating!
Many of us have ended up buying dogs since the beginning of the pandemic, helping us settle into spending more time at home. They’ve provided a lot of love and support for us, but some people have been caught out by just how much work dogs can demand.
So how can you stop a puppy from barking and driving you (and your neighbours) crazy?
Before we get started, remember that you won’t be able to completely get rid of barks from your puppy, as it’s a natural form of doggie communication. But you can definitely get your dog to reduce their excessive barking if you go about things in the right way.
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It’s generally recommended that you try and suss out why your puppy is barking so often, and observe their behaviour. Is your puppy excited, or do they start barking when they’re scared or startled? Are they experiencing separation anxiety, or do they bark to make you aware of a stranger when you’re opening the door? Think about what can set your puppy off, and how you can work around this.
It’s important to bear in mind that some puppy mental development is similar to a young child’s, so many of the same reinforcement rules apply as you teach your puppy what is (and isn’t) a sign of good behaviour. If your puppy is behaving well, then don’t be shy- give them a treat as a reward!
How to stop your puppy from barking
One of the best ways you can stop your puppy from barking is to train your dog properly. We know this can be far easier said than done, but remember, patience is key.
To stop a dog barking, you need to think about things such as sight barriers, and ways you can create a safe space for your pup.
If your dog barks at something they see outside through a window or a glass door, or they bark at other dogs and people through fences outside, your puppy could be experiencing territorial or alarm barking based on what they’re seeing.
Closing blinds and curtains can help with this. You can also take things a step further and set up a dog crate or room for your pup so you can block out sights and sounds from outside and make them feel more comfortable. This also helps when it comes to separation anxiety, and trains your puppy to cope on their own more easily.
It’s also a good idea to make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise- because a tired dog can be quiet dog! This stops their barking from getting out of hand.
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If you’re looking for some outside help, there are plenty of puppy training methods and classes that you can choose from, which will teach your puppy how to respond to “quiet” or “speak” commands.
A dog trainer can also help you and your dog build a rewarding relationship, and give you assistance and tips (and treats!) as and when you need them.
If you’re trying to stop your dog from barking, it can be tempting to raise your voice, shout loudly, and tell them to be quiet. But this can actually make your dog feel threatened- or they might even think that you’re barking along with them!
While there are plenty of anti-bark products available, such as anti-bark collars that give a slight electric shock, it’s actually far better for your dog if you avoid these products. You just end up punishing your dog for something that comes to natural to your furry friend, and it doesn’t tackle the main causes of your dog’s barking.
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Instead, think about how you can engage your dog in an activity- if there’s nothing happening in their environment and your puppy starts barking out of nowhere, they could just be bored or frustrated.
Keep their brains engaged and relieve all that pent-up energy by giving your dog a Kong toy stuffed full of their favourite food. This will keep your puppy going to get a tasty reward.
Chew toys can also be a great way to keep your dog busy, and it also gives them mental stimulation that distracts them from anything that may set their barking off. Be sure to supervise them while your dog gets stuck into these toys- the last thing you want is a trip to the vets if your dog swallows any pieces!
We hope that you find this useful when it comes to stopping your dog from barking as often- and remember, when you train a puppy, it can take lot of time and effort to make sure they’re well behaved! Stick to your guns, be patient, and you’ll do just fine.