There are several techniques for helping owners stop their dogs from barking.
Anyone of them can be successful, but you shouldn't expect results to work overnight.
The rule of thumb is that the longer a dog has been showing barking behavior, the longer it’s going to take to change their ways.
If you can it helps when you can determine why your dog barks. But there are also some basic methods you should apply. These include:
- Not yelling at your dog to shut up
- Keeping training sessions upbeat and positive.
- Be consistent so the dog is not confused.
Everyone involved with your dog must apply the same training methods. Nobody can allow the dog to get away with any inappropriate barking at any time. You can see the best bark control here, but there are support techniques to try as well. They include:
Removing the motivation. Dogs bark to get some sort of reward. It’s your job to recognize the trigger for the barking and to remove it.
When your dog barks at people or animals that pass by your living room window, manage the behavior. You can do this by closing the curtains or sending your dog to another room.
If they bark at passersby when outside, call them back into the house. Never leave your dog unsupervised outside throughout the day and the night.
When you believe the dog is barking to attract your attention, ignore them. Don't say anything to them, don't reach out and touch them, don't even cast a look at them. Your attention is enough of a reward to encourage the barking behavior. When they quieten down that’s when to reward with a treat.
Patience is a virtue. When you put your dog in a gated room or their crate, turn your back and ignore them. When they stop barking, give praise and a treat.
You need to desensitize your dog to any barking stimulus. For example, get a friend with another dog to stand far enough away so your dog doesn’t bark at this other dog. As your friend and dog hove into view, begin to feed your dog some healthy treats. Then stop when your friend and dog disappear. Keep repeating the process.
Do not try to progress too fast. It may take many days or even weeks before your dog pays enough attention to you and your treats without barking.
If your dog does start to bark, try to get them to do anything incompatible with the act of barking. For example, tell your dog to lie down on their bed. You could throw a treat on the bed and say "go to your bed".
When the dog is on its way to bed and earns a treat, open the door. If the og goes to get up quickly shut the door. Keep repeating this until the dog happily stays in its bed while you open the door.
You can then increase the difficulty, for instance, by getting someone to ring the bell while the dog is in its bed. You need to reward it if it stays in place.