How to Get a Dog to Stop Barking
Wondering how to stop your dog from barking? Dog training school Animal Behavior College understands the challenges faced when teaching a dog to stop barking. Many dog owners experience their dogs barking at inappropriate times. ABC’s certified dog trainers offer tips on how to get a dog to stop barking.
Identify Your Dog’s Patterns
If your dog is barking and you’d like to get him to stop, first identify some patterns. Your dog’s patterns are simple to change once they have been identified. Professional dog trainers can help pet owners determine their dogs’ patterns in order to correct them.
- When coming home, if your dog is barking when you walk in the door, don’t try to calm your dog by saying things like “good dog” or “there there,” or essentially chatting up your dog. While this may work for people, it sends the opposite message to a dog.
- Upon arrival, if your dog barks and you let him out immediately, it is best to refrain from this as your dog will view it as a reward or positive response, which reinforces the barking.
The critical message that certified dog trainers want to emphasize is that if the bark receives reinforcement, it will continue. Oftentimes, dog owners don’t see that the very thing they are doing with their dogs is the response that keeps it going. The essential thing to remember is that you want to reward good behavior and not bad or unwanted behaviors.
Reward Your Dog’s Good Behavior
It is recommended dog owners always reward good behavior. While it seems obvious in principle, it can be more difficult to implement. Professional dog trainers can teach owners specific strategies that will accomplish this like the ones listed below.
- If your dog is barking upon your arrival, use a stern, strong voice with a cue like “no” or “quiet.” Be consistent in the word you choose so your dog is not confused.
- Only reward your dog with positive reinforcement for good behavior. In this case, a quiet dog or a calm dog gets attention, a treat or let out. Again, consistency will be important in changing your dog’s response.
Pet owners who have dogs with barking problems can quickly benefit from these simple tools when advised by a professional dog trainer from ABC. It is simply a matter of identifying inappropriate reinforcement of bad behavior, modifying the message and rewarding the good. You and your dog will both enjoy the excitement of your arrival in a more pleasurable atmosphere.