Nipping Barking in the Bud

Here are some practical ways to stop your dog from barking that might serve as temporary fixes (until your landlord stops threatening to evict you because of noise complaints because of your yappy dog.)

 1.                 Try a citronella no-bark collar. If your dog barks, the collar automatically spurts a small amount of citronella on his neck, which dogs dislike. This may cause him to associate the unpleasant stimuli with barking.  

2.                 Get an old spray bottle, fill it with water and spray him in the face every time he barks. A warning: this makes some dogs even more hysterical or they change from barking to whining.

 3.                 To prevent barking while you’re away, leave your dog inside the house and turn the television or the radio on to something soft but cheery. This way he is lulled into believing he has company (in the form of television or radio) and is not over stimulated by something he might see outside like a squirrel in a tree in the front yard. Make sure the dog is also provided with plenty of food or water.    However the absolutely BEST way to stop your dog from barking is to train him to bark on command.  To train your dog to bark and be quiet on command, try the following.    

 Try to determine what makes your dog bark in the first place. Knowing the cause will increase your chances of success when it comes to stimulating him to speak and then quieting him.  

Have your dog’s favorite treat within on hand.         Praise the dog for barking once he starts by saying, “Speak ” When the dog is quiet say, ‘Be quiet.’   Sooner or later he should be able to get the connection between what he is doing and what you are saying.  Wave the treat in front of your dog’s nose. Most dogs will instantly quiet down, because they will be mesmerized by the treat.

Lavishly praise the dog for being quiet.    

Let the dog have the treat after 3 seconds of quiet time.    

Wave another treat in front of your dog if he starts to bark again. This time, try not to let your dog have the treat until 5 seconds of quiet time have elapsed. Your dog should learn that after each successful quiet-time interval, he would be rewarded.   Don’t reward the dog if he barks.   Start from step 1 again.  

Scold your dog every time he makes a mistake. If the dog barks, even for just an instant, say ‘Be quiet,’ in a louder voice. Then reward the dog immediately after he stops barking.  10.                         Increase the quiet-time intervals by 3 seconds each time: from 3 seconds to 6 seconds to 9 seconds and so on until your dog is quiet for a long period of time.