Mute the Hoots: 6 Disciplinary Tactics for Barking Dogs

By Maria Rogerson

March 7, 2024Pets

Dealing with excessive dog barking can be quite bothersome for both dog owners and their neighbours. Therefore, it is crucial to acquire effective techniques and commands to address this behaviour. If you’re looking for some helpful tips on how to reduce excessive barking, take a look at the guidelines provided below:

1. Identify the Underlying Reason

Identify the Underlying Reason for dog barking

Dogs often bark to communicate their needs, much like how a persistent child might express their desires. They express their dissatisfaction openly and want you to be aware of it. Dogs communicate through barking to express their desire to enter the house, be released from their crate, receive food, or seek your attention.

Understanding the reasons behind a dog’s barking is crucial before attempting to address the behaviour. It’s important to note that not all barking should be considered as negative. Identify the location and timing of the barking, as well as any factors that may be causing your dog to react. Once you have identified the cause of your dog’s excessive barking, you can proceed with training them accordingly.

2. Eliminate any Factors That May Trigger a Response

Eliminating factors that trigger barking in dogs has several benefits. It helps in creating a quieter and more peaceful environment, reducing potential stress for both the dog and its owners. Addressing triggers can also contribute to better neighborhood relations and prevent nuisance complaints. 

Additionally, a quieter living space can positively impact the dog’s well-being, promoting a calmer and more relaxed state. Identifying and eliminating triggers is a proactive approach to managing barking behaviour and fostering a more harmonious relationship between dogs and their owners. To address your dog’s territorial barking, it’s important to eliminate or conceal the stimuli that are causing distress to your furry friend. 

Placing removable plastic window film near your dog’s guard spots or installing opaque fencing outside can help block their view of potentially distressing sights.

3. Consider Anti Bark Collar

PetSafe Lite Rechargeable Bark Collar - PBC17-16447

Anti-bark collars may not be considered a long-term solution but they can be useful in situations where excessive barking threatens your or your pooch’s safety and when it disturbs neighbours and violates noise ordinances. They serve as a training tool, helping dogs associate barking with undesirable consequences. Most importantly,  where immediate control is essential, like during walks or in public spaces, bark collars can be a quick and effective solution.

Dog collars anti barking work by delivering stimuli when a dog barks excessively. Citronella collars release a harmless spray, vibration collars provide a mild vibration, and sound collars emit a loud noise. These stimuli interrupt the barking pattern, associating it with an unpleasant experience. It’s crucial to choose a collar appropriate for the dog’s size and temperament. 

Additionally, using positive reinforcement alongside anti-bark collars can enhance effectiveness. However, misuse or prolonged use may lead to stress or fear in the dog, so it’s recommended to consult with a veterinarian or professional trainer before using such devices.

4. Give Them a Distraction

If you find yourself in a situation where your dog is barking at everyone who passes by while you’re out walking or at a pet-friendly restaurant, employing a distraction method could prove to be quite effective. Utilise dog treats as a means to capture your dog’s focus while waiting for others to pass by. Only provide a reward to your dog if they refrain from barking. 

When you’re at home, it can be helpful to train your dog to go to a designated spot when people approach the front door. This not only serves as a distraction for your dog, but also establishes a routine of remaining quiet when visitors arrive.

4. Ignore

dog barking

To address excessive barking for attention in dogs, one effective approach is to simply ignore them. It’s important to remember that simply avoiding petting them is not enough. Even making eye contact or scolding them can unintentionally encourage their playful behaviour. Learn how to effectively communicate with your dog and discourage attention-seeking behaviour. Instead of engaging with your pet, redirect your attention to the wall or the ceiling, using body language to convey your message. Take advantage of those rare moments when the dog ceases its barking to provide them with a well-deserved reward for their silence. To ensure effective training, it is important to repeat the process if the barking persists even after giving the treat. This helps the dog understand that being quiet is the behaviour that will be rewarded.

5. Alter Their Living Conditions

Certain dogs may develop a tendency to engage in compulsive barking, becoming stuck in this behaviour pattern. Modifying the way you restrict your dog’s movement can have a significant effect on their behaviour. Allowing a dog to roam freely in a fenced-in yard can help reduce excessive barking. Dogs that spend the majority of their time indoors tend to bark less when they receive additional outdoor exercise, whether in the dog park or safely secured with a dog leash, whatever the method, just like any other pets dog need daily mental stimulation.

6. Invest time in Obedience Training

Obedience Training for dogs

Obedience training for dogs offers various benefits to dog owners. It enhances communication, strengthens the human-animal bond, and establishes a foundation for good behaviour. Training can also improve safety, as commands like “sit” and “stay” contribute to better control in different situations. Additionally, a well-trained dog tends to be more predictable and easier to manage, creating a harmonious living environment. Consistent training fosters mental stimulation for the dog and provides a sense of accomplishment for the owner.