Dogs are innately prone to barking, since that is the way they talk to other dogs and their owners. However, on occasion the barking becomes more than just annoying. If you are expecting to completely stop your dog from ever barking, there's a good possibility that having a dog in your life is not the best decision for you. You can, however, get your dog to not bark quite as much as he or she does right now, if you just use a few simple strategies.
Excessive barking is when the barking occurs without stopping for a half an hour or longer. Not only is this kind of barking extremely annoying to you, it can quickly become an issue for your neighbors and others around you. Many factors can cause excessive barking such as lack of attention, feeling lonely, being bored, or when something sparks the dog's interest like another animal or unknown person.
What you must do first when learning how to stop dog barking is to find out why the dog is barking in the first place. If your dog is outside most of the time that he's barking, it could be a sense of loneliness or just total boredom for him. A lot of owners are under the impression that dogs are more comfortable out of doors, when in fact dogs like to be with other animals. Dogs naturally crave togetherness, so if they are left alone outside for long periods of time, they could be barking in an attempt to attract your attention.
If you find out this is the cause behind your dog barking, you need to find more time to spend with him. You can even bring him inside sometimes so you can be together. If you are able to do this, you should try going outside with him more often so he can play with you and get the attention he needs. If you work your dog into your schedule, he will know when to expect you to spend time with him, and will probably halt his non-stop barking, which he was just doing to get your attention in the first place.
Barking due to boredom is also fairly easy to address. Both inside and outside dogs will bark if they are bored, and just want to have a buddy to play with. If your neighbors complain that they can hear your dog barking most of the day and he's inside, there are several options for you to try. If you can get some dog toys that will occupy your dog's time for awhile, especially stuffed with trees, that'll work great. You may consider turning on the TV or radio so your dog will not feel like he's alone. The last method you can attempt is to put your dog in a crate every time he barks so he will understand that excessive barking is not a proper behavior.
If the problem is alert barking, you need to do a thorough evaluation of circumstances before you can figure out what needs to be done. After all, you might want your dog to keep the alert barking instinct, and you do not want it to be trained out of them. If you are not concerned about having your dog act as a guard dog for your property, you'll need to use stop commands to teach him not to bark when he's alerted to something outside the yard or in the house. Your other choice would be to train him that a couple barks to let you know it's an alert would be acceptable, but once you have acknowledged his alert he is to be quiet.
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