How to stop puppy from barking

Don’t correct the barking.

-This may sound counter-intuitive or even impossible, but it is in fact one of the most effective ways to treat excessive barking in dogs. Dog barking problems are common and can be very frustrating when they occur in “inappropriate” situations (such as when guests come over). However, before you begin correcting your dog for barking excessively, there are some important things you should know about this habit.

-First of all, let’s make sure we understand what happens when your dog barks excessively (and why he does it). What you see is only the tip of the iceberg; many different factors contribute to a dog’s overall motivation to bark excessively. These include attention seeking, anxiety, phobias, arousal and even confusion.

-The key to understanding this is to recognize that your dog barks for very different reasons in different circumstances. Therefore, the ways you deal with the barking will vary depending on what triggers it in each unique case. While some methods may indeed stop the behavior immediately in one situation, they might make the problem worse when used under other circumstances (or even instigate a problem where none existed before).

Why Do Puppies Bark?

-The main reason why puppies bark is because they are extremely dependent on you for everything. They rely on your leadership to show them what is safe and what is not, what they can chew on and what they cannot, whom to play with and when to rest. If you give in an inch during the time where this dependency is so strong, it will only get worse as the dog grows up.

-You may think that your puppy gets plenty of exercise by running around in the yard or through long walks every day; but the fact remains that he probably still has a lot of excess energy that needs an outlet. It’s important to realize that some breeds (such as terriers) are simply more driven by instinct than others (such as retrievers) and will therefore require more physical and mental stimulation.

It’s all about attention: Your puppy barks because he wants to engage your attention and he knows that you can’t ignore him if he’s barking excessively. If this is the case, there are several things you should know:

Correcting your puppy for barking at any time other than when you give him permission will simply teach him that it pays off to bark if his efforts go unnoticed. You cannot punish a dog for excessive barking; instead, you must reward calm behavior (by giving treats or petting) and then instruct them to be quiet immediately after the calm behavior has occurred (e.g., “Quiet” or “Be quiet”). This way, your pup learns that good things come when he’s quiet and only barking excessively is ignored.

How to “Stop” Your Puppy’s Barking?

-Don’t correct your puppy for barking, but reward quiet behavior. Often, people make the mistake of trying to correct the dog’s barking without taking into consideration what is causing it! This can lead to serious problems down the road. For example, you may try scolding your pup every time he barks inappropriately (e.g., when there are guests over), even if the cause of his barking is excessive arousal or anxiety.

-Some people also seem to think that punishment will stop their pup from barking excessively at any time; but again, inappropriate responses will only teach your dog that it is worth it to bark as long as his efforts go unnoticed (and it might even instigate aggression). Instead of correcting him, teach your dog how to calm down and then reward him for being calm.

-The best way to stop this bad habit is to identify the triggers and treat them accordingly. You will need some time and patience, especially when it comes to severe problems such as phobias or anxiety; but in most cases, you can reduce barking quickly when you know exactly what needs to be done.

Create a Safe Space for Your Puppy to Bark

-One of the simplest ways to train your pup that barking is not an option is to create a safe space for him, where he can bark all, he wants without getting scolded. This way, you make it clear that only quiet behavior will be acknowledged while excessive barking will always be ignored. If you cannot do this yourself (e.g., when you are at work), make sure someone else is around who can keep an eye on things and let your puppy know when he’s being good or bad by giving treats or petting him when necessary.

-To create a safe place for your dog, simply put up a baby gate in one room that has access to the outdoors or an open area. Make sure the gate is high enough so that your puppy can’t jump over it, but low enough so he can still see you. Once this is done, simply tell your pup to “Quiet” or “Be quiet” whenever he barks excessively and ignore him completely afterwards.

-You may also want to purchase a bark collar with remote training capabilities so you don’t have to physically be present to correct your pup (although this should always be your last resort). Some of these even come with audio recordings of various types of sounds (e.g., thunderstorm) that might encourage excessive barking; thus, giving you the opportunity to play these before things get out of hand.

Give Them an Activity They Can Do Instead of Barking

-One of the problems with excessive barking is that it may go on for hours if your pup does not have an alternative outlet. Dogs bark to express themselves, so simply telling them “No” will only work temporarily. Therefore, you should try to redirect their energies by providing activities that are just as rewarding but which cannot get them into trouble. This could be anything from chewing on a bone or stuffed Kong toy, tossing a ball back and forth to playing tug of war (if done correctly).


-Don’t scold your pup for barking or correct them yourself. This can lead to aggression and other issues down the road! Create a safe place where your dog can bark all they want without getting in trouble. If you have a bark collar with remote training capabilities, use the audio recordings that come with it to discourage barking beforehand. Give your puppy something else they can do instead of bark excessively by providing an appropriate chewing outlet, tossing a ball around etc….

Lisa Thompson

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