Some Positive Tips to Stop Dog Barking

By: David Codr

Published Date: June 6, 2022

Stop dog barking

For this Omaha dog behavior session we shared tips to stop dog barking to help Belle (right) and her roomie Bailey, a four year old Great Pyrenees mix.

The guardians had won this free in-home dog training session at one of our 10 Year Anniversary Celebration events. (Editor note: We have six more events where we will give away $1,000 of free dog training. Click this link for more info).

Bailey is a rescue dog so her guardian was not sure exactly what happened during her formative years. Its likely she did not go to puppy classes which is a major mistake many new puppy parents make. Socialziation account for around 3/4 of a dog’s personality and a lack of early positive experiences often leads to insecurity and many unwanted dog behaviors.

Bailey appeared anxious and nervous when we first arrived for the session and also at the end of our appointment. It’s very likely that her insecurities are a major contributing factor for many of her unwanted barking behaviors.

Tips for People Looking to Stop Dog Barking

The secret to stopping dogs from barking is finding out why they are barking in the first place. Dogs can bark for many reasons; to alert us of something, to warn something to stay away, fear, excitement, etc. In Bailey‘s case, she was clearly barking to get the people or dogs to move away.

When you have a dog that barks to make dogs or people go away, it can be difficult to stop because to the dog, the barking appears to work. The way dog’s think about the situation; they see someone and after they bark at them they go away. The dog doesn’t realize the person is passing by your yard and is going to move out of sight no matter what. Unfortunately this reinforces the barking behavior because the dog achieved its goal; making the scary dog or person go away.

A great tip to stop dog barking is to limit the dog’s access to locations or situations the dog is likely to bark at. The more a dog barks and people appear to go away, the more likely the dog is to bark at people again. So repeatedly giving the dog access to locations that it will bark at dogs is effectively training your dog to bark at strangers.

Limiting access this way is called management and in Bailey’s case would mean not being in the yard at high traffic times. This is sometimes easier said than done.

If you want to stop your dog from barking at people, you need to find a way to make the people (or dog) a positive instead of something the dog fears or is anxious about. I have found a great way to stop dog barking in these situations is to use the engage disengage game.

If you have a dog that barks at strangers passing by your house, you defiantly want to check out the free positive dog training video on stopping dog barking below.

The great thing about this technique to stop dogs from barking is it is all positive. It’s also really easy to do. You just need to make sure that you are managing the distance between the dog and the people so that the dog does not feel they’re close enough to present a threat. Positive methods to stop dog barking dont result in the dog developing other, worse behaviors.

Fortunately Bailey‘s guardians understand the negative consequences associated with using punishment based tools like bark collars, spraying the dog with a hose, yelling at it, throwing cans filled with change to startle it or worse. These are all coming tips that force and punishment base trainers use.

The problem with punishing barking is that barking is simply a symptom. All you’re doing is suppressing the behavior that causes the barking. If you use a punishment-based approach, you may teach your dog to stop barking at people, but since you’re not addressing the root problem, the dog may channel that energy into more problematic behaviors such as digging, chewing, having accidents in the house, frustration or worse.

If the guardians set the dogs up for success by getting them the proper amount of exercise on a daily basis as well as before practicing these methods to stop dog barking, they should notice things move a little smoother. it will be important for them to practice in short to successful practice sessions often.

I recommended that the guardians enlist the help of family members, neighbors or friends. Being able to control the movement of the other dog is very beneficial if you use this tip to stop dog barking.

We covered quite a few other things in this in-home Omaha dog training session. To help the guardians remember them all, we recorded a roadmap to success video that you will be able to watch by clicking the box below.

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This post was written by: David Codr