You may love everything about your dog. Milan Kundera, the famous French and Czech writer, once declared, "Dogs are our link to paradise."
You may love everything about your dog. Milan Kundera, the famous French and Czech writer, once declared, "Dogs are our link to paradise." Perhaps you identify with those words, but that may not always be true of your neighbors, particularly if your dog is prone to bark.
Barking is the number one complaint when it comes to dogs. There is nothing worse than being in bed and not being able to sleep, because a dog is barking all night long. Even during the day, a lonely dog may howl or bark repeatedly to voice its concerns. To keep your neighbors happy and to keep your own sanity intact, it's time to train your dog not to bark.
Dogs bark for many reasons. In the wild, they bark to alert the pack of possible dangers or to drive other dogs away. Barking can also show loneliness, excitement, or anguish. In your home, barking is a way for your dog to get your attention and scare strangers. The problem for some dogs is that they perceive anyone and everyone that comes near your home as a threat. That can include your best friend, your mother, the mailman, or even someone simply walking by your house.
An owner's natural reaction is to yell at the dog in an attempt to quiet him. This is a miscommunication between you and the dog. While it may seem to make sense to shout for quiet, the dog sees it as a reward or encouragement to continue to bark.
To change this behavior, you will need to teach your dog to bark and be quiet on command. This is not too difficult with a little time and patience. When you first start, make sure the house is quiet with no distractions or strangers present. Play with your dog until he is excited. Once excited, encourage him to bark. Once he has barked three times, tell him to be quiet or whatever command you had like to use. As soon as you issue the command, give him a treat. It is difficult if not impossible for a dog to bark and eat at the same time.
You will want to practice this inside your home and outside in the yard. Continue the training until your command makes the dog stop barking immediately. Once you've reached this stage, delay the giving of the treat. You will continue until the treat is no longer needed to obtain the desired result.
Once your dog stops barking on command, move to the front door. Ring the doorbell and allow the dog to bark three times then give the command to be quiet. This needs to be repeated until your dog can perform without a slip. Once mastered, have a friend come to the door and ring the bell. Do not allow the friend in at first. Let your dog bark and then give the command to be quiet. At this point, open the door and have your friend enter. Keep control of your dog and give encouragement for proper behavior.
It will take time to change your dog's barking ways. Do not expect vast improvements overnight. Continue working with your dog until he has mastered the quiet command. The effort you put into the training will be repaid with a happy dog and even happier neighbors.