Puppy barking serves many purposes. Puppies bark when they play, to greet you (or another animal), or defend against scary or intimidating interlopers. Consider your puppy’s bark as a doggy alarm: it serves as a warning about anything unusual, interesting, or exciting, like a friend or stranger’s arrival, a sudden sound, or an unexpected sight. Rather than trying to fully eliminate the barks, figure out why the pup barks and teach him the difference between appropriate barks and problem barks.
How to Stop Your Puppy From Barking
Once youve determined why your puppy is barking, you can start to train it appropriately to stop your dog from barking. Bear in mind that some puppy mental development is similar to a young childs, so many of the same reinforcement rules apply as you teach your puppy appropriate behavior. Specifically:
Provide consistent rules and responses. If your response to excited barking is sometimes positive and sometimes negative, your dog will get confused. Stick with the same response to the same behavior, and make sure other family members do the same.
Be sure there are no physical or psychological issues causing the behavior. If your puppy is frightened, in pain, or feeling ill, it may well whine or bark. Be sure youve taken care of any environmental or health issues that could stand between your puppy and good behavior.
Use appropriate techniques to train your puppy. Remember that your puppy is just a baby, and it only knows what you teach it. Avoid harsh discipline; praise and kindness and other types of positive reinforcement can help your puppy grow up to be a well-adjusted, well-behaved dog.
Dont let your emotions get in the way of training. If your puppy whines when its left alone, you may feel you need to comfort it. When you do that, you are rewarding the behavior and therefore teaching the puppy that whining or barking is the best way to get attention.
Once youve removed barriers to training, you should see good results. If youre still having trouble reducing the amount of barking you hear, however, these tips may help you troubleshoot the problem.
Don’t bark back. When speaking with your puppy, the tone of voice and body language are just as important as the words you use. For some dogs, barking is a joyful expression. Use a calm voice when addressing your dog. Yelling can make it think you’re joining the chorus and bark even louder.
Remove the audience. If your dog barks and you come running every time, you reward the behavior. Instead, the instance your pup stops barking, praise it and offer a treat. If it keeps barking, turn your back and leave the room. Most dogs want company, so leaving tells your dog it is doing something wrong. Your dog will learn to be quiet if it wants you to stay.
Address situations that occur regularly. Barking at the mailman teaches pups to repeat the behavior over and over again. You may want to enlist your mail carrier’s help to eliminate the barking. Ask the postal carrier to feed your pup a treat once it is quiet and praise your pet for being silent.
Provide door drills. Ringing the bell, knocking on the door, and arrivals or departures can excite or scare shy pups. Create an association between the door and door sounds with good things for the puppy. Stage arrivals at the front door with an accomplice “visitor” loaded up with treats to toss. This helps it to stop seeing visitors as threats. This is a form of desensitization training.
Relieve the boredom. Many pups bark because they’re lonely or bored. Even if the dog has nothing to bark about, the barking may be better than silence. Chew toys that reward the puppy’s attention with tasty treats also fill up the mouth—it can’t bark and chew at the same time. Puzzles and toys like the Kong Wobbler can be stuffed with peanut butter or kibble treats and must be manipulated to reach the edible prize.
Block scary sounds. Inexperienced dogs hear lots of “new” sounds that may inspire barking. When barking arises from fear, the pheromone product Comfort Zone with D.A.P. may help relieve the angst. White noise machines are available to mask sounds, or simply turn the radio to a normal volume and tune it to static.
Try a new tone. Tone collars emit a loud, short tone at the first “woof.” That’s often enough to make the pup stop and search for what caused the tone. It eliminates boredom and barking, often within minutes. However, the collar must be adjusted properly or it can “punish” the wrong dog if a canine friend is barking nearby.
Curb barks with scent. Researchers found citronella collars to be effective in bark training. Citronella collars give a warning tone first; additional barking prompts a squirt of scent that stops the barking. Some of these collars even have remote control activators.
How do I get my 7 month old puppy to stop barking?
Allow your pup to bark three or four times and then say “quiet” in a firm, calm voice. Hold a tasty treat under his nose, which will cause him to stop barking while he sniffs it. Praise him for stopping the barking with a positive affirmation and then allow him to eat the treat.
How to Stop Puppy Barking – Training Tips
You’re curled up in your bed, peacefully dreaming of the great times you’ll have with your puppy, when suddenly she starts barking her head off. You hurry to her side, thinking she must be hurt or sick. As soon as you get near her, she stops barking and wags happily at you. Your puppy got exactly what she wanted: your attention. Many puppies bark at night because they feel scared or lonely in their crate. By training your puppy to stop barking during the night, you can get a good night’s sleep and stop the worry.
It’s important to remember that very young puppies are rarely able to sleep through the night. They have little bladders and are used to having their mother and litter mates nearby for company. It can take several weeks for your puppy to become accustomed to the new environment and secure enough to sleep through the night. Keep in mind that a new puppy is just like a new baby. You’ll need to be patient with her and expect a few sleepless nights.
Be prepared to ignore some of your puppy’s barking. Get used to her noises and learn to recognize when she is distressed and when she just wants some attention. Invest in a crate that suits your puppy’s size so she can stretch and turn around, but still be comforted by a space her size. Keeping the crate in your bedroom is a good way to provide your puppy with a comforting environment as well.