ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Quiet a Barking Dog

Updated on October 24, 2011

Don’t tell ME not to bark!

License: sxu license ~ Photographer: lily: everystockphoto.com
License: sxu license ~ Photographer: lily: everystockphoto.com

Take A Behavioral Approach To Dog Training

What Causes the Barking?

Dealing with a barking dog can be challenging and frustrating. It is often very difficult to know what to do when you have a dog who just seems to like to bark to hear it’s own voice. The fact is, that this is probably not the case. Behavior doesn’t happen in a vacuum. There is always a reason for it, even if it isn’t a very good reason.

When Does He Bark?

To figure out how to get your dog to stop barking, first look at the situations in which he barks. For example, does he bark whenever you are on the phone? What do you do about it? Do you pet him or give him a treat to get him to be quiet? If so, you are doing an excellent job of teaching him to bark while you are on the phone!

Does he bark when you are watching TV in your favorite chair? What do you do about it? Do you let him get into the chair? Again, if this is your response, then you are teaching your dog to ask for what he wants by barking.

What Should You Do?

A way to deal with these two situations is to anticipate the problem. Get your dog occupied and situated before you get on the phone. Set him up with his own bed, give him a treat or chew toy and tell him to stay before you start your phone call. If he interrupts during your call, use an airline kennel as a “time-out”. Tell him “Hush!” and quietly walk him to his crate, usher him in, and close the door. Don’t do this in a punitive way. Being crated should never be a punishment. It is just an effective, nonviolent way of managing your dog’s behavior.

In the case of barking to be in your chair with you, it depends on what you want. If you don’t mind having him in the chair, invite him before he has to ask. In that way, you are taking control of the situation and showing the dog that the decision for him to get into the chair is yours, not his.

If you don’t want him in your chair, again, set him up in advance on his own bed with a treat or chew toy. If he persists in wanting to get into your chair with you, follow the procedure outlined above. Tell him “Hush!” and quietly walk him to his crate, usher him in, and close the door.

How Should You Respond?

While there are a number of aversive methods for dealing with barking, such as no-bark collars, and various sprays you can use to deter your dog from barking. I believe that these are unnecessary and not very effective. They provide the dog with attention - even if it is negative attention - and that can make the problem worse, not better.

Why Is He Barking?

By understanding why your dog barks, what he is trying to accomplish, and what you can do to meet his needs or ignore his demands appropriately, you should be able to limit your dog’s barking to appropriate barking. This is the barking that alerts you of something unusual or lets you know that your dog genuinely needs your attention.

Always keep the possibility in mind that your dog may be barking for a perfectly good reason. If your dog barks up a storm every time you put him out at night to do his business at bedtime, check your yard and see if he has a reason to bark. There could be people in the street, a stray cat, or as was the case in my yard, a great big possum in a tree! If this is the case, thank your dog for letting you know! That’s what you have him for, after all! Then bring him inside so he won’t disturb people. Never punish a dog for appropriate barking.

Don’t blame your dog if he barks out of boredom. If you leave your dog chained outside for a long time (never a good idea) or even have him in a yard or in the house alone with nothing to occupy him, he will be likely to bark. Always be sure your dog has toys to play with and chew and free access to clean water and dry food. In this way, you will eliminate several valid reasons for barking - boredom, hunger, and thirst.

Where Does Your Dog Feel Most Secure?

The exception to this is, if you leave him in an airline kennel while you are at work or sleeping. In this case, be sure he has had enough to eat and drink and had the opportunity to toilet beforehand, then crate him with a favorite chew toy and perhaps a treat. You don’t want to leave food and water in the crate. It will just make a mess. Never leave your dog crated for more than eight hours. Be sure to toilet him and offer food and water as soon as you return and uncrate him. If your dog barks while he is crated, you may want to try keeping soft lights in the room where the crate is situated and playing quiet music or having the radio on to keep him company. Most dogs learn to manage crating quite well when they are properly crate trained. Crate training is an excellent tool for managing your dog’s behavior.

Copyright:SuzanneBennett:2009

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • justmesuzanne profile imageAUTHOR

    justmesuzanne 

    6 years ago from Texas

    Glad I could be of help! :)

  • Night Magic profile image

    Night Magic 

    6 years ago from Canada

    Good points. I'll have to suggest them to my friend.

  • justmesuzanne profile imageAUTHOR

    justmesuzanne 

    6 years ago from Texas

    Yes, this is especially true of yappy little dogs like Chihuahuas that get a lot of positive reinforcement for their behavior.

  • Nature by Dawn profile image

    Dawn Ross 

    6 years ago

    Great information. I don't think a lot of people realize that they have inadvertently taught their dogs to bark.

  • justmesuzanne profile imageAUTHOR

    justmesuzanne 

    7 years ago from Texas

    Thank you! Yes, my dogs have different tones for different purposes, too. Your comment about responding to the danger bark is what I mean about "thanking" the dog for alerting you. I do the same thing. My dogs also know the phrases, "It's OK", "I know about that" "Mind your business" and "Don't worry". Those are all phrases to calm the "There's something really dangerous out here!" bark!

  • ktrapp profile image

    Kristin Trapp 

    7 years ago from Illinois

    I have noticed that my dog, who can be very vocal at times, seems to have different barks for different things. If she is barking because she is warning us of "danger" then there is no making her be quiet until she feels that we are safe. I have found for her "warning us of danger" bark that I have to respond to it and let her know that everything is ok, or else she needs to keep barking. It's actually very interesting. This is a very interesting article.

  • justmesuzanne profile imageAUTHOR

    justmesuzanne 

    7 years ago from Texas

    Many thanks! :)

  • thelyricwriter profile image

    Richard Ricky Hale 

    7 years ago from West Virginia

    up, useful, and interesting Suzanne. It all makes sense. He is talking. Why do we talk? We are trying to accomplish something. I don't believe in the bark collars either. People shouldn't use them. This is a very useful article my friend. Many people will find it that way. Well done. Have a good day:)

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)