ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Stop Dog from Barking - Stop Dog Barking Problems

Updated on July 15, 2009

How to Stop a Dog From Barking

So you're dog's incessant barking is driving you crazy--but you DO want him to bark if he smells smoke or hears someone in the backyard at night. How do you stop a barking dog and yet let him know it's good to bark once to alert you?

First of all in trying to stop dog behavior problems, obedience training will not stop a dog from barking. If you obedience-train a dog that barks too much, you then have an obedient dog who "sits", "stays" -- and barks...

How Much is Barking Is Too Much Barking?

First realize that barking isn't bad -- it's excess barking that is bad. Barking to warn you that someone is trying to break into your home is great! Barking about a gas leak, the baby crying, or smoke or a fire is also a plus.

But barking because a butterfly landed in a bush a block away is nonsense. If your dog is still barking ten minutes after the mailman left, or if he won't stop barking when you tell him to, you've got problem barking and need to stop your dog from barking.

Overly Dominant Dogs can be Problem Barkers

An overly dominant dog is a prime candidate for excessive barking problems. If the household lacks authority, the dog will assert his pack superiority and literally yell his way to success with excessive barking.

If your dog's behavior succeeds, don't expect it to go away. A spoiled or over-indulged dog is probably the most common example of this.

Lack of authority in the "pack" is a cause for many behavior problems in dogs. For example, an adult dog who soils in your home may be showing you in the only way he know how that you are not his boss.

Being a firm master is one of the four "gifts" you can give your dog...The others are a crate, neutering (for either sex) and a home (an "outside dog" has an address, not a home).

A Nice Neighbor Can Actually Create a Barking Dog!

Unfortunately, a nice, kind, well-meaning neighbor with the best intentions in the world can turn your dog a problem barker. Your dog barks while you're at work and the fellow next door feels sorry for the critter so he comes over and visits your dog and brings him a treat or whatever.

Your dog learns to bark to get what he wants and shortly you've got a real problem barker on your hands. Your neighbor thought he was helping you and your dog, but he unwittingly caused you both misery with a situation where you'll need to learn how to stop your dog from barking.

Again, this is far more common than you would think so you should be aware of it. In fact, many times it's the very person that unwittingly rewarded your dog for barking that later lodges a complaint against you for having a dog that barks too much.

Is Punishment a Good Method to Stop a Dog from Barking?

On the subject of punishment to stop barking in dogs, please understand that if you punish a behavior harshly enough without getting rid of its motive, you'll either fail or cause swapping--or both.

Swapping means trading one problem for another. Punish too harshly to stop a dog's barking and you create a defensive biter or a digger or a fence jumper or submissive urination. Make sure the dog is capable of giving what you demand and that you remove the cause of the excessive barking so that you don't get swapping..

In my dog behavior training ebook I have described how to stop a dog from barking including the various reasons that dogs bark when they are alone and also when the family is present. Once you determine why you need to stop your dog from barking, you are on the way to the solution.

Behavioral therapy techniques to stop a barking dog are very effective and long-lasting. They are even fun for you and your dog! This will be the first time your dog is praised for barking! I don't believe in jerking, squirting, or clicking. It's just not necessary nor as effective to use those methods. One of my favorite sayings is, "In dog training, 'jerk' is a noun and not a verb!"

Would Debarking Be a Solution to Stop Your Dog From Barking?

Debarking is a controversial surgical procedure which is currently banned in the United Kingdom. About 35% of dog owners have problems with excessive dog barking--and some resort to debarking to try to solve the barking problem.

Also called devocalization or a ventricular cordectomy, the debarking surgical procedure reduces the tissue in the dog's vocal cords. After debarking, the dog isn't totally quiet--he makes a sort of whispery cough sound which is pretty pitiful.

The effects of debarking surgery are immediate, but may not be long-lasting. Due to scar formation, the procedure may have to be repeated. And the dog may actually end up barking louder than he did before the procedure.

So, the debarked dog still barks--it's just not as loud. The causes of his problem barking are still there, and he still suffers the cycle of stress and barking.

Why Dogs Bark Too Much When They're Alone

Territorial Protection

When a dog is alone, one of the reasons for excess barking is territorial protection. By nature, dogs will be curious about or challenge an intruder approaching their territory. This is especially true if the dog is insecure or has something special to protect, like a litter of pups.

Excess Barking: Communicating

Vocal acts can also be social communication. The dog is seeking company or a response from another critter, or just announcing his presence.

Your Dog's Frustration Causes Barking

Barking is also a frustration response to teasing, either from people or from other animals like cats or loose dogs. Some dogs release stress vocally. Barking, whining or howling are all they know to do about emotional upset. If the environment is overly upsetting or stimulating to the dog, he may well respond with chronic barking.

Barking as a Response to Stress

Certain things automatically stress dogs to varying degrees. These include isolation, confinement, and barrier frustration. If your dog is sensitive to one or more of these, and they're part of the dog's everyday life, expect a potentially vocal response.

Barrier Frustration Causes Barking

Two dogs may get along great, but put one on each side of a fence, and they may run that fence all day, barking wildly as they do. Many dogs will get more vocal as their level of fear or insecurity increases. A dog tied to a tree may be more vocal than one in a crate because the tied one can't avoid attacks or threats.

by Dennis Fetko, Ph.D., "Dr. Dog".

I'd Love to Hear Your Feedback on My How to Stop Dog Barking Info!

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      Wasatch Canine Camp 

      7 years ago

      This is a really good article and covers lots of good points and tips about dog barking. Sometimes, though, owners need professional help to stop their dog from excessive barking. This is something we offer through our dog behavior training programs located in Salt Lake City, UT and American Fork, UT. We are happy to help anyone struggling with dog barking problems through our dog behavior training programs!

    • profile image

      Dog Training in San Diego 

      8 years ago

      Dog barking is definitely annoying and also a problem.

    • profile image

      Geoff Wainwright 

      8 years ago

      I recommend that you use Citronell Dog Collars

    • profile image

      Stop Dog Barking 

      9 years ago

      Good advice, Barking can be caused from numerous things. Finding out why your pet is barking before trying to correct it, is very important. Thanks for the tips.

    • rarestone1 profile image


      10 years ago

      This is a barking good hub... You have shared some useful tips here. Good work.

    • SunSeven profile image


      11 years ago from Singapore / India

      Thank you Dennis. I hope you stay away from 'muting' canines.

    • DrDog profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from San Diego

      Hey SunSeven, You have so much wonderful creativity, we sure don't want anybody "detalking" you! Yes, I consider debarking barbaric and not a solution to the problem...'Best to you, Dennis

    • SunSeven profile image


      11 years ago from Singapore / India

      Frankly Dennis, I like my dogs to bark! I certainly will not feel good if someone won't let me talk. LOL! I won't like anybody doing 'detalking' me!!. I think its a cruel practice. Things we do only for our comforts!!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, 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:

    Show Details
    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 or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    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)
    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.
    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)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)