Dog barking is not an issue if you stay in an independent house. However, barking might become a concern when you stay in an apartment, condominium, townhome, and any other places. There are quite many reasons for your dog to bark, like someone passing by, bark at the known people with love, bark at the neighbors, and unknown people. Though there are many techniques, better try the best techniques that could help you to train your dog not to bark.
Train your dog not to bark by removing the motivation
Dog gets positive rewards whenever he barks; else it will not bark. Try to find out what it get after barking and try to remove that motivation. Never give your dog a chance to bark, and find out how to remove the barking behavior.
When your dog barks at the neighbors or the passers, who pass by your living room window, you need to close the curtains, else make your dog stay in another room.
In case your dog barks at the passersby when he is in the yard, just get him inside your house. Do not leave your dog alone without supervision.
Ignore the Barking
It is a suitable mechanism, by just ignoring your dog when he barks. You neither look at him nor talk to him nor give attention in any way. Let him bark for some time. If you pay attention, the dog thinks that you will pay attention to him when he barks. Just avoid him. Even if the dog barks more than 1 hour, do not care him. Else, your dog may feel that you will pay attention to him only if he barks continuously. Therefore, there will be a tendency in your dog to bark continuously to get your attention. Your attention is the reward for him. So, never pay attention. Just keep rewarding him when he is quiet. This way you can train your dog not to bark.
Compliment your dog for good behavior:
Felicitating your dog for his good behavior is an excellent mechanism to stop your dog from continuous barking. At the time when you reward the dog, your dog should understand why you are rewarding the dog. Never compliment the dog or reward in between your dog start barking. If you give a reward, while the dog is barking, he may misunderstand that barking is the right mechanism to get a treat.
Ask your dog to keep ‘quite’ and if he obeys your commands compliment him by saying ‘good boy,’ or ‘how sweet are you,’ etc., and give him a treat.
Make sure to keep the treat in a reachable distance, so that you can immediately give the reward if they dog obey your commands.
Train the dog to continue to be in ‘silent mode’ by prolonging the treat giving frequencies. Give the treat while your dog is in ‘silent mode,’ which will give it a feeling that, keeping quiet is the way to get the rewards.
Desensitizing your dog to the stimulus
Desensitizing is a technique widely using to modify the emotional response of a dog. Gradually your dog develops the habit of barking whatever makes him to bark. You can use the desensitizing technique to modify or control the emotional variations of your dog. The process includes training with a stimulus object, an object that forces him to bark by keeping at a distance.
For better desensitization, it is advisable to introduce the stimulus gradually to your dog. Understand the reason for the trigger and find out the stimulus objects that push your dog to show emotional disturbances.
Train to develop replacement behavior:
Like humans, dogs also express their frustration by barking and showing unacceptable behavior. If your dog shows unacceptable behavior problems, then you need to train him to develop alternative behavior. Generally, the dog starts barking to draw your attention when it faces emotional disturbances.
Train your dog to play with his toy.
Never allow you dog to bark to grab your attention even while playing. While playing, if the toy roll under the couch, the dog may bark at you to take the toy out. You can avoid this situation, by keeping some obstruction there, so that the toy cannot slip under the couch.
Counter condition your dog:
Separation anxiety and fear complex will be some of the reasons for your dog to relent on barking. In that case, you need to identify the trigger cause and train the dog to overcome the situation. Counter conditioning is the best mechanism to relieve your dog from anxiety complex.
When you got out home for 30-40 minutes, leaving your dog alone, keep a puzzle toy filled with his favorite food. It will help the dog to occupy with the toy, trying to take out the food.
Once you are back home, keep the puzzle toy away from the dog.
Repeat the training for few times, so that your dog will be conditioning to understand that he can only have the puzzle toy when you are not at home.
This kind of training is good for dog showing minor separation anxieties.
For severe anxiety disorders, you need to resort professional help
Train your dog to understand the “quiet” Command
Firstly, train your dog to understand the command ‘quiet’ and let him bark when you say ‘quiet.’ Allow him to bark two three times when you say the command ‘quiet.’ Later, keep a tasty treat in front of his nose while he is barking. He will stop barking to sniff the treat. Reward him with the treat and appreciate him.
Now say ‘speak’ and prompt him to bark. When he is barking, say ‘quiet,’ and when he is quite, offer him some reward by allowing him to sniff the treat. Repeat the training, and this will let him understand the command, “Speak” and “Quiet.” Do this training in a calm surrounding and without any external stimulus that can trigger his emotions.
Keep your Dog Tired
Ensure your dog gets enough physical and mental exercise regularly. Always a tired dog is a good dog that is less likely to bark from the frustration. In addition, it depends on his breed, age, and health; your dog needs several walks. It is also good to let him play a game of chasing the ball, as well as playing with some interactive toys, which can let him loose his energy.
If nothing workout to stop your dog barking unnecessarily, your final option is to consult a professional. Since each dog has unique characters, the trainer should be a qualified person, who can professionally handle the issues of your dog. You can find out a best behavior-training specialist through your veterinary doctor
Find out what is their qualification and make sure they are Certified Professional Dog Trainers (CPDT) certified. It is an independent organization, with the standard certification process.
Check out their category of certification/s.
A qualified pet therapist/behavior consultant/pet psychologist with a Ph.D. in any of the animal behavior portfolio would be your ideal choice.
If you are tired of all the complaints about your dog’s barking, just train your dog rather than selling, hating or scolding your dog. Train your dog in such a way that, it stops barking unnecessarily seeing your neighbors, seeing another dog, seeing the treats, toys, etc. If you can train your dog not to bark, it can stop barking and listen to your commands.