How do I get my dog ​​to stop barking?

    1. Understand that barking is a normal behavior.
    2. Find out why the dog barks.
    3. Adapt the solution to the problem.
    4. Be patient and stick to the plan.

Barking is a normal behavior

Before you begin, it's important to know that barking is normal for the vast majority of dogs. It is only if the barking has developed into a problem for you or your dog that you can try to train it away. It could be that the dog barks uncontrollably, seems stressed or barks in unwanted situations.

How close the dog is to the skull is to some extent hereditary and varies between both breeds and individuals, so comparing what is normal with other dogs can be difficult. For example, dog breeds that have been bred to alarm or guard naturally have an easier time getting into shell than other dogs.

Why does the dog bark?

Step one is to find out why your dog is barking.

Common reasons why a dog barks are:

  • Stress
  • The dog is afraid or insecure and wants to scare away the scary
  • The dog is bred to warn/alarm
  • The dog has learned that it pays to bark in certain situations

This is how you train away the barking

The dog that barks because it is stressed

A common cause of excessive barking is stress. In the same way that people can have a stressful everyday life, dogs can experience the same. For a dog to be calm and harmonious, it needs an appropriate balance of rest, exercise, work and social interaction. A dog that does not have a balanced everyday life but is constantly understimulated or overstimulated walks around with constantly high levels of stress hormones. A typical effect of this is exaggerated reactions – for example, starting to bark uncontrollably.

If you have a dog that you suspect is barking because it is stressed, it is best to start training by reviewing the dog's everyday life. Does it get enough physical exercise and does it get to use its brain by practicing tricks, tracking or the like a couple of times a week? Does it get enough rest and social interaction? If you get the balance right, the dog's stress barking will decrease and you will also notice that the dog becomes more at ease.

Dog that barks because it is afraid or insecure

If your dog barks mainly at specific things or in specific situations, you can think about whether it is barking because it is afraid? Many dogs who are afraid or unsure of other dogs bark at dog meetings, for example. Here you need to focus the training on changing the dog's feeling and simply making the dog more comfortable in the situation. When the feeling changes, the barking often goes away on its own. For many dogs, in this type of situation, working with counter-conditioning works well - simply changing the dog's feeling by giving it something good to eat. It can be good to contact a dog trainer or other expert who can help you and your dog to define what is causing the feeling in the dog and work with the problem.

Dogs that are bred to warn/alarm

There are many dogs, especially of smaller breeds, that are bred precisely to alert the family by barking if something happens in the surroundings. That such a dog barks when there is a knock on the door or when a stranger walks past Santa is not really strange. It only does what it was bred for. But you can train the dog to alert in a more discreet way - perhaps by barking just once or twice and then calm down again? A simple way to do this is to teach the dog to "Thank you!" means the dog should be quiet. This can be learned by practicing in the following way:

  1. Start at a time when the dog is calm. Say "Thank you, thank you!" and throw a bunch of treats on the ground for the dog to eat. Repeat this on a number of occasions so that the dog understands that when mom says "Thank you, thank you!" then there will be candy on the ground.
  2. When the dog understands that "Thank you!" means that now candy will be thrown on the ground, so you can try saying "Thank you thank you!" when the dog barks. Does it quiet down and look expectantly at you for treats? Then you can praise it and throw some pieces of candy on the ground.
  3. When it works, you can slowly reduce the amount of candy until you just say "Thank you thank you!" whereupon the dog falls silent and you praise it with your voice.

The dog has learned that it pays to bark in certain situations

A dog can also bark in certain situations because it has learned that it pays off. For example, does the dog stand up and bark at you when it is bored? Then it has probably learned that if it does, there is a good chance that mistress/master will get up and come up with something.

Then a solution might be to ignore the dog when it barks and instead make sure to reward when the dog is calm. Then you have to have the patience to sit there on the couch and pretend the dog isn't there if it barks educationally, but be careful to instead find something fun to do with the dog when it has quieted down and laid down to rest.

Other tricks to make the dog bark less

Learn on command

It is also possible to train the dog to stop barking on command. You can do this by rewarding the dog when it quiets down. It can also be done with clicks. Add the command "quiet" or "sh" in a calm voice when the dog stops barking.

It may sound strange. But sometimes it is actually easier to teach the dog to bark to get the dog to be quiet first. Hang up the command as soon as your dog barks and reward immediately. When the dog has learned the meaning of shell, you can start training "quietly".

Teach an incompatible behavior

You can also teach the dog a behavior that cannot be performed while barking and thus make the dog quiet in certain situations. It could be, for example, that you teach the dog to wear your mitt in its mouth when you meet dogs. Then the dog simply cannot bark because it is busy with something else. However, this is not preferable when it comes to dogs that are stressed or fearful - then it is better to address the underlying problem.

It can take a while to get over excessive barking. For many dogs, it has become a normal and ingrained behavior. Therefore, it is important to keep patience and be consistent in learning. Make sure to include training in your routines and don't forget to praise when the dog does the right thing. Never punish a barking dog! If the problem persists, you may need to seek help. Then contact a dog trainer for help.