When you’re trying to train your dog to stop barking, you need to start by understanding what makes your dog bark. Once you do that, you will know what to do to make your puppy stop barking. However, before you get to that point, it would be helpful to know the various reasons why your dog barks in the first place. That will help you understand what makes the puppy bark and how to train your puppy not to bark . Below are seven of the most common reasons why puppies tend to bark. They include;
- Your Dog Is Lonely And Wants Attention
That is probably the most common reason why many puppies barks. When a dog barks for no apparent reason, the puppy is lonely and wants some attention from its owner. The way to deal with this is simple: Pay attention to your dog. Respond to his calls for attention with a happy face and a gentle touch. That will not only make your dog feel loved, but it will also quickly stop him from ever again barking out of loneliness.
- Your Dog Is Trying To Tell You Something
Dogs are susceptible to human moods and will respond to the slightest changes in their owners with enthusiasm or discouragement. They use body language and barks to communicate with their people just as we do with each other. If your dog barks when you are in a good mood and is quiet when you are in a bad one, he is likely trying to tell you something. It is up to you to figure out what that is. However, if you cannot understand what he is trying to communicate, pay attention to him and reward him when he stops barking.
- Your Dog Is Afraid Of Something And Is Releasing Steam
That is another common reason why dogs bark. While a normal amount of barking can be perfectly harmless, sometimes a dog will get a fright that causes him to release all of the steam inside him. When this happens, you must pay attention to him. React in the same way you would react if your child were frightened by a loud noise. Once you have identified the cause of his panic, you must do your best to calm him down and distract him. You could try using your hand gently and reassuringly on his head or offer him a treat. If you don’t know what triggered his fear, you will need to take extra care to ensure that he doesn’t experience that kind of stress again.
- Your Dog Is Protecting You Or His Territory
Most dogs will not attack (bite) a person who does not threaten their survival. That means they will bark at the sight of a stranger walking down the street, or maybe even running towards them. That type of barking usually comes from the most dominant male in the pack or the one who thinks he is the leader. It is his way of letting other pack members know he is on guard and ready to repel any potential invaders. In this case, the best way to deal with the situation is to ignore the dog. Let him release steam by barking, then go about your day without responding to or worrying about him.
- Your Dog Is Bored And Needs Some Exercise
Dogs, like people, need to stay healthy by getting plenty of physical activity. If they are allowed to run around the yard and play, they will use up all their excess energy, and they will be too tired to cause trouble for you or annoy you with unwanted barks. However, if they don’t get enough exercise, they will become lazy and apathetic. They won’t have the spark to be as alert and curious, and they will begin to lose interest in almost everything. In this case, the best thing to do is provide some form of physical exercise for your dog. You could take him on a long walk once or twice a day or let him run off-leash in a safe neighbourhood. Ensure he has access to plenty of fresh water and ensures his shelter is secure. The point is to get his blood pumping and get some life into him.
- Your Dog Is Feeling Threatened
When faced with a stressful situation, some dogs will begin to release steam in an attempt to warn others nearby about their discomfort. That is a natural human response that helps us survive in groups by letting everyone know we are scared and need help. Unfortunately, it can also occur in dogs and result in unwanted barks. It is essential to recognize this barking as it can quickly become very disruptive to your home and family.
Ways To Train Your Puppy Not To Bark
Dogs are naturally curious and will want to learn everything there is to know about the world around them. However, they must be taught when appropriate to ask questions and when it is not. Most owners give their puppies an endless supply of treats whenever they inquire about something new. That is like rewarding the dog for being nosy. Below are some of the top ways to train your puppy not to bark. Those ways;
- Offer The Puppy Toys He Likes To Chew
If you give him lots of exciting things to play with and engage his mind, he won’t have time or energy to focus on any one object for too long. That will prevent him from developing a habit of obsessively staring at anything in particular and will discourage him from becoming bored or lethargic. If you give your puppy toys or games that require mental effort, you will be training him to stay alert and engaged instead of allowing him to drift into a dormant state of mind caused by excess physical activity. That is very important because it will prevent him from becoming bored and turning to unwanted activities such as barking.
- Never Allow The Puppy To Become Bored
Provide your puppy with plenty of exciting things to do and see every day. Your family will reward him for being alert and curious with attention and playtime, but don’t make his life unnecessarily tedious by giving him too many things to do.
- Remove Or Ignore Anything That Stimulates Unwanted Barking
When a dog is faced with a stressful situation, his body responds with physical and mental stimulation to help him cope with the situation. That is where unwanted barks come from. The quickest way to eliminate these barks is to remove or ignore whatever is causing the stress in the first place.
- Provide Your Puppy With Consistent Routines
Consistency is the key to success with any new skill or behaviour. By providing your puppy with clear, precise routines for sleeping, eating, playing and going to the bathroom, you are helping him develop a clear mental picture of what he should expect when you are not around. That will help him feel more secure and contented, and it will also help him adjust more quickly and efficiently when you are not around.
- Provide Games Where He Has To Hold His Tongue
Your puppy needs something to do when you are not around. To train him not to bark, he needs to be given something interesting that requires no physical action. A simple game of tug can be a fun way to keep him active and engaged while he is waiting for you to return home.
- Offer Your Puppy New Experiences
Discover new things that your dog might enjoy. Toys, treats, games and activities all have the potential to stimulate and engage your dog’s mind. It is your job to expose him to as many different kinds of experiences as possible.
- Reward Any Behaviour That You Like But Avoid Reward-Based Training
Rewards are one of the most important ways to teach a dog what you want them to do. If you are unwilling to use rewards in conjunction with the other methods listed above, your training will be much more challenging and take longer. Instead, offer rewards whenever you see any signs of the desired behaviour and don’t give rewards if the dog does something you don’t like.
- Discipline At The Moment
It is essential to discipline your dog at the moment that he barks. That is the only way to eliminate a bad habit before starting. Your puppy will not have time to associate his unwanted behavior with positive reinforcement by telling him no and removing the trigger.
- Don’t Let The Puppy Be Bored
Boredom is a silent killer and can cause health problems far more severe than just the loss of interest in a single object. Never make the mistake of thinking that just because your puppy is young, he is not susceptible to boredom. All puppies, even the most active ones, become bored at times. The best way to avoid this is to provide the types of stimulation mentioned above. Give your puppy many exciting things to do and watch, and make sure his time is well-spent. That will keep him alert, active and engaged, which will, in turn, prevent him from developing bad habits such as barking.
Although there are different ways on how to train your puppy not to bark, the 9 ways discussed above are the most effective. In addition to training, it is also essential to be consistent. It would help if you tried to apply these methods every time you interact with your puppy. If you can do this consistently, you will soon see the results you want.