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It’s late at night and your dog is barking incessantly for no apparent reason. The sound is traveling through your ears straight into your brain and turning it into mush.
You can’t take it anymore! You yell, beg, cry and nothing works, the barking only seems to be getting worse.
Luckily we know a few tips on how to stop noisy dogs from turning your life into a nightmare.
Find out here how to stop excessive barking in three easy steps.
Teach Your Dog To Stop Barking
Yes, it’s that simple!
Just teach your dog a “cue” that tells him it’s time to be quiet. Granted, it probably won’t work every time you use it if your dog gets too excited he won’t even notice you’re talking, but it’s a first step that will help on most occasions.
In order to do this, you’ll first need to do the opposite and teach how to bark on command. That will give you an expected behavior reference that will make it so much easier to teach the opposite.
Just pick your favorite command, like “Speak” for bark and “Quiet” to stop your dog from barking.
Then, reward him! Treats, kibble, whichever he’s used to getting when he gets it right.
You can also use a clicker as an event marker, that will make your job much easier.
Step 1 – Mark the Bark
Use the clicker to acknowledge the intended behavior, as soon as your dog barks you click or use the chosen cue word, followed by a reward.
Make sure you do this while the dog is still barking to make sure he gets what it is your marking.
If you’re trying to get your dog to bark but he isn’t cooperating, bring out whatever usually makes him bark and use it for this step.
Repeat this sequence several times.
Step 2 – Barking on Command
Pick a word to use when you want your dog to bark.
Use the object that makes your dog bark and use the chosen cue word to make him bark. Once he does, mark and reward, as in the previous step.
Repeat this sequence until you’re certain he’s barking on cue and that he understands that only when he barks on cue will he be rewarded.
Step 3 – Stop Barking
For this final step, you’ll need to trigger your dog into barking without the cue word.
Once he stops barking, you’ll begin using the cue word for quiet and reward him immediately. Try using the cue word as closely as possible to when the dog stops barking so he’ll see the connection.
Repeat this sequence until your dog looks for the treat once you use the cue word, this means he has associated the word with the reward.
Now you can start using the cue word when the dog is actually barking.
Finally, use the bark cue word to make your dog bark for a while and then the quiet cue word. Reward your dog as soon as he complies.
As soon as he figures this out and responds to each cue word correctly, you can practice his newfound skills for as long as you’d like.
This simple exercise will make your dog aware of his own behavior.
Motivated not only by the reward but also by his eagerness to please you, he will want to comply with your commands and only bark when asked to.
Simple Hack to Stop Barking
One of the most creative and effective solutions we’ve found during our search will blow you away.
We first heard about this anti-barking device during a chat with petless friends, who actually bought this device to stop the neighbor’s dogs from barking at all hours of the day and night.
It’s a simple concept, the device has a microphone to sense barking and then send out an ultrasonic sound that surprises dogs into stopping.
It can be used indoors or outdoors (if you’re using it indoors, you’ll probably want to hide the light somehow and it can become annoying).
It has a pretty good range and you can set the sensitivity and the strength of the signal, depending on the dog size or the distance of the device.
Cats notice the sound but don’t seem to be bothered by it.
If you don’t like the idea of using an ultrasonic collar and are worried about your dog wearing one, this is the perfect replacement.
For us, it’s actually better.
If your dog is still barking…
We suggest trying bark control collars.
Yes, we know bark collars have a bad rep. And we were a bit on the fence until we actually got some.
We tried citronella spray and vibration collars. We’ve tested it ourselves with different intensities before placing it on our two Tasmanian devil-like dogs.
As for the citronella, we weren’t really comfortable with the dogs smelling like something they disliked for long periods of time, given their sensitive noses, so we didn’t keep them on all the time. Also, we underestimated Tommy and Coco’s stubbornness; eventually, they got used to it and that was that.
So, for us, the vibration collar worked much better. It annoys them more than it bothers them. It reacts to the vibration of their vocal cords meaning it won’t confuse your dog’s bark with another dog’.
Also, you can control the intensity of the vibration, which is important for us, because Tommy and Coco are small dogs.
Our favorite part is it worked quickly with long-lasting effects. After a short period, they began associating barking with the vibration so they would stop themselves even without the collar.
There is no problem in using this collar permanently but, odds are, you won’t have to.
Don’t knock it ’till you’ve tried it, this collar has done wonders for us and our ears.