Tips & Tricks Training

How do I train my dog not to bark?

Barking is part of the normal behavior of a dog.

Dogs bark in a variety of situations, whether it is when the doorbell rings, the mailman, the mail in the mailbox throws or your dog wants to make you aware that it is time for his food.

Barking is a natural sound expression in dogs and is used for communication. Therefore, you can breathe easily for now, because just because your dog barks does not mean that there is a behavior problem. Of course, some dogs can become conspicuous in their barking, but most everyday situations in which we find the barking annoying can be solved with simple educational methods.

Why does your dog bark?

Depending on the situation, your dog may have different reasons why he barks. For example, the classic barking at the garden fence serves the purpose of barking at a potential intruder. Bypassing the passers-by at the garden gate, your dog has a small sense of achievement every time, because no one has dared to enter the sacred garden. Your dog thus shows the barking more often, because it was worth it. You may also have heard your dog bark when he has asked another dog to play. The point here is to get the attention of the other play partner. This barking usually occurs in combination with the classic upper body down position or play bow.

Excitement barking, on the other hand, has the purpose of relieving stress and getting rid of pent-up energy. You can observe this barking, for example, when the doorbell rings or you enter your apartment after work, while your dog has been waiting for you.

Not all barking should be interrupted with a stop signal.

Excitement barking, as already mentioned, serves to reduce stress and should therefore not be simply stopped or punished. If we stop barking by punishing or stopping it, your dog will have no way to get rid of his stress and will eventually try to bark more intensely or even bump into you.

If your dog barks, for example, when visitors come or when greeting you, it is better to offer him an alternative to barking. For example, you can offer your dog a toy or a chewing bone while you greet him with calm words, petting him quietly. Being able to chew on an object ensures that your dog can relieve stress through the chewing motion, at the same time your dog will find it harder to bark with a toy or bone between his teeth.

Do not ignore the barking!

Ignoring your dog’s barking makes as little sense as ranting wildly at it. Ignoring does not change behavior because it does not show your dog how to change his behavior, nor is it a consequence of his behavior. Additionally, dogs, like us humans, need to greet their social partner after separation, this is an expression of a good relationship and is also shown among dogs. However, the greeting should not be too intense, it is quite enough if you squat next to the dog on the floor, stroke him briefly, and possibly give him his toy or chew bone.

Use conditioning to put an end to bell barking.

For many dogs, the bell, in particular, is the starting sound for loud barking. To put an end to this, you can teach your dog to go to his resting place at the signal of the bell. On the one hand, this has the advantage that your visitor is not immediately received stormily by your dog, but helps your dog to keep his excitement level low.

Here’s how it works:

  • Press the bell (it’s best to ask a friend to do this).
  • Send your dog to his basket after the bell sounds.
  • Reward your dog in the basket, e.g. a treat or a chew bone.
  • Repeat the command

Important: Your dog must already know the command “basket” or “blanket”. You can find instructions in our app!

We hope these tips will help you and your dog!

By Sarah Mertes

Certified dog trainer

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