There are all sorts of scenarios where dogs really lose it and bark like crazy, so it’s hard to write about barking in general.
For this post I’m focusing on when you’re home with your dog or in the yard with your dog and he barks because he sees, smells or hears something.
If you’re looking for tips on how to stop a dog from barking when home alone, see this post.
And as always, I’d love to hear your ideas because it’s not like my tips are going to work for every single dog.
This post is sponsored by Green Bark Gummies.
Tips to stop a dog from barking at home
1. Keep your dog on a leash.
I don’t mean all the time, just when you know he’s likely to bark.
You should know what his “triggers” are by now. If not, make a list.
Keeping your dog on a leash when you know he’ll be tempted to bark will limit his freedom, making it easier for you to prevent him from barking or to re-gain control if he does start barking.
If your dog is on a leash, he’s less likely to charge the window or the fence or the door.
For example, even if you have a fenced yard, you can still take your dog out on a leash. Really, it’s OK. 🙂
2. Block your dog.
If you know your dog is about to bark, step between your dog and the trigger and gently claim the space or get your dog’s attention so he looks at you.
3. Use treats and ask for a simple command.
While holding treats right to your dog’s face, ask him to do something easy like “sit” or “down” and reward that behavior.
Keep rewarding the calm behavior for a few seconds or minutes.
If needed, you could put your dog in a down/stay on his dog bed or at your feet for a few minutes. Just don’t use it as a punishment; praise him for being calm.
Keep in mind, the treats should be good enough to interest your dog.
Green Bark Gummies is a sponsor of That Mutt, and I’ve been using the company’s treats lately for training Ace.
He is nuts over them, and that’s important with training. You have to find something your dog really loves, whether it’s cheese, ham, hot dogs or whatever.
I think all dogs will love Green Bark Gummies, plus they’re made with healthy ingredients, including chia. You can read more about the company in my review post here.
Did that sound too simple?
Good. It should be. Just having a clear plan and remaining consistent can really make a difference no matter what you’re teaching. If you repeat the above every day over several weeks and months, I think you’ll make some serious progress.
A few more ideas
Won’t the treats just ‘reward’ the barking?
No. You’re rewarding the “sit” or the “down.” Then, as your dog remains quiet and calm, you would continue to reward that with treats or praise. You’re rewarding good behavior.
Sure, some dogs will learn they can bark once and then run over for a treat. You would just want to learn to time it better so you’re getting your dog’s attention right before he actually barks. Then, slowly increase your expectations.
What about scolding the dog?
I’m not against telling a dog no, believe me. But what I’ve noticed is that it doesn’t work so well when the dog is either in a fearful state of mind, super excited or possibly protective.
Telling him “no” just doesn’t do a whole lot. Let me know if you agree with me on that.
Plus, I don’t recommend scolding a dog who’s reacting out of fear. Instead, calmly show the dog a more appropriate behavior.
What about anti-bark collars?
Sometimes barking is a serious issue, and you have to get it under control for various reasons. Avoiding eviction, for example.
Anti-bark collars do work, assuming you buy a high-quality product that’s triggered by the vibration of the dog’s vocal chords and not just sound. How awful would it be if your dog were corrected whenever your other dog barked? This shouldn’t happen if you have a high-quality collar.
Like all tools, they’re an option for the right situation, and you should know why your dog is barking in the first place. I wouldn’t put an anti-bark collar on a dog who’s nervous or scared.
Final thoughts – all dogs learn at their own pace
If you have any ideas or questions about barking or anything else, let me know in the comments. If I don’t have an answer, hopefully someone else will.