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How To Teach Your Dog To Stop Barking?

Aug 17, 2007
I guess that when you own a dog, the barking comes with the territory. From my experience I can tell you that you cannot make a dog not bark at all, though you can control it.

My dog used to bark whenever I had guests, in the middle of the night, or during the day whether I was at home or not. It had become a real problem, my neighbors were complaining and I was frustrated because I couldn't get enough sleep. How did I manage to solve this problem and to control my dog?

It was not easy in the beginning because I did not realize that the first step I had to do was to analyze my dog's behavior, to "read" the signs. Don't you just feel tired of hearing your dog barking every time you put him outside alone? Well, this goes hand in hand with your dog's isolation and lonesome feelings because dogs are very social creatures.

In order to solve this problem you will start training him the "wait" command. Use a crate in a room or a gate across the door. Say "wait, good dog" and go somewhere where he cannot see you, but only for a few seconds at first. When you come back, reward him by patting him and showing enthusiasm.

Repeat this a few times a day, but each time increase the time you leave him alone. Soon, your dog will be happy even if he is left all alone for 15 minutes or more. The next step is to move the training sessions outside and to do the same thing, but starting with short periods of time. Don't forget to reward him every time he does it well!

Sometimes it's entirely our fault because we spoil our dogs too much; therefore they get accustomed to lavish attention for nothing. They start to think that they're the center of our world, so, whenever we are busy they crave for attention and they start barking to earn it.

If you have already tried to yell at him to make him stop, I guess you have noticed that this won't make him be quiet. What you have to do is to teach your dog that he has to earn your attention. Try to pet or to praise him only after he gets a command right. This way he will get used to being "out of touch" for some time.

Another way is to have him busy while you are gone. Personally, I tried to keep him busy with some chew toys. I have distracted him with the toys and I left the room quietly. Don't forget to close the door behind you! Come back after a few minutes to see what he is doing. Ignore him if he comes to greet you.

This way, in time, he will understand that the fact that you've been away from him is not important to you, therefore it shouldn't be important to him either. The "ignore" method should be used also whenever you are preparing yourself to leave for the day or when you return home.

I recommend you these methods instead of trying other harmful methods, such as the one called debarking which is simply cruel. Just try the methods mentioned above before any others if you love your dog!
About the Author
Terence Young - For more dog obedience and training tips and ideas visit: http://www.obediencedoggytraining.com
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