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How To Quickly Stop Dog Barking

By Dr. Andrew Jones

How To Quickly Stop Dog Barking

Dog barking is a very common behavior problem that causes serious grief for pet owners. It irritates the neighbors, scares away the postman, leads to neighborhood unrest, and occasionally lawsuits. In this article you will learn why dogs bark and the causes of inappropriate barking. You will find why the debarking surgery is never advised and is considered unethical. I will advise you on what not to do, then you will find the most important solutions to quickly stopping your dog’s barking at home.

Barking is a completely normal behavior; great for dog communication, guarding and protecting, but a big problem when it happens too much. Finding the cause of the excessive barking is key, as we can focus on this as well to help eliminate the problem barking. Some of the common dog barking reasons: play, giving a warning, from anxiety or fear, in response to the door bell, to keep visitors of your property, or in some cases just boredom. Some dogs will bark in confined spaces ( ie a kennel), being outside in response to other dogs, or just in response to environmental noise ( ie cars, people talking etc.).

Debarking,or ventriculocordectomy is a veterinary procedure in which the dog’s vocal chords are surgically removed. The procedure is outlawed as a form of mutilation in the United Kingdom and all countries that have signed the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals. The surgery carries risks, such as anesthesia, excessive bleeding, secondary infections and proliferation of scar tissue obstructing the airway. Barking is how dogs communicate, and this procedure deprives them of this basic means of expression. I fully agree with the European ban on debarking surgery, and advise that you never consider this unethical procedure as an option for your dog.

So what should you not do that most people do?

First quit yelling at your dog to ‘Stop Barking’ or ‘Be Quiet’; in fact this may actually lead to more barking. Your dog is getting attention when he barks, and some dogs find that this attention is better than non at all. Shock collars are painful, and can actually make your dog more aggressive toward the person or other dog that they may be barking at. Do not give your dog positive attention immediately after barking, such as saying ‘good dog’ when he finally comes after calling him for 10 times.

What works then to stop your dog from barking?

The most important way to start is to go back to dog training basics and teach your dog to come when called. Start when you can almost guarantee that your dog will come, not when they are barking. Begin anywhere with no other distractions, and use tasty treats as a positive reward. Always ensure that positive reward is given every time your dog comes when called, never anything negative. If your dog runs out after a neighbor barking, and will not come, go get him as opposed to calling to come at first. You want to set it up that every time you call, he comes, and then gets rewarded with positive attention, petting, and a treat.

The next step in using training to stop barking is to call your dog to come when they are barking. When he comes, give him positive attention and a treat; you want to pet him which will lower his anxiety, decreasing adrenalin which is part of the cause of the barking. Keep the pattern of call, come, praise give a treat, and pet him consistently every time there is barking you want to stop.

Keep your dog away from the places where he barks- in other words set him up for success. If your dog constantly barks when you leave him outside, then avoid these triggers by keeping him inside, especially while you are retraining. If the barking is in response to your doorbell, then remove the doorbell. Make it a priority to never let your dog bark constantly while being outside, and if the come when called command isn’t working, immediately bring your dog inside.

Adequate exercise is one of the big keys to resolving many canine behavioral problems; this gives your dog a purpose, and allows them to better regulate their own emotions. Incorporate the come when called training command while walking, and make it a priority to exercise your dog for at least 30 minutes twice a day. Have them retrieve or run as this elevated heart rate helps produce the calming, sedating hormones that can lead to less barking.

Bark spray collars, such as the citronella spray collar, can be helpful if your dog resists training, and is outside unsupervised for short periods of time (and still barks). The collar emits a spray of non toxic citronella in response to the noise of the barking, and causes most dogs to immediately stop. Some of the problem dogs at the animal shelter adjacent to my veterinary practice responded well to the citronella collar; it stopped their barking at the grumpy neighbor, and did not make them in any way aggressive ( except of course to that grumpy neighbor).

A type of therapeutic touch, called Tellington Touch may help your barking dog. The most effective area is the ear. Gently hold the ear flap between your thumb and forefinger. Gently stroke from the base of the ear to the ear tip; repeat the motion several times covering different sections of the ear. Use the same fingers to draw tiny circles at the base of the ear. Try both of the techniques on your dog when he is calm. If he reacts well, then try it the next time he is barking.

There are a number of over the counter anti-anxiety supplements. The most popular one is one called Calm Pet, which contains Melatonin, Kava Kava, St John’s Wort, Valerian and Chamomile. Use as directed on the label. Bach Rescue Remedy is a very safe alternative medication that may calm your anxious pet. Place 4 drops on your pet’s gums prior to leaving.

Dog barking really can be controlled, especially when you understand why your dog is barking. The causes are varied, but ultimately you must accept that it is a normal dog way of communicating; your dog just needs to bark when it’s appropriate. Debarking or ventriculocordectomy is a dated unethical veterinary surgery that can cause harm and should never be considered as an option. Go back to basic training, starting with teaching your dog to come when called. Consider the use of a citronella spray collar if your dog is outside unsupervised, then look at trying some of the holistic anti-bark options in conjunction with training.

Dr Andrew Jones, DVM

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Topics: Dog Care, Dog Health, Pet Care, Pet health | 70 Comments »

70 Responses to “How To Quickly Stop Dog Barking”


  1. Dave Says:
    May 11th, 2012 at 8:36 am

    This was a helpful article. My dog is well trained but does sometimes have barking issues. I have come to realize that some of this seems to be from a fear of other dogs. In our early efforts to socialize him with children and strangers we neglected other dogs. This seems to have gotten worse with age (now almost 8). If a dog is on th e property he will run at them growling and then just stop when he gets there, he did this to a family friend the other day for the first time that I have seen, which concerned me. I will take your advice and reinforce the come when call command as well as stay command. Thanks you again.

  2. Gale Says:
    May 11th, 2012 at 8:53 am

    If you are not at home, it is not advised to leave your dog outside because you cannot control the stimuli nor the self rewards.

    Putting your dog in a crate for 8 or 9 hours during the day is not bad for your dog, since they can sleep up to 18 hours a day. If you are away from your dog, you should dedicate a few hours of attention, going for a run, playing fetch… so that you keep the good bond you should have.

  3. Dana Says:
    May 11th, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Thank you Dr. Jones for another great article.
    I have a Chesapeake Bay Retriever; since this is a breed seldom seen in BC, let me explain that many trainers classify them along with Shepherds and Rotties as protective of their owners. When anyone comes to the house she goes in her “apartment” ( very large crate n my kitchen) for a few minutes until she decides the “intruder” is OK. But in the car which she and I own jointly, she often acts like a monster toward anyone walking by. I have spied on her to find that she does not mind pedestrians as long as she’s alone there or nobody appears to be aggressive. She is a sweet girl outside with me, at parks, shows, etc. But it’s a bit hard to get her to “come” when she’s flying around in the car. So I end up yelling, along with the dog! Of course she feels it is her job to behave this way, but to me it’s gotten a bit over the top. We live in a small town where we must be known as the two crazies in the red SUV. Any suggestions?????

    PS. Interestingly, this dog seems to be a diagnostician. I’ve tried to see if she would be a good hospital visitor, but she barks with some urgency at the sickest person in a room.
    We live out in the country. First thing every morning she goes out and stands on hind legs at the back gate talking to the neighbor dogs, who talk back; she then relays the messages to the dogs on the other side of our little valley. So I agree with you that to deprive her (or any dog) of communication would be a deadly sin.

  4. Ann M. McHugh Says:
    May 11th, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Barkin before feeding is the problem I have with a dog I took in when her breeder died and no one else would take her due to her jumping, counter surfing and barking. I have fixed everything but the barking due to the excitement of being fed. I have trained her to sit before I place her dish down but while Iam preparing her and the meals of the other dogs- my dogs have never been allowed to bark like this!- she barks from excitement. I have a “penney can” that works to some extent, but it seems i have to retrain her every meal!! Any suggestions?

  5. Dennis Says:
    May 11th, 2012 at 9:51 am

    If you are going to put a dog in a cage for 8 or 9 hours a day, don’t get a dog. It is selfish to leave a dog in a cage all day so someone can say, “oh, I have a dog.” Crazy people!

  6. Anne Says:
    May 11th, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Hi Ann
    my dog jumps up counter surfs and barks how did you manage to stop yours to stop,I could really use some info

  7. Anne Says:
    May 11th, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    One of my dogs barks at any noise my neighbour upstairs (nd his family)make iv tried things that a dog trainer suggested ie training him to bark and be quiet when i say,and it didnt work.He gets walked 40 min twice a day sometimes more
    (he could have just come back after being walked and he hears a noise and he will bark hes a gsd so his bark is quite loud) ill try the methods what you suggest, he jumps up and nips people when they come to the front door I have been teaching him to sit and wait but he gets to excited he wont listen any tips

  8. brigitte Says:
    May 11th, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Dave, has your dog had a thyroid panel done lately? Low thyroid levels can lead to increased aggression.

  9. michelle Says:
    May 13th, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    I agree Dennis a dog should never be left in a crate for more than 4 hours. Hire a dog walker if you are gone all day. Dog walkers that do group walks generally have your dog out of the house for at least 2 to 3 hours by the time they pick up all the dogs then go to the park then drive everyone home again.
    I actually had a person that wanted to buy a portuguese water dog puppy from me use this argument that dogs sleep 18 to 20 hours a day. I would not sell her a puppy because she was gone all day and did not work from home and did not want to pay for doggie daycare or a walker. Keeping a dog caged 8 to 10 hours a day is condemning this poor animal to solitary confinement. It is cruel to do this.

  10. Suzanne Says:
    May 13th, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    I always ask the question – “How would they be behaving in their own true environment as a pack”, they would not be bribed to behave and they would certainly not be put in a cage or growled at for protecting what they think is their property or family. Reconsider the roles you playout with your pet/canine/animal. DNA rules, same as us humans, our DNA links are still in the baselines of all we do.

  11. Alice Says:
    May 26th, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    I wish my inconsiderate next door neighbor would read this! His backyard full of junkyard dogs, outdoors 24-7 and barking through the night, have turned me from being mildly dog-friendly to a dog hater. I tried one of those bark-stop devices that emits an unpleasant sound that humans cannot hear, but it didn’t work.

  12. virginia pearson Says:
    May 29th, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    what to do if it´s not your dog,but barks all day. also there are four of them and the owner is out all day. I live in Chile

  13. Paul Dietrich Says:
    May 31st, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    We have two 11-yr old dogs, a Yorkie and a ShiTzu mix. They get over excited when people visit. They don’t bark, they make very loud whining sounds, the more they like the person, the noisier. They calm down once the visitor pats them or recognizes they exist. When we drive into our driveway after even brief absenses, they do the same, very loud, sort of a screaming whine. They stop as soon as we open the door. Suggestions, anyone? Thanks in advance.

  14. Annette Lategan Says:
    June 13th, 2012 at 1:23 am

    Please where can I get the citronella bark spray collar, Calm pet pills, and Bach rescue remedy. I am desperate because Bonny never stops barking and have the neighbours on my back al the time she is 9 years old many thanks annette

  15. Paige Says:
    June 13th, 2012 at 8:13 am

    I got the bark spray collar two weeks ago online at Petco or Petsmart. It was on sale for $55. We have a blue tick hound that was driving me crazy when something walked by our house, or people came over. Spray collar worked like a charm. Rarely, it goes off when she hasn’t barked…i think that has happened 3x. Now we don’t even need to turn the collar on, just put it on her when people come over and she knows not to bark. She has started jumping up more as her way of greeting, though…something new to work on…

  16. jake Says:
    June 13th, 2012 at 9:52 am

    i got a 4 year old blue heeler that do not like other dogs or people.she is one person dog and i would to change that.what can i do to change her? she is a good dog

  17. RosalieAnne Adams Says:
    June 15th, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    A very well written article and helpful to dog owners. HOWEVER!!! The biggest problem encountered in my world is the barking of neighbours dogs and in spite of the neighbourhood asking, begging and now threatening the owner, the barking goes on. Legal action has been taken but the fines are so pathetic it won’t deter anyone. This particular neighbour allows her dogs to bark night and day with barking stopping from 3AM to 9AM daily.
    How does one stop a dogs barking when the owners won’t without resorting to the violence I have seen recently. I must admit that the violence is following night upon night of no sleep and parents are now threatening to poison the dogs just to get their kids some sleep.
    Could you please write an article or someone reply with some real helpful ideas that work. This neighbourhood is now most volatile and help is needed now before the dog or the owner gets hurt.

  18. Fox Valley Dog Mom Says:
    June 19th, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Good general advise, which I’ve read before, but leaves out one big category: Beagles. I have a sweet little Beagle, who is never aggressive, rarely bored and never barks when unattended. HOWEVER, she barks (“talks”) incessantly when she’s happy, excited, going for a walk, smelling the roses, rolling in the grass or doing anything else that makes her happy and want to verbally share her happiness. I tried a bark collar in desperation and she “lip syncs” her need to “talk”. Any ideas? We’ve stumped the local trainers and since we live in a suburban apartment, we really need to quiet down somewhat.

  19. Gerry Says:
    June 26th, 2012 at 5:54 am

    To Rosalie Ann Adams…Phone the barking dog owner around 4 am every morning that they allow the dogs to bark and just say “your dogs are barking” and then hang up.

    If they don’t stop them, within 15 minutes or so call them again. Keep doing this every night until they make their dogs stop barking.

    If you press *67 before you dial their number, it will block their caller id so they won’t know who is calling them.

    I realize that you might lose some sleep yourself when you do this but it can’t be any worse than what’s happening to you now.

  20. Ann Says:
    June 26th, 2012 at 6:43 am

    Dogs are social creatures and need to socialize, with their human companions so why leave them outside all day alone ? Have them excercise 1-2 hrs a day wether its playing ball, walking,a hike, an afternoon, agility, swimming or a stroll in the village….doesn’t any one watch Cesar ? Wonderful tricks and ways to correct unwanted behaviors… I have German shepherds & Border collies and have no trouble with any of them. I am constantly reading also to better my training skills.Having a dog is a lifetime commitment to training, everyday !

  21. Ann Says:
    June 26th, 2012 at 6:52 am

    Jake , with the Blue heeler, this is a very strong working breed…get him or her out herding or doing agility,playing frizbee, that way you will be getting your dog used to other dogs and chaneling her excess energy….don’t you agree. Above all don’t seclude the dog as this will lead to agression towards other dogs as it has….. hope this can help those in need, as I have been working with dogs for 18yrs now.

  22. Diane Says:
    June 28th, 2012 at 5:49 am

    How can I get our dog to stop chewing excessively, especially on blankets. She just won’t stop and has numerous chew toys. HELP!!!

  23. Candace Says:
    June 30th, 2012 at 8:44 am

    I have 3 little ones. They all bark when someone or something is outside. They won’t listen when I call them to stop. When someone comes in the house the bark until the person sits down. When the person gets up the bark and attempt to bite the person on the back of the legs. I don’t know what to do I am at my wits end. PLEASE HELP!!!!!!

  24. laura.symon Says:
    July 8th, 2012 at 9:06 am

    pass to La Mairie

  25. DrLinkFan Says:
    July 8th, 2012 at 9:23 am

    For barking dogs, our rescue shelter recommended putting 6 pennies inside a sturdy plastic bottle (such as the kind that some prescriptions come in) and shaking the bottle when the dog’s barking. He also recommended having extra bottles around, so, for example, when the dog’s barking in our back yard, I can throw the bottle near the dog. This worked fabulously in two days, such that all I have to do now is just shake the bottle and the dog will stop barking immediately. And no, you don’t hit the dog with the bottle when you throw it; just put it near enough to startle him/her.

  26. Chelsea Says:
    July 8th, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Please do not use the citronella collars. While it may be non-toxic, my cousin’s dog was blinded by it. I agree with the comment that if you plan on leaving your dog in a crate for the majority of the day, then don’t get a dog. No, it doesn’t harm them physically, but it does harm some dogs mentally. Also, it would add more validity to the article if the author would use spell/grammar check before posting. It is just plain unprofessional to do any less.

  27. Surprised Says:
    July 20th, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    So many people here either have the wrong dog or shouldn’t have a dog at all. Almost all dogs need a LOT of exercise. Almost all people do not exercise a lot. Thus they are incompatible. Almost all of a dog’s behavior problems are easily cured IF they are well exercised. Walking a dog is useless. That’s like saying playing pool is strenuous exercise. If a dog isn’t exhausted after an exercise session, its not strenuous enough for them. Face it people. Most of you are just not into high intensity exercise. However a bike can equalize things. Make sure your dog comes when called because obviously racing down a trail in a park with a dog attached with a leash is crazy. So unleash your dog and watch them soar with excitement, fascination with nature, and pure adrenalin when they chase the local squirrels and rabbits. These is no equal to hunting for your dog. They are born hunters – all species. Do not deprive them of this! If your neighbor is too lazy to exercise their dog(s) bring them out with your dog to the park and let them chase each other around. That is superb as well.
    ————
    OK – now the exercise quotient has been satisfied.
    Now comes food. Nobody has mentioned food but to train a dog requires you have the dog’s full attention. And nothing gets a dog’s attention like raw meat when they’re hungry. Never have food out all day long. The dog will nibble incessantly and will get as fat as most people in middle age. A dog should have to work for their meal physically as we should. Feed them once or twice a day. Cheap fish, chicken, beef and pork is $1-2 a pound. Also raw bones are wonderful – cooked bones splinter and can kill a dog. Watch out for KFC bones. They are lethal. Chop your meat up in daily meal sizes and freeze for months. Also, the more vegetables they eat the better though this usually is a very small part of their diet in the natural world. Dog food is useless. Anytime you see “meal” like fishmeal, its useless, processed slop. Its great for the pet food company though. They’re making billions of the publics ignorance. Your neighborhood, competitively priced butcher is dog central for you. If you hunt or fish, that’s the best of course. Pet food is full of salt, dehydrating your dog, especially important in the summer. Natural food contains no salt. Salt is Sodium Chloride which makes everyone thirsty when consumed. That’s the body flushing out this stuff it doesn’t want with water. Natural foods contain sodium but that does not make you thirsty. A world of difference.
    ========
    So exercise and feed your dog well, then watch them tune into you far more. Now take all the great training tips mentioned in this article and comments and try them yourself. Most will work. And if you have to crate your dog all day, you’re a selfish, uncaring dog owner. Find another home for your dog close by and offer to walk the dog when you’re free. Or walk your neighbor’s dog. 99% of dogs do not get enough exercise because the owners are totally out of shape and don’t see their dog is out of shape. Your dog can be an amazing personal trainer if you open your eyes to the possibilities. Trail running with a dog is also an incredible experience because they sense things we simply won’t. So they open our eyes to nature more. That’s one of their many precious gifts to us.

  28. Mick Says:
    July 22nd, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    I’m with the people who have problems with neighbour’s dogs barking. We have a neighbour’s dog that sometimes barks all night long right beside the fence just feet from our bedroom window. We also can’t go into our own yard without being barked at non-stop. The neighbour refuses do do anything. I’ll give the pennies in a plastic bottle idea a go but frankly it seems to me the issue with barking dogs isn’t the dog but the owner.

  29. Jackie Says:
    July 26th, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Denis, I absolutely agree. Anyone who thinks it’s ok to pen a dog for 8 hours a day has little empathy for, or understanding, of dogs.

    We all have to work..so a better suggestion would be to buy the lonely dog a companion.

  30. KC Says:
    July 27th, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    I have a pomeranian that was barking so incessantly at other dogs, that he could not get near enough to socialize. None of the typical training tips worked for me, and he’s too little for the citronella collars (which I’ve used with other dogs and work well)
    I started taking Pet Correct out on walks with me, and I find this to be an excellent, humane way to deal with barking that is obsessive. I actually only had to use is about a dozen times (it makes a short, irritating noise that snaps them out of it). Now, I just have to hold the can when he starts to bark excessively. It’s been a lifesaver.

  31. Rick Says:
    July 31st, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    I don’t mind dogs barking if there are strangers within the area. Dogs chasing after cars, is a sign of boredom, or never allowed release by their owner. I’ve noticed (while walking) a few treats dropped in front of a dog quiets the dog (don’t bite the hands that feed you).

  32. Bud Says:
    August 3rd, 2012 at 8:53 am

    One other thing to try… some behaviours cannot be extinguished but can be controlled. For barking and counter-surfing, for example, I trained commands ‘speak!’ and ‘uppy!’ so the dog gets a reward only when responding to my command.

    Also, you need to recognise that training a dog is a two-way street: while you are training him, he is training you. So think carefully about how you respond to undesired behaviours. You have choices ranging from ignoring to immediate punishment or immediate reward. And when you take action, be swift.

  33. George Says:
    August 9th, 2012 at 2:39 am

    I want to get a dog fault I don’t know how to convince my mom. Her brother got bitten when they were young and she’s scared stiff of dogs. Most dogs are friendly with me and I really want to get 1. Is there any ideas on how to convince

  34. Judy Says:
    August 14th, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    We have a GS so his bark is very loud. I found that by holding my hand over his mouth to stop him , shake my finger at him and sternly saying no works…If when I take my hand away , he starts again…I repeat it over again..After awhile by doing this, sometimes when he barks now I just have to shake my finger a him and say no !Of course he barks when the doorbell rings, when someone comes in , etc so I was glad when it worked !

  35. Sarjie Says:
    August 26th, 2012 at 8:57 am

    I agree with the article although i do not agree with using spray when they they bark. It may or can cause them to fear, and we, as a dog owner should not make them feel that. There are other ways to stop the barking issues as stated like the Tellington Touch which sounds better and good retraining . ^_____^

  36. Dennis Drew Says:
    August 28th, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Let me recommend two products I have used on my Bichon and Long Haired Chihuahua. Sunbeam Sonic Egg and Pettags Classic No Bark collar. The collar has a switch providing a big noisy vibrating action -or- a high pitched sonic sound that make both dogs wince. The Sonic Egg is a big egg looking thing you sit up on a shelf or hang outside. The Bichon responds well to the egg but the Chihuahua sometime shakes when it goes off. In any case the collar is $14 at Amazon and the Egg is in the $30′s on eBay. In my house there in no barking when using either. In fact half the time you do not need to turn on the collar for the Bichon. She just freezes and won’t bark or even get out of her chair! If it hits her tags when she jumps it will go off and she doesn’t even want to risk that!

  37. John Says:
    September 3rd, 2012 at 7:50 am

    Good article!

    The best way I know of teaching your dog to stop barking, or for any training is, when good = treat when bad = squirt of water from flower water spray device. Not hard or in a cruel way. Just a quick squirt….He/she will get the point fairly quickly.

  38. Roy Stothard Says:
    September 6th, 2012 at 7:38 am

    We have a white Boxer that is deaf (from birth) and he can bark for England at times. Apparently, its an instinctive thing, like a baby crying, and he soon learned that he gets a response, he carries on barking until he gets what he wants or is ignored completely for a while. Ignoring it can be difficult at times, especially when you are trying to hold a conversation, but its the method we choose. We have a remote shock collar, but we only use this to keep him safe when off the lead, never as a punishment for minor misdemeanors. It has saved him from harm several times and is preferrable to keeping him on the lead at all times..

  39. Devery Says:
    September 7th, 2012 at 10:22 am

    HI
    It has been suggested to me that if you place a dog in the bathroom or closet(5 mins) when they misbehave that soon all you have to say “do you want to go into the bathroom/closet and they will usually quiet down.
    Outside barking dogs can be sprayed with a hose and call the Human Society in your home town and complain. If you complain enough the dog will be taken away.

  40. Mark Says:
    October 3rd, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Spraying with water only works sometimes. We have a 7 month old Maltese that barks when he’s happy, scared, excited, hears a bird, hears a doorbell on TV, hears a dog bark for real or on TV, hears a school bus….you’re getting my point.

    I’m hoping some of the tips in this article work. He is trainable in all other aspects. He sits, lays down, comes on command most times and even rings a bell when he wants to go outside. Now If we could only stop the incessant barking.

  41. Mark Says:
    October 3rd, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    See, he just rang the bell as I mentioned. So we went outside and he barked his head off. Now he is quite damp from being sprayed….and ignoring the spray bottle.

  42. Kurt Says:
    October 7th, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Although Dr Andrew Jones meant well, I really have to disagree with the statement, ‘If the barking is in response to your doorbell, then remove the doorbell.’ This is completely absurd!
    If the dog realizes you are their pack leader, then YOU indicate the door is controlled by you and YOUR body language should indicate, with proper training, what is and is not acceptable behaviours.

  43. Alice Polarbear Says:
    October 7th, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    If only you could supply advice on what to do about some inconsiderate pig of a neighbor’s noise-belching fleabags barking day and night outside in the back yard, interrupting neighbors’ (mine in particular) sleep and just in general being an obnoxious noise-nuisance anytime day or night. I tried one of those electronic devices that activates and sends out a noise supposedly unpleasant to dogs, but it didn’t help.

    Happily, the noisy wretch who made the most noise (I named him “Barkie” turned on the old man who owned him and the adult son took Barkie to the Pound. Although the replacement big-dog is much quieter, he still sometimes wakes me up at night, and I don’t appreciate it. Still, when and if the neighbor’s house goes up for sale, I hope I have the money to buy it. If I were able to do so, there would be no more barking- dog-infested back yard next door to me. I didn’t used to dislike dogs before Barkie and his little yappie-dog companions. At least cats don’t bark!

  44. Gale Says:
    October 18th, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    the best way to stop barking is to stop it before it starts, and reward the dog with a “Good no barking” or “Good Quiet” and a good treat that takes time to eat. Repeat this and soon you will have a dog that, if he barks, you can say “no barking” or “quiet” and they will stop. Works for all 4 of my dogs and every dog I have boarded. My puppy will still run to the TV when she sees an animal, but will not bark because she knows that is wrong.
    If you yell at a barking dog, you are rewarding him with attention and your version of barking. Ignoring the barking and taking the dog by the collar out of sight where the barking stimulus is, and rewarding them when they stop barking will change the behaviour quickly. The same principle applies to potty training… don’t yell at a puppy mess.

  45. Sue Says:
    October 19th, 2012 at 5:37 am

    Aren’t you just training the dog to bark every time he wants a treat? If the dog knows when it starts barking, you will call him and give him a treat, my dog would just start barking more than she does now! I had a problem with my dog barking at the slightest noise from neighbours whenever she was in the garden with me (I work in an outbuilding with the door open). I got her to stop by calmly and quietly putting her in the house every time she barked, she soon learnt that she couldn’t sunbathe or sniff round the garden or trot in and out of the garage to be with me if she barked. She’s now pretty good, some unusually noisy things will still set her off but mostly, she stays quiet at the neighbours’ comings and goings.

    My last dog would sometimes dash out the front door and be at risk from the road at the end of the driveway. In a panic, I would offer him his football and it ALWAYS brought him in and out of danger, he loved his football more than anything. After a few repetitions, he became conditioned that he got his football if he dashed out the front door … so of course he did it – I realised that I had trained him to do that! I’m not sure positive reinforcement is always the way to do things though it undoubtedly helps with many dog training issues.

  46. jessica Says:
    October 21st, 2012 at 10:14 am

    So if the dog when there is an activity around the door, you cant take the door away =)

  47. Larry Reuter Says:
    October 23rd, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    This is a fool-proof method for getting to make dogs stop barking that I have never seen fail. You get any typical aluminum can, and partially fill it with coins, rocks, nuts & bolts, etc. and when the dog starts barking you shake the can to make the noise. The dog will stop barking immediately. Like the citronela collar, now every time he even SEES the can he will not bark. I hope this helps some of you.

  48. Chris David Says:
    October 27th, 2012 at 2:17 am

    Why not just muzzle all dogs when outside the house including the garden. Barking (and biting) dogs can be a major nuisance and frankly if an owner cant stop their animal barking they shouldn’t own a dog.

  49. jo Says:
    November 6th, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Well, I’ve gone another way. I have 10 street dogs who now live with me because they have been abused in various ways. As you can imagine they are very protective of me, so, whenever the door bell rings, people pass, cars pass they used to sing in chorus. Now I Meooowww at them! Believe it or not it works! They are so shocked it shuts them up instantly. I only realised this when passing other peoples dogs in the street or within their gates. They would bark and I would instantly Meoooww back at them. They stopped instantly – I think from shock, but it does work. Try it, it’s hilarious!

  50. jm Says:
    November 14th, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    I had a dog for 14 years and after he died had a lot of guilt about how much time he spent inside during the day. For the first few years of his life I was in Colorado and in college and he got lots of exercise there. The problems started after I moved to NYC. He had had a hard time adjusting. the smells, the noise and vibrations from the subway used to give him a lot of anxiety and he sometimes just seemed terrified and I had no idea what of. Some days he would refuse to go outside and I could not figure out why but something scared him. I changed neighborhoods several times, and some were better than others. I also tried 2 dog walkers but he could at times be very difficult to manage when he had an anxiety fit and he scared one of the dog walkers away, so that didn’t work out. Eventually we moved to an apartment with a terrace so he could at least be outside during the day. I thought about giving him up or trying to find a farm who would adopt him but at this but I didn’t think at that point in his life he would be able to adapt. I really loved this animal though. he was in great health all his life until he finally got bloat and died at almost 14 but I always had a lot of guilt about the amount of time he was inside.

  51. saintgoody Says:
    November 17th, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    I have a dog. My of way of stopping him from barking is simply calling his name and showing piece of bread that’s his favorite and He would surely come to me.

  52. Blackfoot Says:
    November 18th, 2012 at 8:20 am

    Article is way incomplete.
    Neighbour’s dog barks continuously, with zero reason. I had to lodge a complaint to get them to take the dog indoors at night, so that we can get some sleep.

  53. jacks Says:
    November 18th, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    people must learn that all dogs are different and some will bark when there hungry and they need water to drink, or when they want attention to play and some needs to go for walks,
    Dogs just can’t be left out side and have no contact with people, If you have a dog Be there for them, and don’t crate them for 8 to 10 hrs a day, How you like to hold your pee or poop all day long, Its not fair to your dog to be stuck in a crate, Think of your pets ans part of your famuly, They also need love and attention, There like your children and they need to be played with toys and be walk and loved always, and show them you care, Because they care about you,

  54. DannyDix Says:
    December 30th, 2012 at 5:44 am

    We had a German Shepard next door whose main hobby was to sleep most of the day, then bark all night, keeping the neighbours awake. The noise was actually echoing off the buildings. At the end of my tether, I decided to front the owner. Nasty. No change. So next evening at around 11 pm as the hound tuned up for the nightly serenade, I blasted it over the fence with the portable fog horn from my boat. It’s tail got around the corner and out of site before it did. With the other neighbours blessing I kept it up all month until the dog miraculously moved on to presumably greener but noisier pastures elsewhere and peace reigned once more. Sorry, no finessing here.

  55. m_e_rowe Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 7:59 am

    I agree with everything in the article except for one thing. I do not agree with using food-treats in training dogs. Positive verbal reinforcement, and petting are all that is needed. By using food you are treating your pet to love food and you are just a conduit to getting food. — Unless you have a particularly stupid breed of dog, your dog does not need that kind of reward, and once trained if you do not give him/her a food reward the prior training is undermined. I believe in treats, given randomly or at an appropriate time before a long period of exercise … a run playing Frisbee, etc. So they have they have a boost of energy. — You want to develop the relationship between you and your dog not the relationship between your dog and food.

  56. Dick Says:
    January 12th, 2013 at 6:56 am

    Yeah, but you don’t explain how to stop an indifferent neighbors’ dog from barking!

  57. James Darle Says:
    January 14th, 2013 at 5:43 am

    Cut their vocal cords. There is no suffering involved in this. (No, really – there isn’t – please don’t anthropomorphise … cutting a dog’s vocal cords is not equatable with depriving a person of the power of speech.)

    Then they can bark as much as they like, and the neighbours’ life won’t potentially be made a living hell.

  58. MikeC Says:
    January 19th, 2013 at 6:01 am

    4 inch length of hose pipe up the rectum… Then they can get compression…

  59. SueA Says:
    January 31st, 2013 at 5:52 am

    Thanks for all the ideas. I have a B&B, a 6 year old rhodesian ridgeback and a 5 year old corgi. Both female and very loving and friendly. The Corgi greets all incoming guests with loud, excited barking, ‘talking’ and whining. She also runs alongside our gardner ‘chatting’ up at him constantly – at full volume. She is clearly communicating with people but very loudly. I don’t want to stop her excited chatter and interraction but would dearly love to turn the volume down! I have tried the spray of water (no success), the high pitched collar (no success), calling away (no success), holding the nose (no success). No point in going to get her as she runs faster than me and hence another game and frustrated guests waiting for me to return to them! I am now going to try the can with pebbles. If there are any more suggestions (NO SURGERY OR CRATES!) I would be grateful.

  60. kym Says:
    February 2nd, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    my dog Bruno, he’s very ferocious but the only way to get him to stop barking is by calling him and treating him with food! he’s loves that and so he’ll stop barking! easy as ABC!

  61. bark control Says:
    February 2nd, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems
    as though you relied on the video to make your point. You obviously
    know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving
    us something informative to read?

  62. Lydia Grace Says:
    March 5th, 2013 at 4:20 am

    Baxter is a big dog and when I go to get him to bring him in during a barking episode, he growls and bares his teeth at me. Other than this, he’s a great dog. Affectionate, funny and friendly to all who live here except when he’s in this “stranger danger” mode. He barks and tries to get to strangers, other dogs, cats especially. I don’t want to give him up, but nothing we have tried has worked. Training as described, bark collars, (don’t even faze him) good-behavior rewards. You just never know if he’s going to ignore a stranger on a walk or if he’s going to go ballistic.

  63. amd Says:
    March 20th, 2013 at 5:02 am

    Does anyone know if the electronic bark deterrents work? I have seen them advertised a fair bit, apparently if a dog barks they let out a sound that the dog hates and so it discourages them from barking. The ads say you can use it outside and point it towards your neighbour’s yard, but you can get them for inside too. You can make the sound audible or inaudible to humans.

    If this worked it would be perfect because frankly most people with noisy dogs just absolutely don’t care. If they did, most dogs would not be noisy. Yeah, yeah, you’re the exception, we’ve head it all before.

    Don’t leave a dog home alone all day and absolutely DO NOT cage it up. If you cannot spend plenty of time with a dog – which is a pack animal – don’t be selfish enough to buy one. Or at the very minimum buy two so they have company. All a dog does all day long is wait for its pack leader – its owner – to come home. Buy buying one and leaving it home alone all day you are condemning it to a life of miserable loneliness, which is why it barks and drives the neighbours mental. But, anyone selfish enough to care so little about an animal’s wellbeing and mental state obviously won’t care about their poor neighbours either.

    It has been proven that noise pollution sends the BP skyrocketing, makes people very anxious and leads to health problems including heart issues and stroke. This is not a small isse.

    Anyway, as the fault almost always lies with the owner, if these electronic things worked it would bypass the lazy, selfish owners completely and provide respite for people who are being made actually ill by the constant noise.

  64. JohnD Says:
    March 27th, 2013 at 5:27 am

    Apparently, if you insert a length of hosepipe into its rectum with a few inches protruding, the dog will be unable to bark due to lack of compression.
    Of course, I haven’t tried this myself.

  65. Roger Kovaciny Says:
    March 29th, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Our dog barked at the doorbell. Looking at things from her point of view I just said “Thank you, Nipper!” She immediately stopped.

  66. Stef Says:
    April 17th, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    Meh. The article could be interesting, but I didn’t bother to read it because of that stupid screen-blocking advertisement. I only closed the ad so that I could post this comment.
    I won’t be coming back to this site. Why do you have to make your ad so annoying? If I see your book in the store, and remember the ad, I will NOT buy it. In-your-face advertisement DOES NOT WORK.

  67. Dr Amit Goswami Says:
    April 20th, 2013 at 3:43 am

    there is a dog in my house he start barking any time without any reason even when i come to the home he barking but when i speak something give them some time to play then he calm. but next day he repeated same procedure. how would i do.

  68. Liz Says:
    August 6th, 2013 at 7:08 am

    There is a spray you can buy that is simply compressed air and when the dog is barking, you simply press the button and the container lets out a hissing noise, similar to a hissing snake. It doesn’t harm the dog and contains nothing more than air. Works, too!

  69. susan freiman Says:
    September 13th, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Bach remedies contain nothing but water and a bit of alcohol. What is your evidence that it is effective to stop barking? Rescue Remedy makes people think there is a calming effect, and calming the people makes the dog calmer.

  70. temarah Says:
    May 12th, 2014 at 2:16 am

    My dog has recently moved houses from my fathers house to my dads best friends house who happens to live next to me so I walk her twice a day and spend over 4 hours with her so she is not alone all the time but when I go home she barks on end for like 3 hours and it only the second day. She is a husky x border collie. And is 2 years old. I need help fast because everyone wants to complain to the council already because she also howls all day long when I’m not home. Please someone I need help

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