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How to Train Your Dog to Not Bark Incessantly

Dogs bark in response to a stimulus or because they’re bored and want attention, any attention, even if it involves someone yelling at them to quit barking. On the one hand, few things are more reassuring than knowing that your dog will sound the alarm when a stranger approaches. On the other hand, few things are more nerve racking than a dog’s constant barking.

Barking as a response

Barking is a natural way a dog defends his territory and you can’t, and probably don’t want to, stop him from barking at passers-by when he’s out in the yard. People passing are the stimulus that causes barking, and after it’s removed — the people go along their way — your dog should stop.

If your neighbors stop by the fence for a conversation, your dog will likely continue to bark. To get him to stop, you have to remove your dog, or the people have to leave. If you live in a busy area where this happens frequently, you may have to change your dog’s environment. You may not be able to leave him in the yard for prolonged periods.

Your dog also barks when he’s in the house and someone comes to the door. After he has alerted you, tell your dog “thank you, that’s enough,” and have him sit at your side as you answer the door. If necessary, put him on leash so that you can control him.

He may also rush to the window and stand there and bark because he sees or hears something. Again, thank him for letting you know what’s going on and tell him “that’s enough.” If he doesn’t stop, go to him, take him away from the window, and have him lie down in his corner.

Barking for no apparent reason

Your dog always has a reason for barking, although his reason may not be apparent to you. He may be anxious, bored, or lonely.

Theoretically, none of these reasons is difficult to overcome if you work to eliminate the potential causes. Spend more time exercising your dog. Spend more time training your dog. Don’t leave your dog alone so long, and don’t leave him alone so often.

As a practical matter, it’s not that easy. Most people work for a living and leave their dog at home alone for prolonged periods. If you live in an apartment, your dog certainly can’t bark all day. The stress on the dog is horrendous, not to mention your neighbors.

One way to stop a barking dog is an electronic bark collar, which causes a slight electric shock every time he barks. Another way is a citronella collar, which sprays some citronella in the direction of the dog’s nose when he barks. These tools work well in a single-dog household.

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