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Silence that barking dog unless you’ve got $500 sitting around burning a hole in your coin purse. In some places in Florida, you could get hit with a fine that big unless you find a way to implement bark control in your home.
Getting to understand what’s causing your dog to bark is important. Make sure they’re not trying to get you to deal with a health issue before you reprimand them.
If you’re looking for some safe and humane ways to deal with bark control in your house, you have a lot of options. Here are 6 ways to deal with your canine’s singing voice.
1. Get Rid Of The Reason
There’s a likelihood that your dog doesn’t see anything wrong with barking. If there’s something that your dog is barking at, then you need to remove that.
For dogs that run to the window, you’re going to have to come up with a way to block their view. Otherwise, you’ll have to keep them away from the window.
Try curtains and first and see if that works. Take note of why they’re barking so often and see what you can do to rectify the situation.
Remove the motivation and the reason if you can. Perhaps there’s a bird feeder nearby that they just love to watch and bark at. Put it someplace in the yard where they can watch when they’re outside.
While they’re inside, expect different behavior.
If they bark every time you open the door or if they hear your garage door open, you might have to try another bark control method.
2. Try To Ignore Them
Some dogs are barking because they want attention. One of the simplest bark control methods is just to ignore them. Your attention could seem like it rewards them
Yelling at a barking dog is just more barking to them and could amplify their feelings. When your dog is barking, don’t talk to them, don’t touch them and don’t even look.
When they quiet down, give them a treat.
This method takes a great deal of patience. If you get frustrated, you’ll break the tacit agreement.
Find ways to display this method to them. If you put your dog in a crate and they begin to bark, turn around. Wait until they stop and then turn back to them and offer a treat. They’ll associate being quiet with being rewarded.
Vary the amount of time you’ll wait so that they don’t get too expectant. Eventually, you want to have them being quiet without needed to get a treat.
3. Try To Desensitize Them
Your dog might need to get comfortable with the thing that’s causing them to bar. Keep it at a distance and then start with the treats. Move them closer together and continue to offer treats.
When the trigger moves out of sight, stop giving treats. Soon your dog will draw an association between the trigger and treats. They’ll see the thing that used to cause them to bark as something that means treats are coming.
If your dog barks at other dogs bring a friend’s dog by and try this method out. Have them walk slowly toward you and your dog. Keep slowly feeding your dog treats.
Then direct your friend to walk around the corner and stop offering treats.
This might take some time but if you can manage to keep the process going, you could get your dog adjusted in just a week or two.
4. Teach Them A “Quiet” Command
While it may sound like moving backward, this bark control method requires you to start by teaching your dog to “speak”. When they bark, then give a treat. When they stop barking to eat the treat, keep repeating until they understand the speak command well.
Now it’s time to teach them “Quiet”. In an otherwise calm environment, have them speak. Now tell them to “quiet”. Once they quiet down, give them the treat. Repeat this several times until they know the difference.
Now have someone ring your doorbell or do whatever triggers your pet. Use the quiet command with treats in hand. Keep repeating this every day until your dog gets the hang of it.
Take away the treats intermittently so that they will be quiet without the need for treats.
5. Request Another Behavior
When they start barking, you can often distract your dog by asking them to complete another task that conflicts. If they’re barking at the door, give them the command to go to their bed.
When they’re finally on the bed, give them a treat.
Try opening the door while they’re headed to their bed. If they get up, close the door again. Keep repeating this process until they get the hang of it.
Send your dog to their bed and then have someone ring the doorbell. Reward them if they stay in their bed. Repeat as necessary.
When your dog starts barking, ask him to do something that’s incompatible with barking. Teaching your dog to react to barking stimuli with something that inhibits him from barking, such as lying down in his bed.
6. Keep Them Tired
If your dog is getting enough physical exercise, they won’t be so excited to run around and bark. They love to lounge around so make sure they get to run around outside.
Dogs will bark out of boredom, so make sure you stimulate them enough throughout the day.
If you can’t make this work, try using a bark collar for bark control. There are lots of humane options that spray citronella, which calms dogs down. Check out the breakdown by Dogable on what works.
Bark Control Takes Time
It can be a frustrating process, but you can teach an old dog some new tricks when it comes to bark control. Getting them to listen to you in exchange for rewards always works. A spray collar should also work for extreme cases.
If you’re interested in other pet and family-related lifehacks, contact us today for more tips.