Ask the Expert: How Do I Get My Dog to Stop Barking?
Unwanted barking is one of the most common and difficult dog behaviors to change. There are a few things you can try:
Reward your dog for being calm and quiet. Use whispered praise, gentle petting, or Milk-Bone® Flavor Snacks – Mini’s.
Teach your dog a desired behavior to perform instead of barking. Start with a simple task such as sit, stay or lie down. If the desire to bark is super strong, more complex tasks where your dog must think hard can help, such as high five, roll over or fetch.
Ignore your dog’s unwanted barking. If you yell at your dog for barking, they will interpret your yelling as confirmation that there is something to be excited or upset about. If you’re walking when your dog barks and you tighten the leash, your dog will pair your response with a reason to bark and will bark more intensely when he encounters that trigger on your next walk.
It’s difficult to stop unwanted dog barking. But if you consistently work on these three things at the same time, you should see improvement in a few weeks.
Would you like Dr. Jill's help for your dog’s behavior? Let us know what’s on your mind in the comments below.
About Dr. Jill
Dr. Jill Villarreal lives and breathes all things pet. A doctor of Biology, Behavior and Neuroscience (with a Certificate in Animal Behavior), Jill is senior manager of Pet Sensory & Perception Insights over at Big Heart Pet Brands.
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