Help! My dog won’t stop barking!

by Vivien Richardson on March 6, 2010

Any dog that barks excessively at visitors is in fact doing their job in letting you know that there is someone at the door. The doorbell ringing, or a knock at your front door, is a trigger to your dog that you are under threat and he only wants to protect you and alert you to impending danger.

Once you have invited a person into your home then you need to teach your dog that you are happy with him, he has done his job successfully and you now want him to be quiet.

Dog owners have different views on barking and forget to give praise when they the dog eventually becomes quiet. This inconsistency can confuse your dog to become confused.

If you are outdoors and your dog barks at a passer by, or another dog, then give him praise and command him in a one word syllable that you want him to be quiet. Once your dog has been quiet for a couple of seconds, give him his well earned praise again and a small treat.

dog barking

If your first command ‘appears’ to have fallen on deaf ears, as can sometimes happen if your dog is over excited, give the command again in a sterner tone of voice. It may take a few sessions but your dog will soon catch on.

When this routine has been established outside you can use a similar routine indoors.

It is important that you do not tell your dog off for barking as it may take time for him to realise you are happy and that he has done his job. Praising him will help, and if you lose patience you will have to start again.

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