That is their job, right?
Part yes and part no.
Yes because barking is a language that dogs use in order to communicate. However, if your dog barks every time or at inappropriate times, then it is a no, right?
Dogs that bark all the time can be annoying and obnoxious to you and even to your neighbors. Plus, it can also scare other people who are a bit scared of dogs.
So, why do dogs bark?
As I have mentioned before, barking is a type of vocal communication for dogs and it can mean various things depending on the situation they are involved in. Here are some of the most common reasons as to why your dogs bark:
1. Scared or Alarmed
There are some dogs that bark at any object or noise that startles them or catches their attention. And this can happen anywhere and not just in their own territory.
2. Protective or Territorial
When an animal or another person comes into an area that your dog considers to be his territory, it usually triggers excessive barking. And as the threat comes closer, his barking can get louder and louder. Your dog will even look alerts and more aggressive during this kind of barking.
3. Play or Greeting
Dogs usually bark when greeting other animals or people. Usually, it is a happy bark that is accompanied by a wagging tail and sometimes jumping.
4. Loneliness or Boredom
Dogs are pack animals. When left alone for a long period of time, whether in the yard or inside the house, dogs can become sad or bored and will start to bark since they are unhappy.
5. Attention Seeking
Dogs usually bark when they need or want something such as getting a treat, need some water, playing or wanting to go outside.
6. Compulsive Barking or Separation Anxiety
Dogs with separation anxiety usually bark excessively when they are left alone. Usually, they exhibit other symptoms such as inappropriate elimination, depression, destructiveness, and pacing.
Compulsive barkers usually bark just to hear the sound of their voices and often make repetitive movements such as running along the fence or in circles.
Stopping Your Dog from Excessive Barking
Getting your dog to bark less will take work, time, practice and consistency. It will not happen overnight, however with time and proper technique, you can see progress. And this one command can make your dog stop barking on cue!
Before the “Quiet” Command
The “Quiet” command is such a useful technique to stop your dog from excessive barking. However, before your dog can learn the quiet command, most trainers believe that your dog needs to know how to respond first on how to respond to the “speak” command.
This is because it does not work well to try and train your pooch to respond to the quiet command when he is all excited and barking at every random person he sees. In order to properly learn the quiet command, it requires you to first teach the dog to speak on command.
And you can learn how to teach your pooch that here: “How to Teach Your Dog to Speak.”
Before Beginning a Training Session
Before you start a training session to teach your pooch the quiet command, you need to play with him for a few minutes. This should drain some of his energy out so that he can focus more on the training session.
You can also train your pup when he is a bit hungry so that the training treats can be very appealing and enticing for him.
Also, make sure that you train your pooch for no more than 5 to 10 minutes each session.
Teaching Your Dog the “Quiet” Command
If your dog already knows how to respond to the speak command, you can now teach him the quiet command.
Here is a step-by-step instruction on training your dog to stop barking on cue:
- Command your dog to “speak”.
- Once he barked, command him to be “quiet” and place a treat in his nose. If your dog stops barking in order to sniff his treat, you can give it.
- Continue to practice this and gradually waiting longer before giving him the treat until your dog reliably stops barking when you say the “quiet” command.
- Once your pooch reliably responds to the quiet command in the calm environment, you can then introduce is barking trigger in a controlled method. For example, if he barks when people ring the doorbell, have a member of the family ring it while you are inside with him and be ready to give him a treat. As soon as your dog barks at the doorbell ringing, give the quiet command. Reward your pooch as soon as he stops barking. Then wait a bit longer until he can follow the command reliably.
Rewards need to be immediate and valuable when training your pooch. You need to make sure that the action is “worth it” to your dog. Chicken pieces, small liver treats, and other similar training treats work best.
Be patient and consistent. There are some dogs that can take weeks in order to master commands. There are some owners who prefer to teach the “speak” first before the “quiet” command. While some teach them together. This is your choice and it is about your confidence, comfort level and your dog’s ability to learn.
However, keep in mind that the “speak” command only works on dogs that bark. If you have a puppy, then you will need to wait until he develops the ability and desire to bark in order to avoid confusing him.
In order to proof your pup’s new skill, you need to practice this command in environments outside your home. And the more varied situations, the better. For example, you can pause for a few minutes while walking in the park and give the speak, then the quiet command. Also, if your dog barks while in the car, then you can practice the quiet command.