How to Stop Your Dog From Barking at Other Dogs
From PetPav and comments by Diane Weinmann
Dogs will bark for many reasons as it is their way to communicate and react. And we never want our dogs to stop barking as it can help us to understand how our dogs are feeling or if there is a threat nearby. However, if your dog constantly barks at other dogs, it can be a headache for you and distressing. There are many things you can do to get your dog to stop barking at other dogs.
Below are some of the things you can try to keep your dog from barking at other dogs. As always, consistency and repetition is key to stop the barking and/or any unwanted behavior. You and all family members need to be on-board with the same behavior techniques to keep the training consistent.
Remove the motivation that causes your dog to bark
Your dog gets some kind of reward when he barks. Even if it is just attention from you. If you can figure out what he gets out of barking and remove it, it’s the simplest deterrent.
If your dog barks at other dogs passing by the living room window, manage your dog’s behavior by closing the curtains or putting your dog in another room. If you live in an apartment, try keeping the music or TV on to mask the barking sounds.
Block your dog’s access to doors and windows while he is indoors so he can’t see outside if the barking is continuous or put him in another room as other dogs pass by (at least while you are training).
There are also some devices that you can use that create a loud noise when your dog starts barking like the Doggie Don’t Device which are very effective to stop the barking.
Ignore the barking
Ignore your dog’s barking for as long as it takes him to stop. Which means don’t give him any attention at all while he’s barking; don’t talk to him and don’t even look at him. When your dog finally quiets down, than reward him with a treat or a hug. The point is that when the barking is done, all is good!
Be patient even if he barks for a very long time…just let the barking session end and then reward your dog at the end. Your dog will learn that he gets the reward when he stops barking. In other words –catch him doing something good and reward him!
Desensitize your dog to the stimulus which in this case means other dogs
Gradually get your dog used to whatever is causing him to bark or in this case, other dogs. Try to get your dog used to the idea that merely hearing and seeing other dogs does not mean (or allow) barking.
A training technique that works is to have someone, a friend, relative who owns a dog to have his or her dog on a leash and walk towards you. When your friend approaches, let her feed your dog treats. When the dog walks away, you stop feeding your dog treats and therefore the dog will learn that when another dog is visible and your dog does not bark is a good thing! And they are rewarded.
This can take some time so be patient and it’s a big behavior to learn. It could take weeks or months but consistency is key.
Use the “quiet” command when your dog barks
When your dog starts to bark, teach him the “quiet” command. When he starts barking, say “quiet” and stick a treat in front of his face. Praise him for being quiet and give him the treat. Your dog will learn that “quiet” gets a treat and positive reinforcement. If your dog masters the quiet command, you can apply it to other times when he starts barking. Praise and reinforce the good, quiet behavior and don’t yell “quiet”- it will scare your dog and he won’t understand it. Be aware that depending on the excitement level or stimulus all the training in the world may not make this effective 100% of the time.
Ask your dog for an incompatible behavior while barking
When your dog starts barking, ask him to do something that’s incompatible with barking. Teach your dog to react to barking with something that stops him from barking, such as lying down in his bed or chasing his favorite toy or ball. In fact, you can even give him a toy or a chew toy to put in his mouth which will certainly stop the barking. Barking, chew toy – no sound! Again this will only work in the house or yard verses out on a walk.
Make sure that your dog isn’t bored and gets daily exercise
Make sure your dog is getting enough physical and mental exercise every day. A tired dog is a good dog (we’ve all seen the commercials) and one who is less likely to bark from boredom or frustration. Exercising is important for your dog for so many reasons and it can also help to control the barking.
If none of the above work and you really need more help, it’s best to hire a trainer who can work with you and your dog to stop the barking. Always keep the training positive and don’t overdue the treats so your dog gains weight. A hug and a ‘good boy’ is great for positive reinforcement too.
If training doesn’t seem to work you can always call me, an animal communicator to see if we are dealing with a root cause that is just not the normal and expected greetings from one being to another. Sometimes there is a deeper motivation that we need to understand in order to combat it. Additionally, if your dog is reactive on walks using bach flower essences before a trip into the public can help curb unwanted behaviors like barking, pulling and jumping. Again contact me, Diane Weinmann at Dianefortheloveofanimals@yahoo.com if you need a custom bach flower essence treatment bottle.