Help! How to Stop Excessive Dog Barking | Best Tips

Published on 28 July 2021 at 11:49

Help! How To Stop My Dog From Barking?

How to stop excessive dog barking? This blog will educate you about techniques to prevent your dog from barking. The longer your dog has been practicing the barking behavior, the longer it will take for them to develop other means of communication. 


No one should expect a dog to never bark. That’s as unreasonable as expecting a child to never talk. But some dogs bark excessively. If that’s a problem in your home, the first step is figuring out what causes your dog to bark too much. Once you know why they are barking, you can start to treat their barking problem. This blog will educate you about: Barking by dogs


Why Do Dogs Bark?

A dog barks for a reason. Your dog usually wants to tell you something. To understand why a dog exhibits certain (undesirable) behavior, it is important to learn to understand body language and signals. For example, a dog can bark for different reasons. We will discuss the different ways a dog can bark and also how to get rid of this barking if the behavior is unwanted.


Barking is normal dog behavior and a means of communication. Some dog breeds naturally bark more than others, such as dogs bred for guarding, herding or hunting. There are several types of barking, each with a different motivation and purpose. Listen carefully to your dog's bark to find out why it is barking. Pay attention to such things as the pitch, the number of barks and the duration of the bark. Your dog's body language can also help.


9x Differences in Barking By Dogs

  1. The excited bark: The dog is happy or excited, for example, when the owner comes home, when the doorbell rings, when visitors come in, or when you grab the leash to walk the dog. This bark is higher than normal. The barking happens in series, sometimes with whining in between. Your dog often runs in circles or jumps around you;

  2. The attention seeking bark: Dogs often bark when they want something, such as going outside, playing, or getting a treat. Is a form of barking that has given your dog something to do. The dog wants attention. For example, when the dog wants to play in the garden and stands at the door barking or squealing to make this known. Or when the owner is talking to other people and the dog wants attention, he can bark to get it. Certain barking behavior can also be learned in the meantime because the dog (often unconsciously) has received attention from the boss. This is the normal bark of the dog, 3-4 times in a row, followed by a pause and 3-4 more barks. The dog will look questioningly at the boss and may turn around impatiently;

  3. The game bark: A dog may bark during play with another dog or with the owner. This is often a short series of sharp barks. Often the dog will stand in play position and fanatically wag its tail. Often he also makes feints to get the other to play;

  4. The bark out of stress or frustration: The dog is frustrated or has persistent stress. For example, the dog feels lonely or bored. This can occur when staying in a kennel or when the dog is home alone. It can also occur when he expects something but is disappointed. The bark is often persistent and monotonous, somewhat lower than the normal bark. It can sometimes end with a typical howl. The dog is usually stationary but may also exhibit stereotyped behaviors such as digging, scratching, running in circles and walking back and forth.

  5. Territorial/Protective: When a person or an animal comes into an area your dog considers their territory, that often triggers excessive barking. As the threat gets closer, the barking often gets louder. Your dog will look alert and even aggressive during this type of barking.
  6. Alarm/Fear: Some dogs bark at any noise or object that catches their attention or startles them. This can happen anywhere, not just in their home territory. Their ears will be back and tail tucked when they are in a state of fear. 
  7. Boredom/Loneliness: Dogs are pack animals. Dogs left alone for long periods, whether in the house or in the yard, can become bored or sad and often will bark because they are unhappy.
  8. Greeting/Play: Dogs often bark when greeting people or other animals. It’s usually a happy bark, accompanied with tail wags and sometimes jumping.
  9. Separation Anxiety/Compulsive Barking: Dogs with separation anxiety often bark excessively when left alone. They also usually exhibit other symptoms as well, such as pacing, destructiveness, depression, and inappropriate elimination. Compulsive barkers seem to bark just to hear the sound of their voices. They also often make repetitive movements as well, such as running in circles or along a fence.


Dogs let you know what they think of people, places and situations with their eyes, ears, tail and other body parts. Recognising and understanding your dog's body language is therefore an important part of communicating with him.


This is especially important if your dog's behaviour or body language suddenly shows that he is no longer happy but is feeling stressful, anxious or lonely. Sometimes a dog's body language or behaviour can indicate that he is not happy with his current situation.


Here's a list of 6 techniques to stop your dog from barking. Always remember to keep these tips in mind while training:

  • Don't yell at your dog to be quiet—it just sounds like you're barking along with them;
  • Keep your training sessions positive and upbeat;
  • Be consistent so you don't confuse your dog. Everyone in your family must apply the training methods every time your dog barks inappropriately. Consistency is key.

#1 Remove the Motivation

Your dog gets some kind of reward when they bark. Otherwise, they wouldn't do it. Figure out what they get out of barking and remove it. Don't give your dog the opportunity to continue the barking behavior.

Example: Barking at passersby

  • If they bark at people or animals passing by the living room window, manage the behavior by closing the curtains or putting your dog in another room.
  • If they bark at passersby when in the yard, bring them inside.

#2 Ignore the Barking

If you believe your dog is barking to get your attention, ignore them for as long as it takes for them to stop. Don't talk to them, don't touch them, don't even look at them; your attention, even just asking them to stop, only rewards them for being noisy. When they are finally quiet, even to take a breath, reward them with a treat. Timing is important, so make sure you’re quick to reward the quiet so that you don’t confuse them and inadvertently reward them for barking.

Example: Barking when confined

  • When you put your dog in their crate or in a gated room, turn your back and ignore them.
  • Once they stop barking, turn around, praise them and give a treat.
  • As they catch on that being quiet gets them a treat, lengthen the amount of time they must remain quiet before being rewarded.
  • Remember to start small by rewarding them for being quiet for just a few seconds, then work up to longer periods of quiet.
  • Keep it fun by varying the amount of time. Sometimes reward them after five seconds, then 12 seconds, then three seconds, then 20 seconds and so on.

#3 Desensitize Your Dog to the Stimulus

Gradually get your dog accustomed to whatever is causing them to bark. Start with the stimulus (the thing that makes them bark) at a distance. It must be far enough away that they don't bark when they see it. Feed them lots of good treats. Move the stimulus a little closer (perhaps as little as a few inches or a few feet to start) and feed treats. If the stimulus moves out of sight, stop giving your dog treats. You want your dog to learn that the appearance of the stimulus leads to good things (treats)!

Example: Barking at other dogs

  • Have a friend with a dog stand out of sight or far enough away so your dog won't bark at the other dog.
  • As your friend and their dog come into view, start feeding your dog treats.
  • Stop feeding treats as soon as your friend and their dog disappear from view.
  • Repeat the process multiple times.
  • Remember not to try to progress too quickly as it may take days or weeks before your dog can pay attention to you and the treats without barking at the other dog.

#4 Barking when coming home

A little barking from excitement should be accepted. Greet your dog briefly upon entry but do not join in the excitement. Make sure that you yourself will not talk too much with the dog, because this stimulates the barking. When the dog continues barking, you can ignore this best. You can possibly try your dog step by step to learn after the first greeting to sit. Wait thereby until he no longer barks and reward him then.

#5 Barking when left alone

When the dog barks when left alone or in the kennel, it is sending a clear signal. The dog is experiencing stress and needs to be removed from the situation. Consider, for example, leaving the dog alone for less time or taking him to a shelter where he will have the company of other dogs. Another way to counteract boredom is to give the dog distraction. This can be done by filling a Kong toy with some goodies so the dog can be busy with that. Test in advance whether you can leave your dog alone with this and he will not demolish the toy. Sometimes it can help to take a long walk early in the morning or play an intelligence game with your dog. This ensures that he is physically and mentally tired and will go to sleep earlier. In short, it is important to offer your dog more distraction or companionship to ensure that the behavior is reduced.

#6 Ask your dog for an incompatible behavior

When your dog starts barking, ask them to do something that's incompatible with barking. Teaching your dog to react to barking stimuli with something that inhibits them from barking, such as lying down on their bed.

Example: Someone at the door

  • Toss a treat on their bed and tell them to "go to your bed."
  • When they're reliably going to their bed to earn a treat, up the ante by opening the door while they're on their bed. If they get up, close the door immediately.
  • Repeat until they stay in bed while the door opens.
  • Then increase the difficulty by having someone ring the doorbell while your dog is in bed. Reward them if they stay in place.

#7 More security and structure in everyday dog life

In general, all dogs want security and structure. They need a leader who will always consistently show them the way and whom they can trust. You can give your dog security through set daily routines and structures that dogs can orient themselves to. You determine how the day goes - not the dog. For example, start each morning with a little obedience training during the walk. Teach him the most important commands if he happens to do them just right. Introduce set times for meals, walks or playtime and show that you are in charge. As in the examples above, you should praise your dog only when he has done things right on command. Do not scold him when he does something wrong, i.e., when he barks loudly. It is better to praise him when he listens to your commands.


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