How to Stop a Dog from Barking

      29 Comments on How to Stop a Dog from Barking

dog barkingI’ve been asked several times about how to stop a dog from barking.

I recently received such a request from one of my Healthy Happy Dogs newsletter readers, and thought I’d reprint it here together with my response, in case it helps others with this particular problem of stopping a dog from barking:

” Aloha Brigitte,

As I’ve said previously, I enjoy your Healthy Happy Dogs insights and updates. Keep them coming.

But today, I need your help. In December, 2006, I obtained a 2 and a half year old female poodle from a breeder. She provided him with a single litter of one and he decided to sell her. I saw the ad, the price was right, the dog was house trained, and I went to see. She was very shy, unlike the male toy poodle who knew he ruled the roost.

Lady is a miniature and has adjusted very well. BUT she barks not constantly, and at anyone who enters our house, comes near the door, even coming up to the car, and now even when driving if someone who looks into the car.

Her tail is wagging – she will get off the chair at home and charge the door-sliding across the tiles back peddle to control her slide. No biting. She will bark even if it is a family member – my brother who does not live with us but visits – she will bark even when he comes into the living room while in the house. At first I thought it was pretty much men, as I believe the breeder was very firm with her, and she will always bark at men.

Anyway, one of the reasons I got her was for her to let us know when people approach the house, because at one point it was just my elderly mother and I living in the house. Now its my niece, her 5 yr. old, her boyfriend, and another person.

So I no longer need the “security” of having a dog barking to let us know when someone is approaching.

But how can I control the barking? I’d like her to stop when I say either “stop” or “enough”.

Thank you for your help.
Colleen ”
My Response to Colleen’s Query on

How to Stop a Dog from Barking:

dog barking

Hi Colleen,

Thanks for your kind words on the Healthy Happy Dogs newsletter.

There are a number of very good dog training ebooks – that you can download and read on your computer or print out, etc. My personal favorite is here – www.DogObedience.BrigitteRecommends.com

Of course, it covers all aspects of how to train your dog – not just problem barking.

One tip you could try is the water spray method – you have to be ready with the spray bottle filled with water, and immediately Lady makes the first sound of a bark, give her a short sharp spray into her face (not too close, though with a small dog – the object is to give her a little scare – definitely not to distress her).

This method works well, but you have to spray when the barking starts, so you need to be close to her so you can do this each time she barks, until she associates barking with the unpleasant squirt. Because you want your dog to respond to a command such as “stop” or “enough”, you’ll need to say that command every time you squirt – and at the same time you squirt. Eventually, if Lady does bark occasionally, just saying the command should stop her in her tracks.

Alternatively there are “stop barking” products that emit a noise that dogs don’t like – see here – How to Stop a Dog from Barking – or see the options below.
Hope this helps.

Regards,
Brigitte

How to Stop a Dog from Barking

Just click on the pictures or the links below for further details of three great products which will stop your dog from barking in no time!

These systems automatically detect dog barking and respond by emitting a high-pitched tone that humans can’t hear. Although the tone does not cause pain to animals, most dogs don’t like it and will stop barking as soon as they hear it!

Option 1:

Bark Free Noise Deterrent – covers a 35 feet radius
click here:

dog barking
Bark Free Noise Deterrent
Stop Dog Barking
Click Here for details

And what’s really special about this model is that it can be used both indoors and outdoors alike.

Option 2:

Super Bark Free Noise Deterrent – covers a 50 feet radius: Click Here

(Does a similar job, but covers a larger area, has some additional features, and is for use outside only).

Features:

  • Automatic, silent ultrasonic bark control for outdoor use only
  • Timed control lets you set the device to work only when you’re not home or at night
  • Built-in counter shows how many times device has been activateddog barking
    Stop Dog Barking
    , Humanely and Safely!
    Click Here for details

    Option 3:Or, if you’re after a portable anti barking device, the Portable Bark Stop may be exactly what you’re looking for. It has the following features:
  • Correct your dog’s bad behavior
  • Personal alarm provides audible protection
  • Built-in flashlight included

    Portable Bark Deterrent
    Click Here for details!

About Brigitte Smith

Brigitte Smith is an entrepreneur with a love of dogs and a healthy lifestyle. Brigitte is passionate about holistic health alternatives for dogs, most of which are today suffering foreshortened lifespans in the wake of a lifetime diet of commercial pet food, and further contributed to by unnecessary over-vaccination and chemicals and poisons applied topically and internally. http://HealthierDogs.com is one of Brigitte's sites dedicated to dog health, and in particular dog food reviews.

29 thoughts on “How to Stop a Dog from Barking

  1. Fiona

    I am mainly concerned about our dogs barking when we are not at home. Our neighbours have called the ranger to complain about the barking to the point where we are very close to receiving a $2000 fine and $250 per day until we come up with a solution.
    We have already bought a shock collar ($250) and the services of Barki Busters ($600 + choke collars and some unworthwhile tips totaling $800.
    We desperately need help as we love our dogs and don’t want to lose either of them. Please HELP

  2. Brigitte Smith

    Hello Fiona,

    Options 1 and 2 of the bark deterrent devices that are referred to above can be used for exactly the problem you describe – they automatically emit a high pitched noise when the dog(s) start barking, which causes most dogs to stop barking straight away, as they don’t like the noise these devices make.

    Bark Busters is usually a pretty good training option (and I think they come with a lifetime guarantee, if I remember correctly?), BUT you usually have to be at home to do the training in order to stop your dog(s) from barking, and this can take some time and patience that many people just don’t have enough of.

    With the bark deterrent devices, the beauty is that they operate whether or not you’re at home.

    Hope this helps.

    Regards,
    Brigitte

  3. Carol

    I have a Sheltie that I adopted about 2 1/2 years ago and she is almost eight years old.

    She barks at loud noises like thunder, fireworks, motorcycles, noisy cars etc. She was quite an annoyance on a recent camping trip (in a tent) when she barked, howled and whined for close to two hours because of a thunderstorm.

    How can I get he to stop barking? Will the bark deterrent work in this situation?

  4. Veronique kouwenhoven

    As with all other behaviour in dogs, any dog can be trained not to bark. You have to put some time and effort in it and make sure that you have a good relationship with your dog, because any training depends on those factors. Then you first train your dog to bark on command, just give the command while it is barking anyway. Then you teach your dog the command for silence. If you use clicker training this can be accomplished in a day. Reward generously for a “good shush”.
    Furthermore you make the cirumstances such that your dog is not tempted to bark. For instance do not leave him alone in the yard, do not take him to the door when visitors come. When he has to stay alone in the house, make sure he is in a place where he can’t see or hear any passersby and where he feels comfortable. This means that he has had enough exercise before you left him, some things to occupy him, such as a filled Kong, has an empty bladder and bowels, has something to drink and a nice bed to sleep in. If all this is too complicated for you, take your dog to a good dog-friendly dog class (ask them if they train with positive reinforcement methods ) and teach him there yourself, it does no good to let another person train your dog. It does wonders for your bond with the dog as well.
    If he barks in your presence stay very calm and quiet. Shouting at the dog will only reinforce this behaviour. Either totally ignore it or say something in a low voice like” I’ve seen those people, thank you, quiet now.” If he is not quiet calmly take him away from the scene and then ignore him for a few minutes. Give him attention only when he has not been barking for at least 5 seconds, try to give him more attention such as play, long interesting walks, teaching him tricks, taking him for a swim, play fetch etc. so he won’t crave attention as much. Most dogs will stop barking just because they can’t hear you whispering when they are barking and will keep barking because you give them a lot of attention while they are doing it (albeit negative attention).
    My youngest dog is a little dachshund/schapendoes mix. Both breeds are renowned barkers. Yet she is very quiet in the house (even if she has to stay alone for a few hours), although I have a big picture window all the way to the floor, looking out on the street, because I’ve let her know from a young age that barking is not appropriate behaviour. All her siblings are ferocious barkers. Even some neighbourhood dogs are barkers and this doesn’t set her of either. This means you will have to nip even an small growl or half-swallowed bark in the bud. That’s not acceptable either. If I can do it anyone can who has the inclination and the patience, since I am not a dog training pro.

  5. Brigitte Smith

    Great tips, Veronique.

    Thank you so much for your contribution.

    I’m sure many of my readers will appreciate your expertise on how to stop a dog from barking.

    Regards,
    Brigitte

  6. Cindi

    I have read all the above comments and none have worked for us. We have 5 collies in the house and most of them bark, with the exception of my going deaf 14 y/o male. The worst of the lot is our 6 y/o female. We have tried the squirt bottle and she looks at it and will quit for that time. We have tried a bark collar and even with holes in her neck and set on the maximum she STILL barked. She will bark,go tearing down the stairs and get the others barking. They bark at the door,airplanes,lawnmowers,the neighbors dogs and when we walk out the door. So how do I keep her from barking? She LOVES to bark. Nothing has stopped her yet and we’ve had her for 5 years!

  7. Bettina

    Hi there

    I’m thinking of getting a bark deterrent but I’m wondering if the noise will bother my cats. Does anyone know?

    Many thanks

    Bettina

  8. Leanne

    Hi Everyone.

    I sure could use any suggestions on this.

    I have a 2yr old Deaf Boarder Collie who constantly barks while I am not home. She is locked outside with another Boarder Collie who is 4yrs old. She appears to be spooked by anyting that moves in the ground. She will wack her right paw on the ground, shove her nose onto the same spot, paw the ground a couple more times then bark at it. She will then run around the back yard barking and Pig Rooting (what horses do when spooked) and then will start over again by pawing the ground.

    I have no idea what she is doing or why.
    I have recently taken her to the vets and she is on Clomicalm (used to treat Anxiety, OCD’s and other mental problems) I have also spent over $1000 on Bark Busters which dosent seem to have worked. I have tried a citronella collar but that also has not worked as the smell of the citronella dosent phase her. I havent tried any of these bark deterrant devices as she is deaf and they wont work.

    She is a perfect dog except for the barking. While I am home she dosent even bark when a stranger or another dog walk past. She dosent bark while playing or on walks. She is that well behaved that I walk her off the leash with the other dog everyday for 30mins to 1 hr. We occasionaly go to the beach where she swims and plays ball off the leash. She will come, sit, stay and do anything else when commanded. She wont even take food from a stranger. She has everything she needs in the back yard. And is sometime locked out even when I am home and she dosent bark.

    I really dont know what to do. Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

  9. tabitha

    I am about to lose my apartment because my dog wont shut up. I love her dearly, but I moved in 1 week ago and I am about to lose the apartment it already. My neighbors are complaining and I don’t know what to do. None of these methods work on her. This dog makes that Marley dog look good. Even pet stores can’t figure out what her problem is. If anyone has advice, please forward it. I don’t want to be homeless. Thanks

  10. Shiv

    Can anyone help us with our 5yr old lab x?
    She is getting worse and worse with barking! It used to be just when we left and came home and @ thunder and fireworks. Now its at planes and other noises and starts at 6.30am every morning.

    She gets a lot of attention as my kids play with her every day.

    She jumps the fence (we have made it higher and higher but she still keeps finding ways out) so she is on a chain when we are out or if there’s a storm or fireworks.

    We got a collar that emits the noise which slowed her barking for a few days but now she’s back to normal and seems to ignore it (we’ve checked, its still working as our other dog reacts to it when we put it on him).

    I would appreciate any ideas!

  11. Wendy & Sam

    We have almost the same problem as Shiv. We have a 1.5 year old Lab x, male. We picked him up from Animal Welfare League (dog pound). He was fine, except for climing the fence. Because of that, we have to chain him up when we are not at home or at night. But now, he cries and whines when he wants to come into the house or at thunderstorms and fireworks. And recently, he developed a new bad habit. He barks everynight when we put him out the house to sleep. He has always been sleeping outside the house.I saw the suggestion of the anti-barking device. But it seems it does not work for some dogs. We’ve been thinking about giveing it up. But is there any other solutions rather than giving it up. Thanks.

  12. Marian McDonell

    I have a 2 year old Weiner Dog that I trained not to bark. I hold up a small newspaper that is rolled up. I started slapping a table or the side of the house with that newspaper and said “no barking” real sharp and she stops. All I have to do now is hold up the paper and she puts her head down and stops barking. I have never hit her with the newspaper. I started this with her at 10 weeks old and it works.

  13. caitlin

    hi,
    im having terrible trubble with my 1 and a half year old dog! the neighbours are getting angry… does the ultrasonic bark deterrents really work! are they safe for any dog??
    does anyone have any other suggestions how to help me!! ???

  14. James MAcDonald

    hi, i have a 3 1/2 year old staffy cross that has recently started barking at night. he only barks at night and when i get up to see what he is barking at there is nothing there. i have no idea how to stop him. any idvice would be great. cheers, james.

  15. Brigitte Smith

    Hi James,

    One thing that immediately springs to mind is that you are giving your dog attention when he barks, so that might be encouraging him.

    If he can hear you from wherever he sleeps, I would simply yell out very loudly – “No!” immediately he barks.

    If he is not within hearing then the best thing to do would be to completely ignore him. It could work.

    Otherwise, you could try a bark deterrent.

    Regards,
    Brigitte

  16. Brigitte Smith

    Wow, I’ve missed many comments on this post, so I’ll answer them all quickly:

    Carol,

    It sounds as if your dog is distressed by thunderstorms – this is not unusual. This is something that is much more difficult to use training methods for, as the dog is simply terrified and wants you to know that. There is information on dog anxiety treatments here.

    Cindi,

    The methods you have tried don’t seem to include dog barking deterrents that emit a high pitched sound?

    Could be worth a try?

    Bettina,

    I’m not sure whether the noise would bother your cats – I don’t think so, but I’m not certain about this.

    Leanne,

    That’s a problem if your dog is deaf and only barks when you are not there. I don’t have any suggestions for this one. Let me know if you do figure out a solution.

    Tabitha,

    I really hope you figured out how to stop your dog from barking before you lost your home! That’s very extreme. You need to consult a professional dog trainer for some ideas if you have already tried everything mentioned both in the post and in Veronique’s suggestions above.

    Shiv,

    Perhaps there is an anxiety component to your dog’s barking. Clearly there is a problem with fireworks and thunderstorms, so perhaps your dog is becoming more anxious even with more mundane noises such as the planes flying overhead. You could try the natural anxiety remedy for dogs – see the information here.

    Wendy and Sam,

    Again, this sounds as if there is an anxiety problem. The barking when you put him out could just be a behavioral problem, but perhaps also there is some reason why he is afraid of being outside in the dark now even though he used to be okay with it. I would try the natural anxiety remedy for dogs if I were you.

    Marian,

    GREAT tip. I also used to use that exact same tactic in relation to stopping the dogs from jumping up when they were young. It worked. (And like you, I never touched the dogs with the newspaper – it was the sound of it hitting the floor that stopped them in their tracks). I never tried it for barking, but it sounds like a great idea.

    Caitlin,

    Yes, the bark deterrents work (although you can see from the commenters here that they are not 100% foolproof with all dogs), and yes, they are safe.

    Hope this helps everyone.

    Regards,
    Brigitte

  17. Cindee

    I have a 14 week old Bull Mastif x Ridgeback, and she seems to non-stop bark when we are eating or drinking, or doing something else like driving or blow-drying my hair. It seems the difference between this and the other posts above is that she does not bark when she is outside by herself or when someone comes over. We took her to puppy school and she just barked when the trainer was talking. I am going to try the water bottle method, as well as the newspaper method, but I am curious as to what the under-lying issue could be? Do you have any suggestions?

  18. Allan

    Hi Bettina, Dec.30 2008. Possibly a bit late. But for the readers our personal experience having 2 Australian Cattle Dogs that are known yappers. We bought a silent high pitched device to stop our dogs from unnecessary barking. When we activated it, they turned and looked at us curiously but when we turned and looked at our 2 Siamese, they had just landed and took off in a heck of a hurry. We got our money back. We haven’t stopped laughing about it, true story! Regards AL

  19. dan

    our 14yr old kelpie cross has barked continuesly from the moment he is left alone until the moment we return, regardless if he is alone in the house, yard, boat, in the back of the utility, anywhere and everywhere….Left alone I mean, alone without human presence…. our barking kelpie cross has constant companionship from our other dog a 7yr old red heeler cross, who only barks to alert us when strangers arrive at the house..

    We have purchased, a bark deterent collar (motion device), a bark deterent collar (microphone and motion device), a bark deterent Box (emitting high pitch noise), a citronella collar and several others products…. None of these expensive devices have worked or had any bark control effect..

    WE then contacted bark busters, who would not inform us as to how they would treat the problem without our money contribution first, then they could offer a service which did not guarentee to correct/stop the barking, but they would make a maximum of 20 visits to our property on complaint from more than one neighbour at any one time, and to inform all the adjoining neighbours that we have employed bark buster to help the situation and request that the neighbours contact bark busters instead of local council..
    Which is great to aplease the neighbours that something is attempting to be done, but not guarenteed to fix the problem.

    We have tried many different homeopathic remendies from vets, chemists, herbalists, homeopaths and have had no success with any of the products available to the public.

    We previously lived on a large cattle property until the old dog was 10yrs and it was not until moving into suburbia that the neighbours started to tell us that he barked continuesly when we left the house until we returned.

    Our understanding is that our old dog is in distress at having no-person to protect when he is left alone (without human company) as we have the two dogs..that is why he barks from the moment we leave the house unitl the moment we return to the house and he NEVER barks while we are at home..

    We know what does’nt work!
    What can be done to help our old dog?
    Your input would be greatly appreciated.
    thank you
    Dan

  20. Matt

    We have two small dogs, a Pomeranian and another one which breed escapes me. They both had issues barking, particularly when someone arrived at the door or walked past our house. We tried a stationary device, which lets off an ultrasonic sound when the dogs barked, but most of the time they would simply run out of range and bark or bark through it altogether.

    Recently we bought an electric collar which we swap between the dogs as they’re pretty expensive. We would’ve gone for a spray or citronella collar but they aren’t suited for dogs so small. It’s been very effective, we rarely actually have to put the collar on the dogs anymore.

  21. quin

    we have a 8yrs dog, he sometimes braking non stop at night. one night one of the neighbourn knoded at the door ,at 1.30 midnight shouting! your dog braking whole night my daughter can ‘t slept. i will call police or coucil. we don’t know what to do ,can you help us plaese! i had read though all the other one’s’proplem. can i try water spray frist. if not work then .I will try the news paper. finally still not work I will try braking detergent devices how it shout

  22. susan

    i have 7 dogs. (2 alaskan malamutes and 5 jack russells.) my main prob is with the jack russells,barking like crazy idiots at other dogs.nothing else makes them bark unless someone walks in the house,(but i understand why they do that) i need help with trying to stop them from barking at dogs,it really spoils our walks.they have been socalised,but they sound so agressive when they all barking on the leaders together..they have never been agressive but their hypo behavour could trigger a fight,the noise is horendous. can any 1 help plz? thanks susan.xx p.s spray and ultrasonic collars dont work,and they like the water sprayed in their face.lol.

  23. Donna

    Hi there! I see that all the options for controlling dog’s barking are great even if I haven’t tried them all yet. Ever since, I have already been using the Craig’s Paw Old Fashioned Bark Stopper which I find very effective. When my dog barks excessively, I just get the Craig’s Paw Old Fashioned Bark Stopper shake it, and I regain control of my dog’s barking. It’s just that easy, dog barks, you shake hand, and dog stops. To see this product, please click this link http://www.craigspaw.com.

  24. Tracy

    I believe a dog left outside barking is a nuisance and needs to be brought in! Instead of spending $800-$1000 on bark busters why not spend some quality time and teach your dog some tricks or skills to stretch his/her mind!?? Even a deaf dog can be taught hand signals with patience. I even know of a Junior handler [under 16] who took her deaf dog to agility classes. A trained dog is a loved dog, and a buzy dog is a dog who needs a nap when you are away from home. A Crate with a chew bone or filled KONG, will keep them busy for short absences; but teaching them HOW to be quiet when you are away from home is a skill your neighbors will thank you for!!

  25. Brigitte

    Hi Tracy,

    I couldn’t agree with you more.

    Spending quality time with our dogs is sooo important – after all, isn’t that what we have dogs for?!

    And part of spending time with our dogs should definitely include training your dog to be well behaved.

    Sometimes, though, people have trouble with a barking dog (either because they haven’t had the time to train, or they just don’t know how, or occasionally the dog just will not learn), so I’m just providing options for those pet owners who do have these types of ongoing problems that they aren’t able to deal with by spending time and training.

    Regards,
    Brigitte

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