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Behavior

8 Ways to Stop A Dog from Barking

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It’s not easy to stop a dog from barking, but it’s very important to do so. A barking dog is an annoyance to neighbors as well as dog owners.

In most states, barking dogs fall under “nuisance” laws or “noise” laws. That means you can be rightfully cited by police, and maybe even have your dogs impounded, if they are barking continuously.

The bad news is that it can be challenging to get a dog to stop barking, particularly if they are bored and just “nuisance” barking.  But, the good news is that there are many ways to train your dog to stop barking – even when you’re not at home.

Stopping A Dog From Barking: Identify the Problem

For the Neighbors of Barking Dogs:

If you’re the neighbor of a barking dog, there are certain steps to take to stop the behavior.

To begin with, you need to let your neighbor know that their dog is barking and give them an opportunity to resolve the problem before calling authorities!

If you want to remain anonymous, you can print out this letter we’ve created on your behalf and just place it on their door or in their mailbox.

Click here for the pdf version of the letter below: letter-dog-barking

how to stop a dog from barking

Most dog owners who work away from their home never even know their dogs are being a nuisance. Since the dog is quiet and happy while the owner is home, they may never suspect the dogs are acting out while they’re away.

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Don’t expect an immediate fix. Dogs are living creatures and it takes time to recondition and learn. Give your neighbors a few weeks to fix the problem. As long as they are working towards a solution, you should be as well.

That said, if your neighbors are unresponsive to your requests, or the dog is not being cared for, you should let authorities know.

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For the Owners of Barking Dogs

If you’re the owner of a barking dog, you need to understand that some people have napping children, work from their home, or work night-shifts. So your dog who barks all day when you’re away from home can be a big problem for the neighborhood.

To stop a barking dog, you first need to determine why your dog is barking…

Identify when your dog is barking

Knowing what triggers your pet into barking will help you identify ways to break the cycle by limiting access to windows, limiting access to your fence line, or offering your dog a needed distraction during that time of day (such as a dog walker coming by at a certain time).

If barking only happens at certain times of the day, your dog may be triggered by children walking to school or other routine events.

Fixing the Problem

Once you have identified patterns and reasons why your dog is barking, you can begin to fix the problem. There are lots of options for doing this.

1. Remote Monitoring Systems

Inexpensive video cameras are available and they are simple to set up using your home computer or cell phone. Not only will these cameras give you added security for your home, it will help you determine why your dog may be barking.

There are plenty of high-tech (and inexpensive) WiFi cameras that sends you notifications when it detects your barking dog.

Read some of our reviews at PetsGEEKly for cameras that work well. These cameras are very affordable and simple to set up, you can monitor from your phone, and you can receive immediate notifications on your phone.

2. Exercise

Remember, plenty of exercise is the most valuable thing you can do to stop barking. It helps them stay socialized and provides new ways for them to pick up sensory data that will make them less apt to bark.

3. Hire a Dog Walker

Most dogs are barking because they are bored or triggered by an event. Hiring a dog walker or pet-sitter to come over during the times of day that routine barking happens can help resolve the problem.

Most sitters are happy to offer deep discounts for long-term walking and it’s an excellent idea to have a person you can have on call in case of emergency (such as sudden illness or in case you need to work late).

Read about How to Choose A Boarding Facility or Pet Sitter.

4. Doggy Daycare

Doggy daycare may seem a little unusual, but it’s a valid way to help your high-energy pet, especially if you’ve been too busy to keep them active.

There are Many Advantages of Doggy Daycare. Not only will daycare help keep your pets mentally and physically stimulated, which will decrease or eliminate their need to bark, they will help your dog become more socialized, which can also help eliminate territorial barking and fear barking.

Look for a daycare in your area that is licensed and reputable – be sure to read reviews!

5. Natural Calmants

Natural calmants, such as a calming shirt (Thundershirt) or pheromone-based sprays (like Adaptil) can be invaluable in keeping your dog from barking.

Calming essential oils and hydrosols, like Rescue RemedyLavender or Roman Chamomile, are also safe when diluting (ask your veterinary professional or behaviorist for their dilution suggestions).

6. Use Technology

Using technological advances, such as the PetAcoustics or DogTV, can help keep your pet calm while you’re away for the day.

Try DogTV absolutely free for 30 days!

Pet Acoustics is scientifically designed to help keep your pet relaxed through music developed by behaviorists. Check out our review here. Pet Acoustics music comes loaded in an 8-hour track on a bluetooth speaker, so all you need to do is plug and play while you’re away.

7. Chew Toys and Interactive Puzzles

Smart dog toys and interactive feeding puzzles should only be used while you’re at home, particularly if you have a young or very destructive pet. However, keeping your pets mentally and physically stimulated when you’re home will help stop your dog from barking when you’re not.

There are thousands of interactive dog toys designed specifically to keep your pets active and engaged while you’re away from home.

Be sure to choose a tougher, safer toy, like Kong  (frozen or filled with your favorite low-calorie filling) or BusyBuddy toys. Simply fill with a low-calorie treat or filling and your pets will be too busy to chew!

Smart toys (such as the Nina Ottosson line of pet puzzles) are wonderful ways to keep your pets busy during the day.

8. Deterrents

It’s best if you can stay with positive training methods. But occasionally, you may need to use what is known as “deterrent”. There are many safe ones on the market, but they should be used only after all positive methods have been exhausted.

The Ultrasonic Birdhouse is one that operates on ultrasonic frequencies. Simply hang the device in the path of where your dog (or a neighbor’s dog) goes to bark and it will emit a high-frequency sound when it detects barking.

Another method of controlling barking is with a bark collar (although you should only use a citronella based collar). The collar emits a series of warnings before finally releasing citronella when it detects your dog barking. If you do choose this option, choose it as a last resort…

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