How to stop your dog from barking

To stop your dog from barking you will need to find the causes for its barking. Follow a specialist's advice or other owners' tips about how to then train your dog to stop nuisance barking. There are a few steps to take for you and your pet. Also on the market, you can find devices that can help you address this issue in an effective way.

You should aim to reduce the amount of barking rather than stopping it altogether. Otherwise, your dog’s well-being might suffer.

Why do dogs bark?


One of the ways used by dogs to communicate between them and with their owners is through barking.

Dogs bark to show their excitement and 'talk' with the others. They use barking to warn against dangers, to show their presence as guardians of a household, and mark their territory.

A dog's barking may become a nuisance for its owner and its neighbors. When this happens over a prolonged period of time, owners will have to deal with the dog's excessive barking.


When does a dog bark and when does it become an issue?


  • Dogs are territorial - they will bark at people and other dogs. This happens in places that they consider their own: the home or the places you take your dog to exercise. Their barking becomes an issue if they are perceived as threatening by your visitors or the other dogs.
  • Barking in alarm - to sounds or intruders that the owner might not perceive. Their body language will show this as well by being more rigid and ready for action if needed. An issue with this would be that the owner will not know straight away what’s happening.
  • Barking due to lack of attention - dogs seek their owner’s attention. This can be for play, cuddles, food, treats, or inviting to outdoor walking. It becomes an issue when the dog starts barking at other people for attention or rewards. This can create confusion over why the dog seems to dislike that person.
  • Greetings barking - when a visitor comes or during walks in the park, a dog will be happy to see them and will start barking in greeting.
  • Compulsive barking - some dogs are extremely active, move a lot. Their barking follows the tread and will sound incessant. It’s similar to an ADHD youngster’s constant chatting.
  • Social barking - dogs tend to join other dogs’ barking even if they hear it from a far distance.
  • Barking to express their frustration - this happens when things are not done the way the dog was expecting
  • To show anxiety - in a new situation or when left by themselves
  • Illness or injury barking - to express their pain. It’s important to know the sounds your dog makes for each different type of barking. In this way, you will be able to help your pet to deal with a health issue.

What is the best way to stop your dog from barking?



The most important bit is to understand why your dog barks. Look for patterns in its barking :


  • When does your dog bark?
  • Where does it happen the most?
  • Can you spot some signs that trigger its barking?
  • How well do you know your dog?

You need to become familiar with the type of breed of your dog. Check for information on dog breeds to understand their needs and keep in mind that different breeds will behave in other ways than others.


Listen and earn the way your dog barks - in this way you will recognize if it tries to communicate or to warn you of something.



How to stop nuisance barking


  • Stop rewarding barking for attention-seeking by ignoring it. Your body language should be in tune with the verbal feedback given to your dog
  • Toys and reward barking - if your dog wants a treat or its toys, make sure they are at hand for when needed
  • Barking when put in its sleeping crate - the best way is to ignore its barking and move away. When barking stops, give your dog a little reward. This way it will be trained to be quiet for rewards.
  • Repetitive compulsive barking - to deal with this, you will need to stimulate your dog and increase its activity by exercising and long walks. Try to rearrange their sleeping area as well
  • Use a bark collar when going outside to stop nuisance barking. An anti-barking collar can be unpleasant for the dog so it’s advisable to use this as a last resort
  • Train your dog to ignore other dogs - use a leash, set down some rules, use treats to reward being quiet
  • Set some home rules by teaching your dog to stop when you say ‘Quiet’ in a firm voice. You can also choose to send it to its place.
  • Establish a routine for your pet
  • Remove the causes and their effects
  • Be aware of stimulus and stress-related barking
  • Take part in a training program for dogs that bark excessively. For example a canine obedience class.
  • Discuss with a clinical animal behaviorist
  • Use an app devised to train your dog to stop barking
  • Avoid using punishment for barking - talk to a vet or an experienced dog trainer on advisable steps.
  • Avoid using a muzzle to stop barking
  • Avoid shouting at your dog - use a firm voice for commands without raising it
  • Remain calm and patient with your pet.

Anti-dog barking devices


If you opt for using anti-barking devices, here are some examples of items used:


  • Anti-barking collars:
    - Ultrasonic - they have the advantage of allowing you to use on other dogs not only on your pet
    - Vibration collars
    - Citronella collars - the most effective
    - Spray collars
  • Ultrasonic dog barking repellers
  • Dog whistles
  • Anti-barking apps for smartphones

How to stop a dog barking at night



If your dog hasn’t been trained to sleep on its own in a different room, the first step to stop night barking is training it by:


  • Get your dog to become familiar with its spot to sleep - crate, dog bed, or sleeping bag
  • Make sure you gave a cuddle to your dog before bedtime to reassure it and reduce separation anxiety
  • Ignore its barking when you leave the room. Return later when it becomes quiet and recompense the quiet behavior.

If you have a trained dog that suddenly starts barking through the night check:


  • The area for any stimulus and remove the causes
  • Check if it needs to use the toilet
  • Increase its activity during the day
  • Check its health.

It is very important to check your dog's health especially if it's barking through the night becomes loud and leads to whimpering and whining. Some triggers could be:


  • Being distressed by noises
  • Anxiety
  • Pain
  • Undetected underlying health issues.

Neighbors’ dog barking at night - how to deal with this



If you don’t have an issue with your dog barking at night and the problem rather is a neighbor’s dog here are some tips for you:


  • Remain calm and let your dog know that things are ok
  • Speak calmly to your neighbor about his/her dog - they might not be aware of this happening. Some people work night-shifts and their pets remain unattended during the night.
  • Share some tips on how to deal with this situation.
  • If you can’t find understanding, you can report this to the authorities.

The loudest barking dog breeds



  • Golden Retriever
  • German Shepherd
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Scottish Terrier
  • Redbone Coonhound

According to Guinness World Records, the loudest barking dog breed is Golden Retriever. In October 2012, during the Purina Bark in Adelaide/Australia, 113.1 decibels had the sound produced by a Golden Retriever barking.


The fact that a dog barks very loud is not necessarily a bad thing especially when you need a dog for security purposes. But if you keep your dog at home and it barks very loud you could get into trouble because of your neighbors.


It might help to know what breeds have behavioral issues that lead to excessive barking, especially if you think of buying a new dog. These breeds are known for their nuisance barking:


  • German Shepherds
  • Golden Retriever
  • Terriers
  • Schnauzers
  • Basset Hounds
  • Chihuahua
  • Beagles

The least barking dog breeds



Before you start thinking about how to stop a dog from barking, you may want to choose a dog that barks less than others. When you are a parent and have small children or when you want not to disturb the neighbors but love the dogs, you will try to find one that barks less. Try to choose one of these:


  • Chinese Shar-Pei
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback
  • Saint Bernard
  • Whippet
  • Newfoundland
  • Afghan Hound
  • Chow-Chow

Stopping your dog from nuisance barking can seem like a hurdle and can become an aggravating task. Remember to keep calm and remain consistent in your approach to your dog.


Ask for specialist advice if you feel that you can’t handle this situation. You can do this by visiting your vet or a specialist trainer. There are also plenty of websites with expert information from dog breeders and dog owners.


Knowing that you are not alone in this situation will give the boost you need to continue and achieve your goal.


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