It’s perfectly normal for dogs to bark. They do this when they get excited, angry, happy, frustrated, and as a way of letting you know when they want something. It’s how dogs communicate. If you want your dog to stop barking entirely, then you probably aren’t going to win. They’re dogs, and they are going to bark.
However, some dogs do take their barking too far. They might not be able to pass people or other dogs on the street without incessantly barking at them. At home, they might sit down in front of the gate or at the window and bark at every moving creature or car that happens to pass by.
When this happens, many people resort to yelling, and are completely unaware of the fact that they are probably making the barking worse.
Yelling is one of the best ways to excite a dog and get his adrenaline going. Dogs are great at picking up emotion, and they will respond to an owner who is in a heightened emotional state – usually by barking.
Your dog really has no way of knowing that you are yelling at him and not yelling because there is a person walking by the window! When your dog was a puppy and began exhibiting this behavior, you may have inadvertently taught him that you too are worried about what is going on outside, and that the two of you are yelling at it together.
If you are sick and tired of your dog’s barking, then the first thing to do is to take a deep breath and be ready to tackle this problem as calmly as possible. If you are calm, then your dog will have a much easier time remaining calm as well.
Here are some other strategies that you can try to get your furry friend to quiet down:
1. Try ignoring him
Even if your dog has been barking for years, he may have always assumed that you were worried about the situation as well. Some dogs might simply need you to calm down and they will follow suit. If you don’t seem worried about the stimuli, then they will likely calm down too.
2. Take him away from the situation that is making him bark
Barking may be too ingrained in some dogs for them to stop if you stop yelling. In this case you need to take some extra steps. If your dog barks at other dogs in the street, then stay calm but firmly direct him somewhere else. Don’t keep walking towards the stimuli while he barks his head off and pulls on his leash. Change directions, cross the street, or even start heading back home to let him know that it’s not okay.
If your dog barks regularly out the window, then close the blinds as quickly as you can and make him go somewhere else. If you make sure to do this every time, then he should quickly learn that this behavior isn’t tolerated or necessary. Do the same type of thing if he is barking in the yard. Without ever raising your voice, just bring him inside and close the door.
3. Make sure he is getting enough exercise
It takes a lot of energy to bark, and dogs with a lot of extra energy are going to have that much more bark to give. But a dog that has received proper exercise is going to be more likely to lounge around and nap at home than to sit attentively at the window waiting for people/other dogs/cars to bark at. Even if he is looking outside, a dog that has expended enough energy won’t be as high strung, and so likely won’t feel the need to bark.