How to Train a Dog not to Bark

Hi! It’s me, Toby the Terror, and I’m going to let you in on a secret. It’s 100% natural for dogs to bark, especially when we are excited or scared! There are lots of people (not just doggie moms and dads) that try to keep us from barking, and honestly, that is just silly. It’s like trying to keep a squirrel from gathering nuts (Bella and I really hate like squirrels). But I guess it is understandable to want to learn how to train a dog not to bark so we learn when it’s OK to get our barking out and when it’s not.

How to Train a Dog not to Bark

Here are a few things to remember about us and our natural need to bark:

We all do it! Face it, it’s a fact of life. You humans need to understand that you can’t stop dog barking entirely.

But guess what? You CAN help us modify our barking behavior! (I know, I’m impressed with my vocabulary, too.) Keep reading this article to learn how to train a dog not to bark.

First of all, you need to understand why your dog is barking. True, some of us just enjoy barking, especially when we are bored. But usually we are barking at something we think is a threat, to us or to you.  I know if I see another human or animal come into MY territory, I’m definitely going to give them a warning to let them know they better watch out! Here are some tips.

How to train a dog not to bark.

  • Remove outside temptations and triggers.  If your dog seems to do a lot of this type of barking, do him or her a favor and close the blinds so they can’t see out the windows. I know, we all love sitting in front of the window and seeing who is walking by, but for some of us, it’s just too tempting.
  • Distract your dog to get him/her to stop. Sometimes, just making a loud (non-threatening) noise or throwing one of our favorite toys to grab our attention is just enough to get us to forget about whatever it was that made us start barking.
  • Do not keep your dog confined for too long.  I am sure you can imagine how terrible it feels to be kept cooped up for a lengthy time. Whether we’re stuck outside all day on our own, or inside without any contact from our humans, we need interaction! Sometimes we bark a lot to remind you that “hey! I’m still here!”
  • Give your dog plenty of exercise. This is a good one when learning how to train a dog not to bark. If we bark when we’re bored, or restless, the easiest way to stop this is to take us for a nice long walk, or a run around the park. Remember, a dog that’s tired from an hour or two at the park, won’t be sitting around barking!
  • Don’t yell at your dog for barking. Makes perfect sense, right? You’re going to yell at me for doing my own doggie version of yelling? You have only upset your dog, and done nothing to stop the barking.
  • Teach your dog to bark on command. This will lead right into how to train a dog not to bark. We LOVE to be taught new things! Find something that excites your dog and makes him/her start barking, maybe one of those awesome squeaky toys Bella and I love. Just before initiating the trigger (in our case, the “squeaker”), use a command that your dog will understand, such as “Speak.” When your dog barks, give him the reward. Keep doing this over and over, until your dog begins barking with the command, and not the trigger
  • How to train a dog not to bark. Once you have taught your dog to “Speak” on command, he or she is ready to learn a “Hush” command! This is the best one yet. When your dog starts barking, use “Hush” in a calm tone, and give a treat as soon as he stops barking. Your dog will start to figure it out pretty quickly. He/she will get a treat when you ask them to “Speak” as well as when you command them to “Hush”. I think I can speak for all dogs on this, we really like treats!

Toby’s Bottom Line: Teach your dog when it’s OK to bark (when YOU tell him to) and when you need him to “Hush.” Give him or her LOTS of well-deserved attention and don’t be stingy with the TREATS when your dog is doing what you expect him to do!  Us dogs definitely aim to PLEASE! I hope this article was a helpful tool to learn how to train a dog not to bark.