5 Tips for Managing Excessive Barking

Dogs bark, and this is something you must accept. It's simply the way they communicate. However, sometimes this can become a compulsive habit and it will be necessary to take actions to manage your dog's excessive barking.
5 Tips for Managing Excessive Barking

Last update: 24 June, 2021

There are some situations when it’s quite normal for a dog to bark, for example when someone knocks on the door or when it detects a stranger. But if it does it all the time, and keeps barking long after seeing the stranger, or after you’ve paid it the attention it was seeking, then certain measures must be taken. Here are 5 tips for you to learn how to handle excessive barking.

Consistency is the key

An aggressive dog.

One of the main reasons that those who try to train their dogs fail is because they were looking for immediate results. Unfortunately, correcting a habit that the dog has acquired will require a lot of patience, as well as perseverance in its re-education.

To correct excessive barking, you must first detect what’s causing it, for example, a specific noise or them always watching the door. You’ll notice this because, prior to barking, dogs become tense and are very alert. So, what you need to do is to try to change their mental state, until they relax. You can do this with a simple look, by your voice, or by touching the dog on its side.

What usually happens is that the dog will calm down for a few minutes and then it’ll bark again, and so you must be persistent and correct it as many times as necessary. At first, it may not work very well, but, little by little they’ll learn that they’re being told off for this behavior.

Keep calm

Dogs are very good at detecting your mood and connecting with it. The constant barking just exasperated you and if the dog detects this, then it’ll only make the situation worse. When you correct it, try to be as calm as possible, because, through barking, dogs release frustration. If you approach it with the wrong energy, you’ll only cause the behavior to be perpetuated.

Get back your alpha position

Man barking at dog.

Excessive barking can also be the product of the dog’s dominant attitude, which is why it feels that it has to scare away any person, animal, or object that approaches its territory. Therefore, you must claim these spaces as yours, and, in that way, your dog will no longer feel the need to defend them so ferociously.

What you should do as soon as a barking episode develops, is to place yourself between whatever person or object is causing the dog to bark. Walk towards them (or it) and, in this way, you’ll begin to create an invisible border that the dog will begin to respect.

Once again, you need consistency in order to get this to work. Remember to stay calm, because, in this way, you’ll teach your dog that this is the mental state they should have.

They may bark out of boredom

Many behavioral problems in dogs come from boredom and accumulated stress. So, you should question whether you’re doing your best to keep your dog entertained.

A good way to eliminate excessive barking is to take your dog out for long walks, exercise, and play. In this way, your dog will get rid of much of the frustration and boredom caused by being indoors for a long time. This is very important, especially if the dog also spends a lot of time alone.

Another way to release their frustration is to teach them to do new things, for example, learning a trick or giving them something to challenge their intelligence. In this way, you’ll help them to channel their energy and have better ways to relieve stress.

Get advice from an expert

One of the most common queries for animal behavior specialists or professional trainers relates to excessive barking, and so if you’ve already applied some strategies without much success, it wouldn’t hurt to hire the services of one of these professionals. Your life will be much more peaceful as a result, and so will your neighbors’.

The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.