How to Calm a Barking Dog

April 24, 2019
Before you try to calm a barking dog, you have to find out why he's barking. We'll help you to find the reason and calm him down. 

No one likes it when their dog barks and barks incessantly…and neither do their neighbors. Having a dog that barks when there’s no reason to do so can be a nuisance and get us into trouble. Because of that, we need to know how to calm a barking dog and make sure that he doesn’t bark when there’s no good reason to do so.

Before you try to calm a barking dog, you have to find out why he’s barking. In this article, we’ll help you to find the reason and calm him down.

How to calm a barking dog

One of the reasons why a dog barks is because he wants something. He can’t get your attention any other way, so he barks. How can you stop this behavior?

Don’t give in

A puppy with its owner.

Just like you wouldn’t give in to a child who throws a tantrum, you shouldn’t give in to a dog’s every wish. If you stop giving your dog what he wants, he’ll stop barking to get your attention.

This will take a few days, because if you’ve already been giving in to him for a while, then it won’t be easy to make him understand that you’re no longer going to do so.

On the other hand, you have to learn to differentiate between real barking because he needs to “do his business”, and barking that’s just to get attention. Of course, under no circumstances should you give in to what your dog wants, no matter how many times he barks.

Ignore the barking

Remember, dogs communicate by barking. But that’s no excuse for them to do it whenever they feel like it. Ignoring a barking dog is the best way to stop him from barking. 

Even if you scold him, the animal will think you’re paying attention to him, and he’ll bark even louder. Don’t scold him, and don’t shout at him or try to pet him to calm him down. It’s best to act as if he isn’t there. They say there’s no better defense than a good attack.

Reward him for good behavior

Positive reinforcement is always the best way to train a dog, so give your dog a reward when he stops barking and stays quiet. This will help him associate silence with something positive. You can give him a treat or whatever you think is best.

Replace bad behavior with good behavior

The best way to stop bad behavior is to teach him a replacement behavior. That means your dog will have an alternative way to cope when he wants to bark more than usual.

So, instead of giving in to your dog when he barks, ask him to bring his favorite toy and play with it. After a few seconds, he’ll forget why he was barking.

You can also prevent situations in which your dog might bark. For example, if he barks when a toy rolls under the couch, put something in front of it to prevent that from happening.

Calming separation anxiety

A happy dog in a field.

If you don’t hear your dog barking, but your neighbors complain about it, it’s possible that your dog is barking because of separation anxiety. To keep him from doing that, you have to help your pet conquer it. But how can you do that?

The best way to do it is to associate something that he finds horrible, like staying home alone, with something he enjoys, like a treat. Before you go, hide some treats. That way, he’ll learn that every time you leave, he’ll get some of his favorite things. The downside is that he may want you to leave more often!

Be patient

This is the key to uprooting any bad behavior that you don’t want your dog to do. Don’t shout at him, and don’t scold him. Speak to him in a loving, affectionate way, and be patient. That way, you’ll achieve your goals and strengthen the bond with your pet.