Barking is a dog's natural way of communicating. They bark for a variety of reasons, including to get attention, play, and issue a danger alert. It can be a little troublesome and even annoying when your dog barks at other puppies. If yours has this habit, it is necessary to train him and try different strategies to stop this bad behavior.
Part 1 of 3: Stopping Barking Through Relaxation
Step 1. Position yourself with your dog away from the other dog
If your pet desperately barks when it's on a leash or behind a fence, it's feeling "barrier frustration," meaning it's feeling very limited and restricted by what's keeping it from getting loose. To start relaxing the dog and alleviating this frustration, put him on a leash and get close enough to see the other dog, but far enough away that he doesn't react.
- Choose a place commonly frequented by dogs, such as a park or pet store.
- You may need to experiment a bit to determine how far you and your dog should stay. If going to a pet store, stay in the corner of the parking lot or away from the sidewalk. In the park, stay on the edge or in the corner.
Step 2. Give treats
When the pet notices the presence of the other dog and does not bark or react, reward him with a delicious treat. Instead of giving the whole treat, just give small pieces every time he sees and don't react to another dog. Not only is the continual act a constant reward, it also keeps you a little distracted while the other dog is passing by.
- Stop giving the treats after the other animal passes. Remember to reduce the size of your dog's meals to make up for those extra treats you'll give during training.
- As training progresses, replace treats with verbal praise and caresses.
- Watch him closely for any signs (growling, getting angry, staring) that he will start barking. The goal is to reward him before he starts to react or bark.
- With constant repetition, your pet will likely start looking to you for the treat when you don't bark or react.
Step 3. Add a verbal sign
In addition to rewarding him, try also giving a verbal signal to draw the dog's attention to you and not the other dog. Choose a short sentence ('look here') or a one-word sign ('focus', 'here') and repeat it every time he sees another dog. Say the word before giving the treat so that he learns to associate the sign with the reward.
It is very important that you and other family members say the phrase or sign consistently so your pet knows when not to bark
Step 4. Bring the dog closer
Challenge it by gradually getting closer to the other animal (for example, closer to the store or park entrance). If he starts to react and bark, step back and try to get closer again. Try to get a few meters closer each training session and continue giving treats as before, as long as he doesn't bark or react.
You may need to be a little more creative in deciding how to get closer. For example, if you are at the pet store, you may need to reposition yourself on the sidewalk or parking lot
Step 5. Practice every day
Daily practice is essential for training the dog to stop barking at others. To keep him interested, limit training sessions to five to ten minutes. The training should be positive and lively, with lots of positive reinforcement (treats, verbal praise and petting).
Part 2 of 3: Stopping Barking During Rides
Step 1. Walk the dog on a firm collar or strap
The walk should be an enjoyable experience, not a battle to keep him from barking or chasing other dogs. Wearing a good collar or strap will help you control your pet if it starts to get out of control. A looser strap is ideal so you don't hurt him in case you need to suddenly pull away or pull him back.
- The first instinct is to always hold the collar very short and firmly. However, this can make it more likely that the dog will pull it. Hold the collar firmly, but not too tightly.
- During the walk, if you have to move your dog, be careful not to pull the collar.
Step 2. Choose a different location to take the dog for a walk
There are many ways to get him to stop barking at other dogs during the walk – the simplest is to take him elsewhere to eliminate the motivation to bark. Find an open, not-too-crowded space where he will feel more relaxed while walking.
Step 3. Move away from the other dog
If it's not very practical to have to choose another place to take your pet, find different ways to prevent it from barking when another dog passes by. For example, when he sees another dog, turn around and start walking away. If you can, do this before your pet even sees you – don't expect him to react.
- Turn your body toward the dog and give it a little touch to make it turn with you.
- Teach him to turn with a sign. Give a verbal signal (‘turn’, ‘over there’) and use a treat to attract him. With enough repetition and rewards, he'll learn quickly.
- Say the pet's name to get his attention, then run or walk backwards and face him. This tactic will draw the dog's attention to you when trying to leave a space between him and the other dog.
Step 4. Distract him
If you manage to get his attention more than the other dog, he will either stop barking or not even be tempted initially. One way to distract him is to throw treats on the floor. While the other dog is passing by, yours is too busy picking up things from the floor to notice him.
Another option is to bring a noisy toy as a distraction
Step 5. Teach him to walk together
When another dog is approaching you, he may be very tempted to jump on you or bark. The walking together tactic will prevent this from happening. Give him a reward when he obeys you.
Understand that your dog may still be tempted to bark, even if you can control his body movements
Step 6. Add some challenges to the tours
Challenges can force him to pay more attention to you than to other dogs. For example, if you normally walk on a flat street, find a steeper one. Another option is to do something unpredictable on the ride: change speed or direction, walk around bushes or trees, or drive up and down the curb (if no cars are passing by).
Make challenges the dog likes
Part 3 of 3: Preventing barking at home
Step 1. Teach the ‘late’ and quiet’ orders
If your dog barks at other dogs in front of your house, you can deter this behavior by controlling when he barks. First, you need to teach him the 'late' order. Say 'bark' and do something that will make you bark, like knocking on the door. After the dog barks a few times, hold a treat in front of his nose and reward him when he stops barking to sniff it.
- When your pet learns to consistently bark when you say 'bark', say 'quiet' to make it stop. Hold another treat in front of his nose and offer him when he stops barking. With practice, your puppy will learn to stop barking at others too when you say 'quiet'.
- It is recommended to start teaching the 'quiet' in an area without too many distractions. Then you can practice ordering in a place where he is likely to see or hear other dogs.
- Don't yell 'quiet' as the pet will think you are barking too!
Step 2. Ask him to do another activity
The goal is to keep you busy doing something incompatible with barking. For example, when your dog starts barking, tell him to play dead or roll over. He won't be able to bark in any of these positions. Also, the effort to carry out these orders will prevent you from barking.
Step 3. Block dog access
If you have a yard with a fence, the sight or sound of another dog can trigger the barking. You can stop him by taking him into the house and blocking access to the other dog. If he's already indoors, close the blinds or blinds.
- If the dog can't see or hear the other, he won't have a reason to bark.
- Your pet may start fighting on the fence, running around and barking to drive away the other dog. This can be fun for your dog, but it won't be fun for you, the other dog, or his owner. Take him inside if he starts doing this.
Step 4. Give him something he can play with
As with walks, distractions can distract the pet and not let it bark at others. Toys in the form of food are great distractions as the dog can play with them for extended periods. Another option is to play hide-and-seek or toss the ball for him to fetch, keeping him distracted.
Step 5. Turn on a ‘white noise’ which is ambient sound
While it's not something your dog necessarily pays attention to, white noise would help muffle the sound of a dog's collar or barking outside. If you notice that your dog is glazed at the window and ready to bark (if he isn't already barking), turn on the sound (television, radio, etc.).
- The collars and noises of other dogs can stimulate barking.
- When your pet stops barking, give them a treat to reward them for their good behavior.
- The bark releases adrenaline, which gives the dog a good feeling. Barking at other dogs might be good for your own dog, but it's not appropriate.
- It can take days to weeks to get your pet to stop barking at others. The longer he is used to it, the longer it will take him to break the habit.
- Before taking the dog for a walk, try to tire him a little by throwing the ball for him to fetch. If tired, the dog will have less energy to bark at others.
- Stay calm when walking with your pet, as the dog will feel your tension and will also be tense.
- If you end up pulling the collar tightly when you see another dog, combine this action with a treat for your dog. This will teach you to make a positive association with behavior that could make you more likely to bark at other dogs.
- Contact a veterinarian or trainer if you are unable to stop your dog's barking.
- If the problem is not resolved early, barking and aggression towards other dogs will only get worse with time.
- Adrenaline causes the dog to quickly switch from excitement to aggression. Also, heightened arousal in some situations (in the park, at the animal nursery) can make you more reactive in other situations.
- Do not yell 'No!' when the dog is barking as the sound will sound like a bark to him.
- A pre-existing health problem may be causing your dog to bark inappropriately. Take him to the vet to check the problem.