This is part 2 of 2. Read Part 1: Understanding Your Dog’s Barking here.
How to Stop your Dog’s Barking
Basic control of your dog is the starting point in addressing excessive barking, you need to give off a strong alpha leader idea about yourself to your dog. Then you can start basic training of your dog with simple instructions like: lie down, stay and come.
These coupled with the notion of a strong alpha leader will allow your dog to be more focused on your commands and will, over time, realize he doesn’t need to worry much about protection of himself or the family since that task rests with the alpha leader.
Attention seeking and boredom are some of the most common reasons for barking. Dogs bark whenever they seek someone’s attention or when they are bored and looking to spend some time having fun.
Regarding what not to do; do not use negative reinforcement like beating or yelling when it comes to barking. Most times a simple strong “No” or “Stop” command will do the job of ordering your dog to be quiet. Beating or yelling at your dog will most times make things worse because the dog won’t understand and might bark louder and longer in frustration or by thinking you are also “barking” along with him.
Instead of negative reinforcement or punishing bad behavior, you should instead reward good behaviors. For example, imagine your dog is barking at the moment, you give him a “stop” command and then your dog stops barking right after. Since he followed your command, reward him with a treat. Over time, this will make him associate the command with the stopping of barking.
Something else to keep in mind is not giving in when your dog is barking. Let’s say your dog is barking for attention. If you go to him and give him the attention he wants, you will be reinforcing the barking behavior whenever he wants your attention. Surely you don’t want your dog to learn that if he barks he gets your attention. Instead wait for him to stop barking and then after a while you can give him the attention he wanted.
If you follow this right, it won’t be that hard to stop your dog’s barking. Remember to be consistent with your voice commands and take your position as the alpha leader in your home. Once you do, your dog will follow your lead, that’s how dogs behave.
I hope that what you learned on this article on how to stop your dog’s barking is useful in thwarting and hopefully stop your dog’s barking behaviors. If you liked this article maybe you would like to visit my blog Golden Retrievers Training where you can read more useful articles and hints about Golden Retrievers and Dogs.