How to Stop Dog Barking – An Overview

Author: Neil Smith   Date Posted:7 December 2011 

How to stop a barking dog

How to Stop a Barking Dog!

Statistics indicate that dog barking is the most frustrating dog behavioural issue confronting dog owners. Yelling at the dog, hiring expensive trainers, physical punishment, distractions and bark collars are all methods that have been tried by dog owners, some with mixed results.


Find the reason why your dog is barking

The first step to stop dog barking, is to understand why your dog is barking in the first place. I usually categorise nuisance dog barking into these main types:

  1.  Stress/Separation Anxiety.  The dog is distressed because of circumstances. The most common is Separation Anxiety. In this instance, most owners do not even know they have a need to stop dog barking as they have never heard it. 

  2. Territorial/Defensive Barking.  Barking at the postman or other dogs walking past your house. Most dog owners will experience this type of dog barking and often encourage it to keep intruders from the house.

  3. Demanding Behaviour.  Barking to demand attention, be let in the house or to be fed are common examples. Usually indicative of a dog that thinks it runs the household.

  4. Over Excitability. Barking in the car on the way to the dog park. Barking because you have arrived home etc.

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The first two categories are definitely the most common types of dog barking. The first, separation anxiety occurs when you are not around. The second category may occur when you are home but will also occur when you are not. In most cases the territorial barking probably increases as you are not there to stop it and the dog may become more defensive when you are not there. To stop dog barking when you are not there is a far more difficult proposition.

So if it is agreed that the most common motivations for dog barking occur when you are not there, what methods will stop dog barking more effectively than others? Chastising and physical punishment are obviously impossible when you are not there.

A bark collar used correctly will stop barking dogs - no more neighbour complaints or council fines

The options

Dog trainers often make promises to fix a dog barking problem that in all honesty, they should not make. In all my years as a Police Dog Trainer and private dog trainer, fixing dog behaviour issues that occur when the owner is not around are the most difficult. How to stop dog barking in this instance is the toughest of all. Sure, increased exercise, changing routines and leadership structures can all help. 

"However before spending hundreds of dollars on private training ask the prospective trainer if they will guarantee fixing your dog barking problem, particularly if you are not there."

So what is the best method to stop dog barking?; Without a doubt it is a bark collar. The reason being it works on a level that is the basis of all dog training: consistency and timing.  The moment the dog barks the collar goes off…every time! No human intervention can match the preciseness of a bark collar. The dog quickly learns that barking results in the correction, so as a result stops barking when the collar is being worn. Over time it is hoped the dog as a result of wearing the bark collar will learn a new pattern of behaviour that does not involve barking. The owner can then test the dog by removing the bark collar.

The last piece of the puzzle to stop dog barking is to find the right type of bark collar for your dog breed.