As much as we hope that our dogs can be perfect angels at all times, it just isn’t realistic. Sometimes, dogs bark. A lot. And even though it’s not the best situation to deal with, you can train it out of them and work your way to a life with no unnecessary barking.
Training Dogs to be Quiet by Ignoring Them
Many people find that their dogs bark at night, or when they leave the room or house, leaving the dog alone. That can be pretty natural; your dog obviously wants to be around you, play, and be the focus of your love and attention! When he barks in this way, he’s simply following his intuition to get your attention.
To cure this, it’s important not to react to him when he barks, since that will only reinforce the behavior. Responding tells him he was right to bark, and makes him more inclined to bark in the future. Wait till your dog quiets down for a little bit and then pet and praise them. Over time, he’ll understand barking isn’t a way to get attention, and will stop that habit.
Understand the Dog’s Motivation
If you respond to your dog’s incessant barking, you may have unknowingly confirmed the behavior and legitimized the reaction. In doing so, it’s going to be very difficult to train away the problem, but you must understand where it comes from. Dogs, especially newly adopted dogs, crave attention and want social interaction with their masters. When he barks, he’s simply trying to get your attention in some way.
It’s important not to get angry with him for barking, as that won’t inspire him to stop. Rather than that, anger can be damaging to his psyche and over time promote the opposite result as you try to train him. Barking does not mean that your dog has any type of aggression towards you and you must stay calm and not overreact to the barking.
Just like punishment and abuse aren’t healthy for babies and children, they don’t work for dogs. A well-mannered dog that is verbally abused from barking too much can suffer permanent damage and significant problems due to your reactions. As such, it’s important to take extra precautions to only be positive around your dog as you try to train away the barking and ignore his cries for attention.
Curing a dog’s barking habits takes a great deal of self-control and patience. But like any training method, it can be successful through consistent commitment and practice.
It’s a difficult thing to learn to ignore your dog when he barks, but understand that it is beneficial for both him and you in the bigger picture. In the long run, it will make him a more well-rounded and happy dog that can survive without you, and it will give you back a little sanity from not having to hear him bark all day. Sticks to your guns, always remain patient and positive, and before you know it, you’ll be bark-free with a happy, calm dog!