If your puppy likes to bark a lot (and for no reason), follow these tips to limit or eliminate your pup’s barking.
1. Find out why your puppy is barking. Barking is one of the many ways puppies and dogs talk to each other and you. While there is no standard “canine language,” different barks can mean different things. It mostly serves as a way for your puppy to gain your attention about something. So before you try to train your puppy to stop barking, find out why they’re barking.
2. Use training methods that you can stick with. When you’ve found the cause of your puppy’s barking, you should start training. Set up consistent training rules that you and your puppy can follow on a daily basis. Make sure you react the same way whenever your puppy barks. If you don’t, you may end up confusing them. Let other members of your family know about these rules so your puppy understands their barking isn’t necessary.
3. Remove Yourself From the Situation. Puppies usually bark when they see their owners come home from their errands. They can’t help it—they just love seeing you home! But while it’s tempting to greet your puppy with the same enthusiasm, it’s not really a good idea. Thanking your puppy the same way only praises their barking behavior, which makes it likely they will repeat it. If your puppy barks, firmly say “hush” and praise your puppy with a treat once they stop. This teaches your puppy that barking is not appropriate behavior.
4. Associate Door Sounds with Positive Reinforcement. Your puppy’s barking might be caused by door sounds, such as knocks or doorbell rings. This is usually because they believe there’s a threat near their home. You can help destress your puppy by having a friend or relative pretend to arrive at the door with some treats. Continually repeating these sessions allows your furry cutie to associate knocks and ringing doorbells with positive experiences.
5. Relieve Your Puppy’s Boredom. Puppies are like people in many ways. If there’s no outside entertainment, they will get bored and lonely, and will find entertainment. Your furniture, trash, and your eardrums may become primary targets for your pup’s boredom. Provide your puppy with a fun puzzle toy or chew toy that keeps them entertained. You may also try helping them release their energy at a dog park or exercising with them.
Every puppy has their own quirks and personalities so training may take some time. Eventually, your puppy will understand that barking will not get them the things they want. Remember to give your puppy some treats and kisses at the end of every training session!