A dog that persistently barks is not only annoying, but a punishable offense in some states. Nuisance barking bothers you, your neighbors and is a possible sign of stress within your dog. Fortunately, there are ways to silence the barking, while keeping your pooch happy
Determine why your dog is barking. Boredom or loneliness can cause your pooch to bark incessantly while you are away. Consider enrolling your dog in daycare for adequate stimulation and company. If barking arises when you sit and watch TV, it is likely because your pooch wants your attention. Be aware of the times and occurrences that set off the barking and you can find the cause for the noise.
Ignore your dog when it barks. Yelling, punishing and scolding your dog only reinforces the behavior, as you are giving it attention. Dogs will do what they can to receive attention from their owners, even if it is negative. By not paying attention to the pooch, you are teaching it that when it barks, it receives nothing from you. Eventually, your dog will likely realize this trend and stop the barking.
Place a treat in front of the dog’s nose when it is barking. The dog will likely sniff the treat and will become silent, sometimes only for a second. During this time, say “quiet,” then give the dog the treat. By doing this, you are rewarding the dog for its silence and not the barking, while also teaching it a command. Extend the amount of time before you give the dog the treat each time you practice this training. Only reward the dog if its stays silent during the time. Stop giving the treat after a few sessions and attempt to silence the dog merely by giving the command.
Exercise your dog. Some dogs will use barking as a means to exert their pent-up energy. Walk or jog with your dog, take it to a dog park or enroll it in agility courses to give it exercise. Once the dog’s energy is spent, it may not feel the need to bark.
Place a citronella collar on the dog. Citronella collars hold a box that contains a citrus-smelling spray. When the dog barks, the box omits a squirt of citronella into its face. The spray doesn’t hurt the dog, but it is quite alarming. Your dog will soon learn that barking results in a spray to the face and will likely avoid this action. Depending on your dog, you might not have to use the collar to stop the barking after some time.