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How to Stop a Dog From Barking: Dog Training for Behavior Problems

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Mazlan has had chickens, ducks, fish, guinea pigs, and rabbits as pets but now is happy to be surrounded by just four cats.

This article will help you figure out how to get a dog to stop excessively barking.

This article will help you figure out how to get a dog to stop excessively barking.

How Do You Stop Your Neighbor's Dogs From Barking?

My neighbor’s dogs will bark at anyone that comes to the front gate, whether it's family members, friends, strangers or intruders. The dogs will bark nonstop, and it's irritating when you want a quiet moment.

It is coming from not one but five dogs. We have learned to accept this predicament as our neighbor is an 80-year-old woman who lives alone, and has no visitors except for the house cleaner and the occasional family member.

The dogs are her friends and also act as guard dogs for security. The barks give her comfort, and this psychological reassurance is especially important to the elderly. So when we get older, we may have to resort to some form of psychological reassurance such as this.

But don't let a dog bark unnecessarily—you must control and train them. Training a dog may not be easy, so seeking help from professional dog trainers will help.

There are some easy dog training methods for behavior problems. Here are my suggestions.

My neighbor's dogs bark at anyone and everyone.

My neighbor's dogs bark at anyone and everyone.

Why Dogs Bark

First, let us understand why a dog barks.

It can be due to excitement, being happy or sad, anxiety or a feeling of danger. This lets you know how your dog is feeling, so the aim is not to stop the dog from barking, but to control excessive barking.

The following tips do not include any physical punishment like smacking the dog’s nose—no matter how gentle—spraying the dog with any form of chemicals or water, shouting or yelling, as some people recommend. I do not believe in physical pain, no matter how humane, when it comes to training your pet.

How to Stop a Dog From Barking

  • Do not reward a barking dog. If the dog barks excessively, do not give him a cuddle or let him in (if he was outside). This gives the wrong signal to the dog that it is OK to bark.
  • Do not yell at the dog, as it sends the wrong signal that barking and yelling are OK.
  • When dogs are bored or feel neglected, they bark unnecessarily. Keep them occupied and when possible don’t leave them alone for too long a period. Also, don’t leave them alone outside all day and night. Give your dog plenty of exercises, both physically & mentally, as this is the best way to keep them occupied. They will be too tired to bark from boredom or frustration. It also creates bonding, which is important for your dog.
  • If you have to leave your dog alone, keep him/her occupied. Give hollow toys that you can fill up with food, which serve as a reward. KONG is great for this. It is a non-toxic toy with a hollow center and you can stuff it with his favorite food. It is dishwasher safe and is easy to clean.
  • Do your dogs bark when the doorbell or phone rings? To train your dog not to bark when this happens, ask someone to ring the door or your phone on a regular basis for a few days. When it rings, sit quietly and don’t do anything. Continue this process for a few days and your dog will get the message. It takes a lot of patience and determination to do this, so don't give up easily.
  • If the dog barks when you return home, ignore him for a while. This may not be easy. You do not want to give him the wrong signal that you acknowledged his barking. Once things are quieter and settled, you can go ahead and cuddle him.
My neighbor's dog trying to figure out the dog training tips for behavior problems.

My neighbor's dog trying to figure out the dog training tips for behavior problems.

More Dog Training Tips for Behavior Problems

  • Does the dog bark when someone is at the gate? The simplest way is to prevent the dog from seeing that area, but a dog has an acute sense of hearing and smell so he will know someone is at the gate despite the ‘blocked vision’ strategy. One of the better ways is to associate that person at the gate with a form of a treat. So, when that person comes, he brings your dog’s favorite food or toy.
  • Does your dog bark for attention or when he wants something? Ignore his barking and he will soon get frustrated and will stop. You can tell him to ‘quiet’ in a soft tone and reward him if he responds.
  • There are times when we ignore the dog when he is quiet. We should reward him for this behavior. Shower your love and affection when this happens by playing with him, cuddling him and being by his side. Your presence is a form of reward that is easiest to give. The bond between you, the master, and the dog is an important aspect of training your dog for good behavior.

How to Stop a Barking Dog

When you are doing dog training for behavior problems:

  • The rest of the family members must do similar actions
  • Be consistent with the training

If you are not consistent, the dog will be confused with your training method. This is important otherwise it will take a longer time to train, or may not work.

Remember that different dog breeds will react differently to each of the above methods.

Don't you mess around with me! Will someone please stop that barking dog?

Don't you mess around with me! Will someone please stop that barking dog?

Use a Professional Dog Trainer or Buy Online Dog Training Courses

  • Training dogs with behavior problems is time-consuming and can be frustrating.
  • If you want a fast and easy way to fix your dog’s behavior problems, get help from a professional dog trainer. Search online for dog training centers near you.
  • A cheaper option is to follow the online dog training courses.

Some sites have everything you want from dog barking, adopting a puppy, dog obedience training, dog tricks and eBooks. Some sites have a discussion forum on several issues relating to dog training and access to several resources.

Before You Choose a Dog Training Course

  • Make sure it has been well tested. Do a bit of research on feedback from users, through forums and blogs. Avoid training program that inflicts pain as part of the conditioning method.
  • The most effective method is to have the dog trained by the owner and not by a professional trainer. The owner, guided by the professional trainer, will use and enforce the methods. This is important as the consistent command, style and enforcement will expedite the learning curves.

Basically, a dog, or any animal for that matter, learns through connection/association, repetition, and consistency. Consistency can only come from the owner via your body language and voice tone.

At the end of the day, you want your dog to be happy and affectionate.

Are Electronic Dog Collars OK?

  • This is very subjective since an electric dog collar sends a shock to the dog wearing it.
  • A dog collar that emits a spray of citronella mist is equally bad.
  • This is a form of punishment and this type of device is cruel. It can give rise to other problems.
  • Similarly, a muzzle to quiet noisy dogs is just as bad. It restricts their natural instinct of breathing, yawning and of course, eating and drinking. Dogs pant in order to cool down, and with the muzzle, it will restrict this movement. If you love your dog, you should not do this at all.
  • Dogs are smart and know how to overcome these restrictions. Your best bet is to try the above training methods, get professional trainers or seek other appropriate training resources.

Now that you have read tips and advice on how to stop a dog from barking and dog training for behavior problems, we can all sleep peacefully!

Additional Resources

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Your comment please

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on January 23, 2018:

Emma, good question.

The dog is trying to tell you something and the only way is to bark.

There must be something that's bugging her and to find the root of this problem can be difficult. You have to start to eliminate one issue at a time and see the response.

Emma on January 23, 2018:

My dog refuses to stop barking when we tell her no. I've tried speaking to her in a soft voice but she just keeps barking. How can I get her to stop?

Armi from Kuopio, Savo, Finland on February 02, 2016:

I have had a dog for tens of years. Never had the problem of barking dog, I feel sorry for people who have to experience that!!

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on September 09, 2012:

@Derdriu, thanks for your input and sharing your thoughts. We are still enduring the daily barking from our neighbour’s dogs and as mentioned in my article, we got used to it. My neighbour is well past 80 year old and she find it comforting to have the dog around and we understand her situation. Sometime we have to sacrifice something to ensure good neighbourhood spirit.

Derdriu on September 06, 2012:

GreatStuff, It's an interesting situation since barking can be so intrusive and unsettling. On the other hand, police officers who give neighborhood safety talks often consider it a mistake to discourage dogs from barking.

I like your discouragement of shouting at pets. There's a difference between speaking firmly and shouting, and cats and dogs notice it.

Respectfully, and with many thanks for sharing, Derdriu

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on June 25, 2012:

@DrMark1961 Thanks for the visit and taking time to read and comment. Have a beautiful day

Mark dos Anjos DVM from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on June 22, 2012:

I had not read those statistics before about dogs and battered women. Thanks for including them. Good article.

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on June 07, 2012:

@Thelma Alberts, thanks. I am glad you find the article, informative and useful.

Thelma Alberts from Germany on June 06, 2012:

Thanks for sharing this very informative hub. Voted up and useful.

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on May 16, 2012:

Hi John, if you have only 3 months, it is best that you get a professional to help train your dog. It will cost you a bit, but it is worth it. Keep us posted on the progress, will you. Thanks for the visit.

John on May 15, 2012:

I am moving to a flat in 3months with my male Bichon who barks furiously if anyone comes to door or close to door. The management company will only accept him if well behaved and quiet. What can I do about this not to give him up? John, Cheshire, UK

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on February 11, 2012:

Hi shadowhound90. Thank you for your kind comments, really appreciate it.

shadowhound90 from England on February 11, 2012:

Hey I loved this post because I am a big animal lover but you have pointed out that a fair few dogs can be an annoyce :) I am gonna follow your treads as they are interesting :) good up the amazing work :)

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on October 27, 2011:


Thanks for dropping by and your comment.

PADDYBOY60 from Centreville Michigan on October 26, 2011:

Very interesting hub. Nice work. I have had many dogs in my lifetime. They can be pretty cool companions, but there is nothing worse than a dog that barks at every little thing. Thanks for the info.

Louise from Calgary, AB, Canada on October 16, 2011:

Hi greatstuff - and Welcome to HubPages!

Thank you for writing this excellent hub. I really appreciate that you have explained WHY a dog barks, as well as training tips to help stop the barking. Valuable info for all dog owners!


Voted up / interesting

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on October 11, 2011:

Hi thanks for your comment. You are right we human being are always the cause of all the problems. Look at the world now..

Angie Jardine from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ... on October 11, 2011:

Well done, greatstuff! Valuable and interesting hub ... welcome to HubPages and its community. Looking forward on your next hub 'How to stop your partner barking' ... :)

Voted up etc. (Don't worry, you'll soon get the hang of it all).

lizzie625 on October 11, 2011:

I don't think most of us being around with dogs. It is usually people who causes all the problems, and frankly, I am willing to share my lunch with a dog and the same goes out to any children and adults. :) Though, in my families, we like to wash them so that when they decide to go on morning begging treats time, their nose is at least clean. All dogs would play when they are together, it is inevitable mischiefs occurs. Most of us have learned to just clean up now.