All dogs bark, it’s their way to communicate a message. Dog barks for various reasons: to greet, to alert, out of boredom, to attract attention or when they are excited.
Although some barking from is acceptable, too much barking is certainly annoying, especially for your neighbors and eventually leading to complains. The easiest way to stop a problematic barker is to control his barking while you are at home:
1. Set up a situation where your dog will always bark. For example, you can ask someone to ring your doorbell or knock on your door.
2. When your dog charges to the door and start to bark loudly, approach your dog, grab his collar and give the command “quiet” – no shouting please, it doesn’t help.
3. If he stops barking, praise and reward. He’s a genius and deserves it.
4. When he continues barking, close his mouth with your hand, wrap your fingers around his muzzle – use both hands if needed, and give the command for him to keep quiet. Praise if he stops.
Most dogs would be able to learn the “quiet” command with repeated training like this. Set up similar situations to “lure” your dog to bark and repeat training whenever possible.
If you happen to own a hard-core persistent barker, use this method:
1. Vinegar-Water solution – mix a proportion of 7/8 water & 1/8 vinegar together. Pour the mixture into a water pistol or what kids call “super soaker” for longer distance shooting.
2. Aim and shoot at his chest whenever he can’t stop barking even on your command. Dogs hate the smell of vinegar and would usually back off and stop barking. He’ll even sneeze a few times. It’s harmless so you need not worry.
3. As always, praise him when he stops barking.
For your information, your dog might still be barking noisily and disrupting your neighborhood when you are not at home. In this case, you’ll need a training equipment known as “bark collars” to help train him.
There are several types of bark collars on the market. Some of these collars send an electric shock to your dog when he barks, some make a high pitch sound or emits a squirt of citronella which is annoying but safe for your dog. Usually, these collars can help you solve a problematic barker.
Personally, I’ll recommend the high pitch sound or citronella collars. They are very effective and more humane dog training tools.