How to Handle Excessive Barking with Gentle Methods
What’s the Problem?
Excessive barking is a common problem among dog owners. It can be caused by many factors, including boredom, anxiety, fear, or even pain. In most cases, excessive barking can be managed with proper training and understanding of the dog’s needs. The goal of such training is to teach the dog when it is appropriate to bark and when it should remain quiet. With patience and consistency, owners can help their dogs learn how to control their barking in order to prevent any disruptions or annoyances for both themselves and their neighbors.
Say “Thank You”
If you want to train your dog to bark less, it’s important to start with a low energy approach. I present to you two options. The first is the “Thank you” or “Make Nothing of it” method presented by Dan Abdelnoor (Doggy Dan).
This 3-step method is designed to help you achieve that. First, when your dog barks, simply say “thank you” in a calm voice. This will help your dog understand that barking is not the desired behavior. At the second set of barks, get up and take a look at what your dog is barking at. Once again, say “thank you” in a calm voice and then turn your back and walk away. If there is a 3rd set of barks then it’s time to isolate your dog for a few minutes. With patience and consistency, this 3-step method can help reduce excessive barking and make it easier for both of you to enjoy peaceful moments together.
Saying a simple “thank you” to your dog can go a long way in calming them down and showing them that you recognize their concern. This approach is often more effective than a high-energy response, as it helps to keep the situation low-key and prevents any further escalation.
Not only does saying “thank you” help to show your dog that their efforts are appreciated, but it also serves as an important reminder to stay calm in the face of challenging situations. By recognizing your dog’s concern and responding with gratitude, you can help them feel more secure and comfortable when they are feeling anxious or overwhelmed.
The second method comes from Stanley Coren’s “How to Speak Dog”. First, move to your dog’s side, in a kneeling position. Place your left hand under the collar, at the back of the dog’s neck and pull gently upward. Fold your right hand over the top of the dog’s muzzle and press down. In a quiet, business-like, unemotional tone, you simply say “quiet”. Repeat as necessary. Depending on the breed, it may take anywhere from two to a couple of dozen repetitions to associate the cue “quiet” with an end to barking.
It is clear that excessive barking can be a nuisance, but with patience and consistency, it can be managed. Doggy Dan’s online dog training course provides owners with the tools they need to teach their dogs how to bark less and stay calm. Meanwhile, Stanley Coren’s book provides an in-depth look at how dogs learn and how owners can use this knowledge to train their dogs effectively. With the right guidance, patience and consistency, any dog owner can help their pet become a calmer and more obedient companion.