Stop Dogs From Barking
Sometimes The Easiest Solutions Work Best
You want to stop dogs from barking, but you don't know what to do. Sometimes solving a barking problem is as simple as diverting your dog's attention from whatever she was barking at in the first place.
The solution to your puppy barking problem may be in one of the following "out of sight, out of mind" techniques.
Talk to Your Dog
We've got a little terrier that loves to bark it up at the squirrels. The problem is, at 6am folks in the neighborhood aren't really happy about the "Buddy" alarm clock going off before their own shrieking nuisance forces them to get ready for work.
When Buddy starts barking we sharply call his name. That's enough to divert his attention away from the tempting squirrel in the tree above him. Once we've diverted his attention, we'll sternly say, "No!"
The reaction we get is cute. He'll start looking around on the ground as if to say, "I wasn't barking, I was looking at this thing on the ground over here."
Your voice isn't the only thing that can be used to divert a dog's attention away from the object of her barking. In fact, sometimes you need to revert to another tactic because your shouted command might be perceived as you joining in the barking session.
In instances like that, it's best to use another noise maker.
Rattling cans are a time tested standby when it comes to diverting attention, thus stop dogs from barking. Put a few pennies in a tin can (soda cans work well too) and snap the lid back on, or rubber band a piece of plastic wrap over the top. When your dog starts barking, give the can a shake. Your dog's intense sense of hearing almost forces her to turn toward the new sound and away from whatever she was barking at in the first place.
If you've got hardwood floors, you could drop the can and give the added effect of the can hitting the floor with a bang. The dog turns to the new sound and gets the object of her barking out of sight.
Clickers do a good job and work on the same principle. Simply clicking the clicker will distract your dog sufficiently. However, some training is needed using a clicker.
In order for the clicker trick to work properly, you'll need to do a bit of training ahead of time. The clicker has to mean something to your dog or it won't capture her attention. So, click your clicker and give the dog a treat. Repeat this as long as you need to for your dog to make the connection between the clicker and the treat.
You won't need to always give your dog a treat when you click the clicker. This first training session just establishes the connection between the sound and the treat. After the first training session you can just give a treat once in a while.
With the clicker you'll be able to just click and draw your dog's attention away from whatever is causing her to bark.
Using a squirt gun or a spray bottle filled with water can be very effective when teaching your dog not to bark. When your dog barks, squirt her nose. Since most dogs don't like this much, it can be very effective to stop dogs from barking.
Make sure, when you're using this technique, that you don't squirt her directly in the eyes, just a small squirt on the nose will do. Make sure you accompany the squirt with a firm and loud "No!", this will help you pup to associate the squirt and your command with her unwanted behavior. Once the association occurs, simply pointing (and not squirting) the squirt bottle, and firmly saying "No!" should do the trick.
Since it's important to stop your dog's barking while it's in the act of doing so, place cans, squirters and clickers all over your house, that way when the barking starts, you'll be ready to spring into action.
If your dog barks too much, make a little noise or squirt her on the nose. It's great for distracting her and a great way to stop dogs from barking.
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