stop dog barking

29 tips and tricks to stop dog barking (starting right now)

Dog barking is natural.

Barking is an important means of communication for our dogs.

It could signal it is time to go on the offensive, get our attention, are stressed, bored or even lonely.

Usually, dogs bark because they are not happy about something. And they are looking for help.

But dog barking is annoying to our neighbors and even the person delivering the mail.

I tracked down 29 sources and ask for their best tips to stop dog barking:

How to train a puppy to not bark at strangers

There are two fast and easy ways to stop the barking when your dog sees strangers.

You can train the pup to bark on cue – then do not give the cue.

Or, train your pup to sit (expectantly) when visitors arrive.

Both of these techniques are well fitted with clicker training (see below).

Stop barking with clicker training

Buy a dog-training clicker.

This is the best under-$5 clicker ever.

Then “charge the clicker”… when your dog hears a “click”, recognize her with an immediate reward (like a treat).

The dog associates the “click” with good things.

Do this a few times and your dog is going to catch on quick.

Soon, the command and click merge as one command – like “sit” or “roll over.”

Turn off the TV and put and end to barking

Mikkel Becker of says most dogs have no interest in television.

But the images and sounds on the TV can cause a reaction – even a bark.

Do your dog (and yourself) a big favor – turn off the TV.

Stop dog barking by controlling boredom

When your dog is constantly misbehaving, the culprit is often boredom.

Boredom can be managed with a variety of materials that can be used as a tool to distract your dog.

There are several negative behaviors that can arise from a bored pup.

For example, some dogs bark continuously…

Some dogs chew on furniture or baseboards…

And some dogs may engage in digging activities.

A good solution is to give your dog a toy that takes a lot of effort to play with.

For example, a Buster Cube works really well in your dog’s shelter. It stimulates your dog during play and feed time.

Another good solution (especially for dogs that chew furniture) is to make available pig’s ears to chew on. It is important to put them away when they behave normal.

Source: The Dog Training System

How to stop a dog from barking who suffers separation anxiety

According to Ayesha Jones of, barking gives a lonely dog something to do.

You might try these tips to deal with boredom or loneliness:

– Take out your dog for a long walk of at least 45 minutes to an hour. This is going to tire your dog out, which helps reduce barking…

– Make a visit during the day. If this is impossible for you, consider hiring a dog sitter or doggie day care. Or get a trusted neighbor to drop by…

– Keep your dog busy. Tempt him with a delicious array of chews and toys. And switch ’em up to prevent boredom…

– Make your dog’s environment comfortable and relaxing. You might put on some quiet and soothing music before leaving for the day. And make a “safe place” where he can retreat from the world (like a kennel or crate) that is comfortable and dry.

– As soon as you get home, invest lots of time with your dog. Your dog is most content as your companion.

Stop dog barking with vinegar and water

Fill a spray bottle with 1 part vinegar to 1 part water (for example, 1/4 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup water).

When the dog starts barking, simply spray the vinegar water in the direction of the dog … not in it’s face.

The smell causes the dog to breathe in more deeply. And it only takes a couple of times to train the dog to stop barking.


Reward your dog when she is not barking

Randomly reward your dog when they are not vocalizing in any way.

This “catching my dog in the act of being good” requires attentiveness on your part.

Pass near your dog, toss a treat and say “Good Quiet.”

The dog learns that it will be rewarded for quiet behavior (and be unpleasantly startled for noisy behavior).

These discipline techniques are not meant to be used frequently, or as the only technique to quiet a barking or anxious dog…

Instead, they are helpful in combination with other recommended steps.

Source: Stephanie Abel of

Stop dog barking because of territorial disputes

Most times, dogs bark to claim its territory.

This includes everything from the mailman dropping off a package to a neighbor walking by.

A dog’s territory is often different than ours. And there is no real way to fix this…

The best way to deal with territorial issues is to cut off his line of sight:

You might close curtains that look out onto the front yard or close the front door to block the view of the mailbox.

Source: Rick Levine of

Training a puppy not to bark at night

When your puppy is full of energy in the evening, she is more likely to bark.

Drain her energy by playing with her and watch the barking come to an end.

Energy-draining ideas include:

– Have her go swimming…

– Exercise with a flirt pole, fetch the ball – even biking with her…

– Play games like find a treat, agility training, or simple obedience games.

Source: The Daily Puppy

How to train a puppy not to bark when you leave

Reward your dog with the “run of the house” when it is earned…

Keep your curtain and shades drawn. A darker environment calms most dogs. Plus, there is no visual stimulation to provoke your bored or territorial dog.

Fill silence with ambient noise from your computer speakers. This gives the aural appearance of your presence while you are away.

Just as you are about to leave, offer your dog the “only-when-I’m-gone” chew toy with your scent.

This toy should be amazing – a sterilized beef bone stuffed with canned dog food or cheese spread (served frozen or chilled)…

Also, include a flavorful beef-basted knotted rawhide bone.

Offer these two treats to your dog upon leaving. Rub it between your palms several times before you go. Not only does this distract your dog, it helps with the pain of you leaving home.

Source: Jacque Lynn Schultz, C.P.D.T. of

Introduce a corrective tap to stop dog barking

When your dog barks, approach him and shout “no”….

Then, either spritz him lightly in the face with a watery mist from a clean spray bottle…

Or give him a token, two-fingered smack on the nose.

The goal is not to inflict pain or injury. It is merely to send a signal that a bark leads to an unpleasant consequence.

Source: Craig Mixon, Ed. D.

Stop your dog from barking without rewarding for bad behavior

According to Doggy Dan of, you must not reward bad behavior.

For example, if your dog is barking outside, do not let them come in.

I know it is tempting and do not want to upset the neighbors…

But rewarding them will get them to do it again and again.

Think of it as short-term pain for long-term gain.

So simply wait and ignore your dog until they’re calm and then open the door. They’ll get the message pretty quickly.

Stop your dog from barking when the doorbell rings

Step #1: provide your dog with a mat or bed. Place it as far away from your front door as possible.

Step #2: during quiet times, teach your dog to lay down on his mat. Use the new command word “mat!”(and give out lots of tasty treats as a reward). Repeat this often until you are able to use the command word from another room.

Step #3: Have a friend ring your doorbell. Send your dog to the mat and reward him when he lies in the correct place. Repeat this until he gets the hang of it – when he lays down without being told after the doorbell rings.

Source: Dogs Trust

Remove “wants” to stop your dog from barking

Karen Pryor of says not all dog barking is symptomatic of an underlying problem.

Sometimes dogs bark to communicate, “There is someone outside”, “I want to come in” or “I am hungry”.

As dog owners, it us up to us to teach our dogs the best way to communicate.

I find one of the most effective responses is to remove his “wants.”

For example, if your dog barks when a car pulls into the driveway, check to see what he is barking at…

Thank him for bringing it to your attention…

Reassure him you have it under control…

Then decide how you want him to react in the future. Perhaps he may come back to alert you. But once he is done, you want him to be quiet. If this is the case, interrupt any further barking and cue another, reinforceable behavior.

Keep a puppy from barking with positive/negative reinforcement

This technique takes time and patience, but it can be an effective way to stop your dog from barking.

Praise your dog when he does something good. On the flip side, discourage bad behavior…

For example, leave the house as you normally would, but just hide somewhere nearby. When your dog starts to bark, spray him with water or throw a tin can full of coins or rocks in his direction (this is the negative association).

Try to keep out of your dog’s sight while doing this if possible. Go and hide again, if he is quiet for a while, go in and reward his good behavior with some praise and maybe a treat.

This process may need to be repeated over and over until you have broken the excessive barking habit.

Do not cuddle your dog to stop it from barking

Praising your dog reinforces her behavior. And this makes it likely she is going to bark the next time.

Do not talk soothingly to her…

And do not hug your dog…

Cuddling your dog reinforces her behavior. And she will probably bark even more the next time.

Source: Doctors Foster and Smith

Train your dog to stop barking inside a crate

Crate training can be a positive experience, but it takes time and patience.

Obviously, you are going to need a crate big enough to fit your dog, treats, and other rewards such as chewing items and toys.

You must first teach your dog to go into his crate…

Toss food in it as his reward.

Let him go into the crate to check it out. Keep feeding him treats, giving him toys, and feeding his meals in the crate until he becomes comfortable in it.

Once he is comfortable with the crate, consider shutting the door. Let him chew his treat or eat.

When he finishes, let him out.

Only then can you consider shutting the door and letting him chew his treat or eat his food. When he is done, you can let him out again.

Repeat this several times before you put him in his crate for any length of time. When you do, be sure your dog is tired and ready for a nap… put him in the crate with his favorite toy, treat or foods and close the door for about 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, only let him out when he is quiet. If he snoozes in his crate, be sure to let him out when he wakes up. Do not leave him in his crate for more than 5 hours at a time, except at night when he can sleep there for eight hours or so.
Source: Dog Reference

Recognize barking patterns to end dog barking

Nancy Freedman-Smith of suggests pattern breaking.

For example, does your dog “bark bark” at one window, then the next, then dash back and forth between the two?

Or maybe your dog always barks at the mailman.

Interrupting that pattern should distract your dog to stop barking.

Train your dog not to bark by extinguishing the behavior

Many times we unintentionally teach our dogs to bark.

We reinforce the behavior when the dog barks in the yard and you shout at him. This gets his attention (which is one of the main reasons dogs bark).

Even looking at your dog when he barks can reinforce the behavior.

Ignoring your dog can work to stop his barking:

Walk (or look) away.

And do not speak or give eye contact.

Remember that this technique temporarily increases barking before it improves.

And persistence and consistency are crucial.

Try never to enter the house or yard or let your dog inside while your dog is barking, as this can easily reinforce the behavior too.

Source: Love That Pet™

Check for hidden noises

Victoria Stilwell of says our dogs’ hearing isn’t much different from our hearing.

The main difference is that our dogs are able to hear much higher frequencies.

A free app can display all sounds in your area (that you cannot hear).

Cut out these hidden sounds, and it might help end your dog’s barking.

How to teach a dog to stop barking on command

Teach a dog the “Quiet” command to stop his barking.

When our dog starts barking, bring out a really high-priority treat along with a command (for example, say “Quiet”).

Also, give the appropriate hand gesture in front of his face.

The smell of the treat engages his nose. Plus the hand gesture briefly startles and distracts him. (This will probably cause him to stop barking briefly.)

As soon as he stops, mark the behavior (Yes) and treat him.

Keep practicing this until he understands the command. Then, slowly increase the duration of the Quiet command before treating.

We can quicken the training process by initiating the bark trigger ourselves. For example, by ringing the doorbell, squeaking a toy, or playing a recording of sirens.

Source: Shiba Shake

How to get your dog to stop barking on walks

Generally, barking on walks is a fear reaction.

By barking aggressively, dogs scare other dogs (or strangers) away.

One strategy to stop dogs barking on walks is to turn around and go another way.

Or, we can change our dog’s reaction to other dogs…

Start by staying far enough away from the other dog so that your dog notices the other dog but is not barking.

Treat, treat, and treat again, until the other dog is out of view.

Do not move any closer to the strange dog until your dog is comfortable at that distance.

If your dog is reacts to the other dog, you are too close and moved too fast.

Source: Your Dog’s Friend

Stop barking by watching for nonverbal communication

When a dog is scared, they might bark.

Watch for:

1) ears laid back…
2) tail between legs…
3) defensive body posture.

Remove what is causing the fear and watch the barking disappear.

Source: K9 Dog Training Club

How to train a dog to stop barking on command

Barking is OK until the dog is told to “Stop Barking.”

Think of “Stop Barking” as an obedience command rather that simply an unpredictable reprimand.

Each time your dog barks, after two or three woofs, praise her for sounding the alarm. Then tell her, “Stop Barking.” Simultaneously, waggle an especially tasty food treat in front of her nose.

Most dogs instantly stop barking because they cannot sniff and lick the treat while barking.

During this quiet time, praise her continuously, “Good girl, stop barking, what a good quiet dog you are, good dog . . .” After 3 seconds of no barking, let her have the treat.

The next time she barks, ask her to stop barking for 5 seconds before she gets the treat. Each time she is told to stop barking and succeeds, she will be rewarded.

If she barks even one little wooflet after you’ve given the command, scold her immediately. Timing is everything.

As training proceeds, the required period of silence is increased gradually; at first “Stop Barking” means: no barking for the next 3 seconds, then 5 seconds, then 10 seconds and so on.

Within a single training session, you can teach your dog to stop barking for up to 1 or 2 minutes. This is major progress, because whatever set off her barking in the first place is history, and she is likely to be quiet until the next disturbance.


Stopping your dog from barking with tough love

Picking up your dog in a loving way is the wrong approach to stop its barking.

Being picked up tells the dog, “I like what you are doing right now.”

This unintended, positive reinforcement confuses your dog – and she barks.

The same is true when you arrive home…

If you greet your dog in an excited manner (while she is jumping, spinning and barking), she will expect your return to be a time of excitement.

Also, making a big deal about leaving keeps your dog in an excited state as well.

Source: Rocklin Road Animal Hospital (

Train your dog not to bark with dog toys

Since boredom is a major factor in dog barking, a fun toy almost always ends the barking in an instant…

This 11 KONG toy gets filled with treats inside and keeps your dog occupied for hours.


Use “sneak and peak” to cure excessive dog barking

Behaviorist William Campbell suggests using the “sneak and peak” program for curing excessive barking.

This method has the owner leaving home as usual, then sneaking back and watching the dog from a hidden vantage point.

When the dog starts barking, the owner makes a brief distracting sound to catch the dog’s attention. The dog is not praised for stopping his noise, but the distraction is repeated if he starts barking again.

When the dog settles down, the owner goes about his daily routine.

How do you get a jealous dog to stop barking

Most jealous dogs are territorial.

Two dogs that would kill over an owner’s attention in the kitchen, could frolic with abandon when out in the yard.

(In fact, the vast majority of instances of “jealousy” between dogs happen in compressed spaces.)

A change of scenery is all that is needed to put an end to jealousy barking.

Source: Kevin Behan

Use “Woof” and “Shush” to stop a dog from barking

Ian Dunbar finds it is easier to teach a dog to stop barking when he is calm and focused.

Teaching the command to “woof” on cue is the first step to “Shush” training.

Station an accomplice outside the front door. Say “Woof” (or “Speak,” or “Alert”), which is the cue for your assistant to ring the bell. Praise your dog profusely when he barks (prompted by the doorbell); maybe even bark along with your dog.

After a few good woofs, say “Shush” and then waggle a tasty food treat in front of his nose. Your dog will stop barking as soon as he sniffs the treat ,because it is impossible to sniff and woof simultaneously.

Praise your dog as he sniffs quietly, and then offer the treat.

Repeat this routine a dozen or so times and your dog is going to look out for the doorbell ringing whenever you ask him to speak.

Eventually, your dog will bark after your request, but before the doorbell rings (meaning that your dog has learned to bark on command).

Similarly, your dog will learn to anticipate the likelihood of “sniffables” following your “Shush” request. You have then taught your dog both to speak and shush on cue.

Over repeated “Woof” and “Shush” trials, progressively increase the length of required shush-time before offering a food reward – at first just two seconds, then three, then five, eight, twelve, twenty, and so on. By alternating instructions to woof and shush, the dog is praised and rewarded for barking on request and for shushing on request.

Remember, always speak softly when instructing your dog to shush, and reinforce your dog’s silence with whisper-praise. The more softly you speak, the more your dog will be inclined to pay attention and listen (and therefore, not bark).

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