If your dog barks at everything incessantly and it’s driving you insane, there are several methods you can try to stop it. But first, you want to find out the reason why your pooch is barking before you begin attempting to end the madness. So, it’s going to be a matter of observation, patience and training.
What Causes a Dog to Bark at Everything?
There are many factors that can cause a dog to bark at anything and everything it sees and/or hears. It’s important for you to understand, though, the dog finds some sort of reward attached to the barking, regardless of the object or circumstances involved. The reasons could be due to:
Sickness and Pain
Playfulness and Excitement
Fear and Reactivity
Certain Sights and Sounds Are Bothersome (ie: construction work, flashing lights and etc)
How Do You Stop Your Dog from Barking at Everything?
Some of the things mentioned will work and others will not. In the case nothing seems to stick, go to a dog trainer after visiting a canine behavioral specialist. There are several techniques, but know that results won’t happen overnight. Anything you attempt will take time and patience along with trial and error.
Remove the Stimulus ; Motivation
Whatever causes your dog to bark, it’s a stimulus that you have to remove. For instance, if your pup is one that barks at everything passing by the window, even a falling leaf, keep the windows covered with curtains or blinds.
In the case of territorialism, this will come down to socialization. Depending on how bad your dog is about it, you may have to bite the bullet and take it to a dog trainer.
Ignore the Dog
If your dog wants attention or is demanding something from you, ignore it and intentionally remove your affection. Eventually, the dog will learn that when it behaves this way, it doesn’t get the interaction it craves. It’s about being consistent and deliberate.
Create a “Quiet” Command
When your fur baby begins barking every time someone approaches the door, allow the dog to bark once or twice and then say something like, “Thank You.” Having such a cue or command used in steady repetition will become second nature to the dog.
Keep the Dog Active ; Distracted
Take your dog out for plenty of walks and playtime. When you wear out the dog’s abundant energy, it will be too tired to bark. Also, ensure you provide enough games, toys and activities to engage your dog’s mental capacities. This will stave off barking due to boredom, excitement and demands for attention.
Acclimate the Dog
For dogs that bark at lights, sounds, people, other animals or any moving object, this will become a matter of socialization and getting the dog accustomed to the stimulus in question.
Ideally though, you want to acclimate the dog so it gets used to seeing or hearing the stimulus. Allow your dog to bark when stimulated and begin using commands, language and other positive
reinforcements. Build an association so that whenever it sees the stimulus, the dog will connect it with good feelings.
How Do You Train a Dog for Quiet ; Calm Greetings?
Many dogs get very excited when people approach the house. Although your dog may have good intentions and is overly friendly, it can be intimidating to others. So, you want to train the dog to be calm instead of bark.
To begin, ask for help from willing family, friends and neighbors. Not only will a variety of people help to socialize the dog, but it will also give you a basis to start from. When new visitors arrive, ensure the person is okay with your dog and only allow the dog to approach when it’s being quiet and not pulling on the leash.
If the barking is uncontrollable, redirect the dog’s attention to you. You can do this by calling the dog’s name or using some other command to indicate to the dog it should calm down. Only when the dog is successful should you allow it to approach a visitor.
You may have to use more intense treats to get your dog to be calm in this kind of situation. For instance, use regular biscuits to begin the process. Upon success in being calm, give the dog a meaty treat they adore but rarely get.
How Do You Manage a Dog’s Separation Anxiety?
If your dog barks due to separation anxiety and it’s a severe case, understand that it’s not acting out and the dog can’t help itself from doing this. But there is a way to manage it.
First, set up a camera that turns on when you leave so you can observe your dog’s behavior when no one’s around. Make note of how long it exhibits the symptoms and if it settles after awhile. Also observe its barking for other reasons when alone.
If it’s severe, talk to your veterinarian about non-prescription anti-anxiety treatments. Many people attest to using natural herbs like chamomile, lavender or even CBD oil as being very effective in reducing a dog’s distress.
What Shouldn’t You Do to Get a Dog to Stop Barking at Everything?
It’s important to keep in mind that there are some things you should not do when trying to get your dog to stop barking. Once a dog understands what you want, it will comply with your commands.
Avoid Yelling: the dog will think you’re barking along with them
Avoid Negativity: always be positive and kind yet firm; reward good behavior with treats and privileges
Avoid Physical Punishment: hitting, striking, kicking or harming the dog in any physical way will never get the results you seek; they will only associate negativity with it which can destroy your bond
Avoid Inconsistency: use the same methods and techniques in repetition; this is the only way a dog will learn