Do you live in an apartment with close neighbors? Do you have a newborn that needs uninterrupted sleep? Do you have trouble getting your dog to be quiet when it needs to be? A dog that barks frequently may be problematic in those situations and in many others.
To understand ways we can prevent this unwanted barking, lets talk about the reasons why dogs bark in the first place.
Why Do Dogs Bark?
There are four types of barking to keep in mind when choosing a method to stop your dog from barking. They are:
- Alert barking – if your dog senses something suspicious and thinks you may be in danger, it will bark to alert you. For example, if they hear an unexpected sound they might bark to alert you that they sense something strange is going on.
- Defensive barking – a dog will often bark when they feel threatened or in need of defending themselves or your property. For example, if your dog sees the mailman approaching and start to bark, it’s likely defensive barking.
- Attention barking – if a dog feels they need your attention (or maybe just want it), they can bark for attention. They could be trying to tell you they need to go outside to pee, that they’re hungry, or maybe they just want your attention for pets.
- Boredom barking -it’s also possible a dog could just be barking because they’re bored! This can be similar to attention barking if they’re looking to a human to relieve their attention.
Recognizing the stimulus and controlling the environment are the two best ways to start in finding a solution. There are many training methods available to help to stop many types of barking without the need of additional aides, but that isn’t always possible.
For some people, they could face eviction or other severe issues if the barking persists. When it comes down to choosing between being homeless, giving your dog up for adoption, or using a “stop barking” product, the best solution is typically a bark stopping device.
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Thankfully, there are many solutions to aid you in the process of getting your dog to stop barking. It is important that you stay patient because being quiet is a learning process for the dog and goes against their instinct.
Best Dog No Bark Collar
Though many people have resistance to using anything called a “shock collar” for fear of hurting their dog, using a shock collar can be a safe and effective way to stop your dog from barking.
Shock collars of the past were much stronger and “one-size fits all” type of devices that were more harsh than they needed to be. Today, improvements have been made that let you deliver just the right amount of stimuli to your dog that won’t harm them, but still trains them to stop barking.
The first thing you’ll need to check is the weight range of the collar and see if it matches your dog. This Naturepets No Bark Collar is suitable for dogs from 18-120lbs.
The way this bark collar works is it will gradually escalate through 7 different sensitivity levels when your dog barks. On the lower levels, big dogs will barely feel any sensation. If they continue to bark, they will soon realize that their barking is triggering the stimuli, and quickly learn to stop. Some owners report their dogs stop barking in just minutes!
No bark shock collars are truly the most effective way to get your dog to stop barking, especially when you’re not home to actively train it. This is perfect for someone who lives in an apartment and leaves their dog during the day, who can’t be there to stop their dog from disturbing other tenants.
Best No Bark Collar for Small Dogs
If you’re looking for a no bark collar for a small dog or maybe you find the shock collars to be inhumane but still need a solution, then check out the PetSafe Anti-Bark Spray Collar.
Instead of relying on an electric shock to correct a dog’s barking, these collars use a burst of citronella spray.
Citronella spray is a plant-extract often used as a bug deterrent, but it can also be used as a harmless dog spray according to the ASPCA. In these small bursts, it’s annoying and unpleasant to dogs but not harmful.
Some people have reported these collars to be too sensitive and spraying when it shouldn’t, but they are safe for dogs of all sizes. Many people report that it works almost as quickly as the above shock collars.
Best Ultrasonic Bark Stopping Device
If you want to spend even less money and do not want to use a collar then an ultrasonic device may be your answer. These devices typically are hung on the wall and transmit ultrasonic noise in response to a dog’s bark.
This ultrasonic sound is safe to dogs and is undetectable to humans. Using the ultrasonic device is a good way of helping to limit barking if you are too busy or not home to command the dog to be quiet yourself.
You can find both indoor and outdoor models in case your dog does unwanted barking in your yard.
It seems some dogs don’t respond to the pitch that these devices emit, but they’re very cheap (often only $10-20) and manufacturers will issue a refund if they don’t work for your pooch.
Stop Barking Training Methods
While devices may train the dog more quickly to stop barking in the short term, training the dog naturally may pay off better in the long run by building a better relationship with it and not being dependent on a device.
6-Step Method via The Humane Society:
- Remove the Reward: When the dog barks it gets a reward which is attention. Recognize what it is your dog is barking at and do your best to remove it. An example is if it usually barks at a passersby then close the curtains.
- Ignore the Barking: If you respond to your dog’s barking then you are giving it the reward of attention. Be patient and wait until your dog stops barking to give it attention. That means not even looking at it. It is also important to note that yelling for it to stop barking is counter intuitive.
- Desensitize Your Dog to the Stimulus: The best way to desensitize your dog is to divert its attention when the stimulus comes into view. Feeding it treats is a good way to do this.
- Teach Your Dog the Quiet Command: First you should teach your dog to “speak.” Say “speak” and then let your dog bark a few times until you pull out a treat. It will stop to sniff and eat the treat and then praise it. Do the same thing again except say “quiet” right before you give it the treat and praise it again. Try doing this a few more times until it seems like your dog is responding to the quiet command.
- Ask Your Dog for an Incompatible Behavior: Give your dog a unrelated command when it starts barking such as “sit” or “lay down.”
- Keep Your Dog Tired: Make sure you give your dog sufficient physical and mental exercise. Often dogs get bored or frustrated when they are inactive.