How to Quiet a Barking Dog

Learn how to quiet a barking dog in this Howcast video with Andrea Arden Dog Training.

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Do you have a new puppy at home -- or an older dog who just won't listen to you? Professional dog trainer JoAnne Basinger shows you how to train your dog in these Howcast videos. In no time at all, your dog will obey when you tell him to sit, stay, come, heel, lie down, and fetch. Once those basics are down, she'll show you how to teach your pet some easy dog tricks, like how to give paw, high five, roll over, and spin. She'll also tell you how to solve common dog behavior problems, like barking too much or jumping on visitors. So check out these dog training tutorials; they're the next best thing to having your own personal dog whisperer.

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Dogs bark. It's part of their natural behavior. In fact, the domestic dog was basically selectively bred for their barking abilities barking to alert us about intruders, trespassers, to ward people away, to help herd cattle, a whole variety of reasons why barking at one time was a desirable behavior. Nowadays, especially in a city environment, barking is not a desirable behavior. So there's steps that we can take as the human parents of our little doggies to try to encourage them to bark just a little bit less. Your goal shouldn't be to never allow your dog to bark anymore than you would try to encourage a canary to never sing, but lets at least try to keep it down to a minimum. The most likely barking that'll occur first in puppies is attention seeking barking. Puppies bark to get your attention. And so what we really want to make sure we don't do is accidentally reward them for something we don't want them doing. Typical ways that people reward their dogs for barking accidentally is by looking at them. So if your puppy barks at you and says, "Hey, look at me," or "Hey, make my dinner faster," or "Hey, toss me that toy" and you respond by looking at them, you may as well have flipped the mistake. Instead lets teach your dog a way of saying please and getting your attention that's more mannerly and polite such as a sit. A manners sit is a really great way for your dog to be able to approach you and say, "May I please have your attention." Unfortunately many people don't notice their dogs when they are being quiet and polite. So if you want to quiet your barking dog, your goal this week and thereafter is to notice when your dog approaches you calmly and is being quiet and polite and to reward them for that. Dogs do what works, so if approaching you quietly and sitting and looking cute gets them what they desire, you're going to get a whole lot less of barking. And remember, when the do bark, you need to ignore that so that you don't accidentally reward them for that behavior.

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  • JoAnne Basinger

    JoAnne Basinger is the director of Andrea Arden Dog Training in New York City, where she has been a dog trainer for 10 years. She began her animal training career at the New York Aquarium / Wildlife Conservation Society, where she spent 20 years as a trainer and animal care specialist for the aquarium's dolphins, whales, walruses, seals and sea otters. Volunteering with her community dog shelter in the mid-1990s inspired her to merge her expertise in marine mammal training with her passion for teaching and caring for companion dogs. JoAnne teaches group classes and offers private lessons addressing everything from raising and training puppies to dealing with more complicated behavioral issues of adolescent and adult dogs.