How to Stop Your Puppy From Barking Excessively!
9 February, 2017
puppy barking

As our puppies learn to use their voices and communicate, they will bark, bite, nip and tug.   Puppies bark for many reasons. They want to greet you or defend you against anything scary to them and you.  Barking can be a good defense tool and shouldn’t be discouraged.  If the barking becomes excessive, there are some things you can do to discourage this behavior.

Try to figure out why and when your puppy is barking

One of the best ways to get your puppy to stop barking is to understand why he is barking in the first place.  Pay attention to when your puppy is barking. Is your puppy barking for attention, from excitement, or due to separation anxiety? Puppies usually will bark in a sequence and for a specific reason, therefore it should be fairly easy to detect.

Discourage excessive barking by giving your puppy a limit

Try to give your puppy a barking limit. You could allow your puppy to bark three or four times until you acknowledge a warning so your puppy knows that is enough.  After the designated number of barks, praise your puppy with something similar to good dog, now ‘sshhh’ and give him a treat as you praise.  And puppies won’t bark while chewing!

Talk to your puppy in a calm tone and don’t yell

Talk to your puppy with a calm tone of voice and body language—not just the words—to make sure your puppy understands that you aren’t angry with him.  Barking is also a happy expression. Use a calm voice to make sure that your puppy doesn’t bark any louder.

Praise your dog when she stops barking

If your puppy barks and you come running every time, then you reward the behavior. Instead, thank your puppy for the warning and then then say, “shhh.” When your puppy stops barking, praise her.  If your puppy keeps barking, turn your back and leave the room. Most dogs want company, so leaving the room tells your puppy that he is doing something wrong.

Practice ringing the doorbell and arrivals to get your puppy used to them

Ringing the bell, knocking on the door, and arrivals or departures excite puppies so associate the location and sounds with good things for the puppy.  With your happy voice, tell your puppy to stop barking after your limit and encourage him with a treat or toy.  He will then associate the ringing of the doorbell to a positive experience.

Give your puppy lots of toys to keep him busy

Many pups bark because they’re lonely or bored. Even if your puppy has nothing to bark about, he probably enjoys the sound of his own voice. Puzzle toys like the Kong can be stuffed with peanut butter or kibble treats that keep your puppy busy biting until he finds the prize.

Every puppy and situation is different and if your puppy continues to bark excessively after trying some of the above, you might want to hire a professional trainer to give you additional tips and recommendations.  Try to get this habit under control while your puppy is still young.

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