Puppies barking is a natural form of communication for puppies so it can’t, nor should it be, totally stopped. But you can learn to control your puppy’s barking and stop puppy barking when it’s problematic. In this article, we’ll discuss the reasons why puppies bark and how to stop your puppy barking.
Reasons Why Puppies Bark
Puppies will bark when they greet you or another animal, when they’re playing, or if their ferociousness overcomes them and they bark at an intruder or other danger. Puppies will bark if they’re excited, scared, if they hear a sudden sound, or if they see something unusual. They’ll also sometimes bark when they’re left alone, and, of course, they’ll bark when they want something.
Once you understand why your puppy is barking, it’s time to teach your puppy what’s appropriate barking, and what’s not. In order to do this, follow these steps first:
- Make sure your puppy’s basic needs are met – food, water, potty.
- Be calm.
- Be consistent with your responses and the rules about barking.
- Check for physical issues like pain or injury.
- Consider whether the puppy is afraid or upset.
How to Teach Your Puppy to Stop Barking
Professional Dog Trainer and Behavioral Specialist, Doggy Dan, recommends these steps:
- Remain calm and don’t respond by speaking or yelling at the puppy.
- Control the environment – consider why the puppy is barking and eliminate the issue if possible.
- Be patient and consistent. Make sure the whole family is following the same rules.
- Don’t reward bad behavior by responding/reacting when the puppy barks.
- Teach your puppy that you are the pack leader. Once your puppy sees you as the one in charge, he’ll bark way less. This is the most important step in effective puppy training.
I recommend taking advantage of Doggy Dan’s step-by-step, free tutorial called, The Simplest Way to Stop Any Barking Without Hurting Your Dog or Puppy. You can access it HERE.
One of the most effective tips Doggy Dan gives in this free tutorial to stop your puppy from barking is what he calls, “The Calm Freeze.” The steps are as follows:
- Crouch down next to the puppy.
- Using an underhand grip, under the chin, palm facing up, gently take your puppy by the collar.
- Say nothing. Breathe slowly and deeply and look away from the puppy.
- Hold the puppy for a few seconds until he’s calm.
- Release the puppy and stand up (you haven’t spoken to the puppy or looked at the puppy this whole time).
- The puppy will be much more calm.
This technique is a perfect example of demonstrating to your puppy that you are the pack leader. There’s a video by Doggy Dan in the free tutorial describing this process and why it works. Access the free tutorial HERE.
If you’re struggling with your puppy barking when you’re not home, check out my article, Ways to Stop Dog Barking. In the article (includes video), I give specific steps to keep your puppy from barking when you’re not home. If your puppy seems to be getting unusually upset when you leave, he may be suffering from separation anxiety. You can get help with this issue by reading my article, Treat Dog Separation Anxiety – Tips to Help Your Dog Be Home Alone (includes video).
Never Punish Your Puppy for Barking
I always say it’s our responsibility as pet owners to educate ourselves so we can understand why our pet is behaving a certain way. And it’s our responsibility to learn the steps to stop any bad behavior. Whatever your puppy is doing, whether it’s barking, biting, peeing in the house, being destructive – know that there is always a logical reason for the behavior in the puppy’s mind. I strongly suggest visiting Doggy Dan’s website to get a clear understanding of how your puppy thinks. Believe me, it will help you with absolutely any puppy behavior issue. Debra
Dealing with behavior issues can be challenging and frustrating for new puppy owners. I highly recommend Doggy Dan’s dog training website called, The Online Dog Trainer. The site contains more than 300 videos of Doggy Dan working with dogs on every behavior issue you could think of, including barking. You can go directly to the section of the website covering dog barking, and watch a video by Doggy Dan specifically about this issue.
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