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Barking Mad: How To Curb Excessive Barking

Barking Mad: How To Curb Excessive Barking

A Noisy Nuisance No More

Ah, the joys of dog ownership – the unconditional love, the endless snuggles, the…incessant barking? If you’re the proud parent of a pup who just can’t seem to keep their trap shut, you’re certainly not alone. Excessive barking is one of the most common behavioral issues dog owners face, and it can turn even the sweetest furry friend into a real headache.

I know this struggle all too well. My own Yorkie-Poo, Milo, was a notorious barker in his younger days. He’d go off at the slightest provocation – a car passing by, the mailman coming up the driveway, the washing machine making a funny noise. It was enough to drive me and my neighbors crazy! But through a lot of patience and the right training techniques, I was able to get that little guy’s yapping under control. And I’m here to share my secrets with you, so you can do the same.

Mastering the “Speak” and “Quiet” Commands

The key to curbing excessive barking, I’ve found, is to start by teaching your pup the “speak” command. I know, it might sound counterintuitive – why on earth would you want to teach your dog to bark on command? Well, my friend, it’s all about establishing control. As the experts at Canine Minded explain, once your dog has a solid “speak” command down, you can then move on to the all-important “quiet” command.

Here’s how it works: first, you’ll want to make a note of your dog’s barking triggers. Is it the doorbell? Passing pedestrians? The sound of the washing machine? Once you’ve identified the cues, you can start training your pup to “speak” on command. Grab some tasty treats, leash up your furry friend, and head to the door. Ring the bell or knock, and as soon as your dog starts barking, say “speak” and reward them with a treat. Repeat this process until they’ve got the hang of it.

Now comes the fun part – teaching them to be quiet. Once your dog is reliably barking on command, give the “speak” cue, let them go for a few seconds, and then firmly say “quiet.” As Canine Minded advises, you’ll want to wait them out until they stop barking, then reward them with a treat. Gradually increase the amount of time they have to stay quiet before the treat comes, and soon enough, you’ll have a dog who will pipe down on command.

Addressing the Underlying Causes

Of course, teaching the “speak” and “quiet” commands is just one piece of the puzzle. To really get a handle on excessive barking, you’ll also need to address the root causes. As the folks at Pupperish note, some common triggers for barking include boredom, anxiety, and a lack of exercise or mental stimulation.

If your pup is barking out of sheer boredom, make sure you’re providing them with plenty of toys and interactive playtime. As one Redditor on r/Dogtraining shared, their border collie mix would go “absolutely nuts” with barking before walks, so they trained him to grab a toy instead – a simple but effective solution.

For dogs who bark out of anxiety, whether it’s fear of strangers or separation anxiety, as discussed on the r/Dogtraining subreddit, you’ll want to work on building their confidence and teaching them to relax. Counterconditioning, desensitization, and even anxiety-reducing medications (under the guidance of your vet) can all be helpful tools.

And for those high-energy pups who just can’t seem to settle down, make sure you’re giving them plenty of physical and mental exercise. Long walks, vigorous playtime, and challenging training sessions can all help channel that boundless canine energy in a positive direction.

Barking Up the Right Tree

At the end of the day, excessive barking is a common issue, but it’s one that can be tackled with the right tools and techniques. Whether you’re dealing with a yappy Yorkie, a boisterous border collie, or any other barking breed, I hope these tips have given you a roadmap to turning that noisy nuisance into a well-behaved, quiet companion.

And remember, if you ever need more advice or support on your dog training journey, be sure to check out – your one-stop shop for all things canine. Happy training, my fellow dog lovers!

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