The Den

golden retriever barking

How Do I Get My Dog to Stop Barking?


We all appreciate a good watchdog, however incessant barking is a recipe for annoyed friends and family and neighborly feuds. 

But getting a dog to stop barking can be complicated, because it’s a self-rewarding behavior. Think about when the postal worker comes to drop something off at your house. Your dog barks, the mailman leaves to go to his next stop. Your dog thinks that his bark caused the stranger to leave. In his mind he did a job well done!

We at Canine Company want to remind you that you’re not alone. One study showed that excessive barking is the #2 concern people have about their dog’s behavior (too much begging for food is #1).

So let’s talk about what to do.

5 Things to Remember

  • Differentiate between “alert” barking and “nuisance” barking. When your dog barks to alert you to something, he or she is doing their job and deserves praise. Once you’ve acknowledged the alert, you can teach your dog to discontinue barking, and prevent alert barking from turning into nuisance barking. At Canine Company, we teach the command “Quiet.”
  • Don’t add to the problem. Nuisance barking can be aggravating and it’s understandable that you may be impatient, but shouting at your dog adds to the problem. In your dog’s mind, now you are both barking together. How fun! Instead, interject with a sharp “No,” then use an interval in the barking to praise your dog and redirect his attention away from the target of his vocalization. 
  • Quiet” is a good command. Single-word commands in a calm, lower tone of voice work best. Avoid sentences and scolding. Then move on to show that the situation has been resolved.
  • Ignoring the problem may work. It’s possible that if you disengage from your dog and its nuisance barking, it may reduce or stop it especially if a long-term habit has not been created yet. 
  • Sometimes redirection with a toy or treat is okay. There may be times when you need to remove your dog from the immediate vicinity into a calmer environment. Just make sure it doesn’t feel like punishment by using a calm voice and a desirable motivator (treat or toy) to get them to go into a new space. Using treats to reward good behavior is perfectly fine but don’t provide a treat while your dog is in the act of barking, as he will interpret it as a reward for vocalizing as opposed to redirection.

Get Manners Training for Your Dog

  • Let Canine Company’s certified trainers help you stop your dog peeing indoors during on-site or online training sessions.
  • Involve other family members as you like.
  • With Canine Company, it’s not just about training your dog. It’s about creating a stronger relationship with your dog.

Improve the quality of your dog’s life.

Schedule a Manners Training session now Virtually or On-Site