How to teach your dog to stop barking
How to teach your dog to stop barking

How to Stop a Dog from Barking?

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Barking is your dog’s way of communicating. We often observe dogs barking at people and things to grab attention. It is a normal dog behaviour that is often a reflex for expressing emotions related to anxiety, aggression, or boredom. Different types of barks emote different moods and feelings of the dog. Dogs also bark to stop others from entering their territory.

Even though dogs bark to communicate their emotions, excessive barking can cause disturbance to pet parents. In such situations, pet caregivers often look for ways to teach barking on command to their fur babies. If you too want to learn how to stop a dog from barking in the right manner, then read the following.

How to teach your dog to stop barking

Dogs often bark to claim territory, express emotions, and communicate with others. However, sometimes, dogs might not know how to control their barking habits. Teaching your pooch to stop barking unnecessarily makes them calmer by sharpening their natural instincts. While barking is a norm for dogs, barking on command is a skill that you easily teach your fur baby. Follow the below points to learn how to teach your dog to stop barking.

  • Teach commands: With patience, persistence, and practice, you teach your dog to control its barking habits. It is easy to stop your dog from barking with a little effort. Training dogs to follow commands related to barking is beneficial in managing this dog behavior. You need to start by teaching your furry friend to follow commands by training them regularly.

The following are a few things you can try to teach your dog to stop barking on command:

  • Try to calm the dog by using affirmative words. Using calming words and actions can help reduce anxiety and stress in dogs. Once they relax, you can pet them a little to stop them from barking completely.
  • You can also use commands for sitting to relax your fur baby. Most dogs bark when they get territorial or anxious. Using commands for sitting can work as a reassurance that can help them calm down. If the dog is barking out of fright or anxiety, you should try to use words of praise and encourage it to relax.
  • You can also use certain words like ‘stop, ‘relax’ and ‘calm down’ to signal the pooch to stop barking. However, to teach them to do so, you must use the commanding word every time they bark.
  • Offer treats: Another effective way to teach your dog to stop barking is by offering them their favourite treats. Most dogs have ADHD, which means it is very easy to distract them. If the dog is distressed and won’t stop barking, you should try to calm it down by offering its favourite treat. Simply try to grab their attention by showing them a treat. However, avoid offering the treat directly. Once you have the pooch’s attention, command them to stop barking and treat them only once they listen to you. Follow this method regularly to eventually teach your canine friend to stop barking simply on receiving a treat.
  • Distract with favourite toys: Dogs can also be distracted by their favourite toys. Simply show the pet its favourite toy the next time they start barking. You can also ask them to fetch a ball or start playing with them to distract them from barking.
  • Console and praise: Sometimes dogs bark to warn or grab your attention towards something that is genuinely bothering them. Hence, it is always better to first try to analyse why the pooch is barking before trying to stop them from barking. Pay attention towards the dog’s body language and mannerisms when it barks. If it is barking towards a direction, you can check in that direction to see if there is something that might be alarming. Paying attention towards your pet’s barks and trying to console it with words of praise will not only calm it but will also subside its anxiety and fright.

Though these tricks will train your canine companion to control its barking habits, you must know that barking is a reflex instinct for dogs. Hence, it is imperative to stay consistent and regular when training a dog. It often takes time for dogs to learn commands and control their instinct to bark. However, with regular practice and consistent effort, you can eventually stop your dog from barking at will.

Frequently asked questions

  1. How to stop a dog from barking?
  2. You can try various methods to stop a dog from barking. Some of these methods include the following:

    • Offer dog treats to distract it from barking
    • Use commanding words to train them to stop barking
    • Distract the dog with its favourite toy
    • Try to find out why the dog is barking and try to console it

  3. Will a dog eventually stop barking?
  4. Yes, dogs generally stop barking once they are exhausted or calmed down.

  5. Should you ignore nuisance barking?
  6. No, it is better to train the dog to not bark unnecessarily. You can easily do this by training your dog to stay calm.

  7. What does it mean when a dog barks at you for no reason?
  8. Dogs are territorial animals who bark at people and other dogs when they feel you are getting in their personal territory.

  9. What triggers a dog to bark?
  10. Dogs can bark for various reasons. Some of the reasons for dogs to bark include:

    • The feeling of invasion of personal space.
    • Feeling threatened
    • Feeling anxious
  • Choosing the Right Dog Food
    Choosing the Right Dog Food
    Choosing the Right Dog Food

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    Author: Dr. Diah Pawitri

    When visiting the store, dog owners can get overwhelmed by the array of dog food options available, from dry kibble to canned wet food and more. These processed foods may not be appealing to humans, but they contain all the nutrients that dogs need to stay healthy. Like humans, dogs also need a variety of nutrients from their food, not just from meat as their main diet, but also from grains, vegetables, and fruits. This kind of balance is usually weighed by pet food labels in kibbles or wet food in grams for different types of dogs. 

    For optimum health, dogs need food that is tailored and customized to their life stages, starting from when they are puppies and all the way into adulthood. Puppies have completely different nutrient needs compared to adult dogs as they are still in their early stages of life. They need enough nutrients to fuel a speedy growth, especially after transitioning away from their mother's milk. Puppies require complete and balanced nutrition with protein to help build their tissues, fats or healthy skin, hair, brain, and vision, carbohydrates for energy, vitamins, minerals, and water.

    The need for balanced nutrients in puppies starts with the mother during pregnancy, followed by lactation and growth. Sufficient nourishment for the mother is pivotal in enhancing the puppies’ growth inside the womb and preparing them for life after birth. Both mother and puppy should receive well-proportioned antioxidants, DHA, and prebiotics to support their health and growth as provided by the IAMS product line, which contains DHA that is essential for puppies' brain development while also supporting the mother's pregnancy and quality of milk produced. 

    While puppies need the primary nutrients for growth, adult dog food has a different level of complexity. Adult dog food requires the same make-up of nutrients as puppies do but tailored to their specific needs. Recent research indicates that an adult dog requires at least 10% of its daily calories from protein and at least 5.5% from fat. Adult dogs need quality protein for firm muscles and a healthy immune system. Additionally, an adult diet can contain up to 50% carbohydrates, with fiber ranging from 2.5 to 4.5%. There is no specific prescribed amount of fibre for adult dog consumption daily, however, it is still one of the most important components in dog food to address constipation and support a healthy weight.

    Adult dogs in their prime also require a balance in antioxidants to reduce systemic inflammation and restore active muscles. They should receive Vitamin E and C to support their immune system, joint health, and prevent inflammation. As they grow older, they may be exposed to different diseases from diabetes to cancers, which can be prevented by polyphenols.  Parents to adult dogs must acknowledge the most suitable food for their loved one that is comprised of the right amount of nutrients and can look to the IAMS line as they are formulated to support healthy bones and joint health, scientifically proven for healthy digestion with a good fibre and prebiotic blend, as well as antioxidants for a strong immune system.

    Besides life stage, balanced nutrition should be adjusted to their breed, which give insight to different factors like weight, mouth size, and energy level. This will then determine the type of kibble and food given. Smaller breeds tend to be more active, requiring the same essential nutrients and prebiotics for a healthy body as well as smaller-sized kibble designed specifically for their smaller mouths. As smaller dogs relatively have a high metabolism, higher levels of protein, fat, and essential fatty acids like omega 3 and omega 6 are some of the important nutrients that should be available in their food. On the other hand, larger breeds require foods that are lower in fat and calories, contain slightly lower levels of calcium and phosphorus, and have a specific balance of calcium-to-phosphorus ratio to support stronger bones and muscles.  Owners can look to products like the small breed line from IAMS, containing 7 essential nutrients to build strong muscles, support their tiny immune system while protecting their healthy skin and coat, and the product line for adults for large breeds.

    Dog parents must acknowledge and understand the unique needs, life stage and characteristics in their dog to choose the right dog food so their furry ones can grow into their healthiest selves. Make sure to visit your vet regularly to check these components as well!