Nobody likes a dog that barks, cries or whines constantly. Not only is your dog annoying you, but your dog can make you pretty unpopular with friends and neighbors in a hurry if he cannot learn to be quiet when appropriate. While it is natural for a dog to bark sometimes, to warn you someone or something is approaching or to communicate a need with you, such as “let me in”, a dog that barks all the time, for no reason, or one that vocalizes constantly when left alone, needs to be corrected before they become a nuisance.
Teaching your dog to be quiet will make him a much more pleasant pet, and keep him from disturbing your family and your neighbors. Being able to direct your dog to ‘be quiet’, and have your dog cease barking, or vocalizing, and possibly initiate an alternative behavior is extremely useful both at home and away from home. The sooner you teach your dog to be quiet, as a puppy, the easier it will be, but older dogs that have developed a barking habit can also be taught to be quiet, it just takes a little longer.
If your dog is in the habit of barking due to boredom, or to get your attention, correcting the behavior may involve providing an alternate way to occupy your dog and removing any positive reinforcement for barking. Although, it may seem counterintuitive, one of the most effective ways to teach your dog to be quiet starts with teaching him to ‘speak’ on command. Once you have designated this as a behavior that can be directed, directing your dog with a ‘be quiet’ command can be accomplished more easily.