How to Train Your Dog to Not Bark and Whine

Medium
1-6 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

Are you infamous on your road for the unmistakable sound of barking and whining that your dog emits consistently through out the day? Do you try and sit down to enjoy your episode of Judge Judy, only for him to feel the need to bark at everyone that walks past the house? He may also whine whenever he wants food, to go outside, or even just some attention. It may have been cute and endearing to start with, but now it’s nothing short of irritating and it’s also giving you a bad reputation among your neighbors.

It probably makes having friends and family over a challenge too. Nobody wants to enter a house where they are barked at for the first 10 minutes. But dogs are often misunderstood and their barking is usually a defensive or protective sign and the whining is often a case of attention seeking behavior. Tackling barking and whining will bring you some much-deserved peace and quiet!

Defining Tasks

Getting a handle on barking and whining involves first addressing the underlying cause. That may mean making some changes to your dog's  environment and changing your behavior around him too. It will also require obedience commands, enabling you to instruct him to be quiet. Consistency and patience will be key if you want to overcome this rather noisy hurdle. 

Due to the multitude of reasons behind barking and whining, fully rectifying the behavior may take several weeks. It will be quicker to tackle the problem in puppies who are more receptive than their elder counterparts, who have had years to cement their bad habits. But while it may be challenging, it is important to manage if you want a peaceful home and a comfortable environment for friends and family to visit. 

Getting Started

Before you get to work, you will need to get together a number of things. First, you will need food or treats to incentivize and reward him. You will also need a quiet environment, free from distractions. 

If it is your puppy whining, you will need a secure crate to house him in to begin with. You may also want a radio or TV that you can use to help distract the dog from passersby. 

An optimistic, proactive attitude will also be required for fast, effective results. Once you have gathered all the necessities, you can get going on the task at hand. 

The Puppy Whining Method

ribbon-method-3
Most Recommended
3 Votes
Step
1
Meet his needs
First, ensure his physical needs are met. It is mostly puppies that whine, but teaching all dogs not to whine is relatively straightforward. When he first whines, make sure it is not because he needs the toilet or because he is too hot or cold. Address these questions first, so you understand your dogs routine and can provide him with these things before he needs to whine.
Step
2
Gentle 'stop'
When he starts whining, gently ask him to ‘stop’. Look at him while you say it, eye contact will help reinforce the point.
Step
3
Firm 'stop'
If he doesn’t stop whining (he probably won’t to start with), say much louder and firmer ‘STOP’. Said firmly enough, this will probably silence him. If it doesn’t, say it again louder. Repeat this process whenever he whines. He will quickly learn to stop whining when you say it gently the first time, as he won’t want to see you get to the shouting stage.
Step
4
Never reward
Never reward him for whining. If he whines, ensure you never reward him with a treat or attention. You would then be teaching him that if he whines, he will get exactly want he wants.
Step
5
Tire him out
He will have less energy to whine and seek attention if he is already tired. So if you can’t walk him more, throw things for him to fetch during the walk, this will quickly tire him out. Also, play with him when he isn’t whining so the attention box is ticked already. A combination of all of these steps will slowly reduce the frequency he whines until you achieve blissful silence in your home.
Recommend training method?

The Defensive Barking Method

ribbon-method-1
Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Understand why he barks
Most dogs bark as a protective sign of their territory. That is why many dogs will bark when people enter their home or walk past it. So look for signs this is the case. Does he run to the window or door to bark when people walk by? Does he go rigid? Does his tail drop between his legs? These are all signs of fear and will explain the barking.
Step
2
Remove the motivation
A quick and easy way to prevent him barking at neighbours or people passing the house is to distract him. Leave the radio on near his bed, or leave a TV on. If he can’t hear people approaching, he simply won’t bark.
Step
3
Physical barrier
Always stand in front of him when people enter the house. If he is ahead of you, he will feel like he is the pack leader and that it’s his job to defend you. So keep him way back when new people enter the house, by acting as physical barrier you will negate his need to defend the home.
Step
4
Reward
Reward him when people do enter the home without him barking. Be sure to go over and praise him after people enter peacefully, plus give him a well-deserved treat. Repeat this reward system whenever he doesn’t bark.
Step
5
Ignore him
If he does bark, ignore him. It is important you don’t give him attention when he does bark. He needs to see that barking won’t have an impact, so also advise guests to ignore him if he acts up. This combined with the rewarding for not barking will slowly drill into him why barking isn’t worth it.
Recommend training method?

The Obedience Commands Method

ribbon-method-2
Least Recommended
1 Vote
Step
1
Setting up
Get a treat and take him into a quiet room, away from distractions. This technique is for dogs that bark and whine for attention. You are going to teach him to roll over. This may seem bizarre, but the logic is simple; when he barks or whines, you will get him to perform a trick instead to distract him. Soon, instead of barking and whining, he will realize that performing a trick is the quickest and most effective way to get attention.
Step
2
'Down'
Instruct him to lie down and then hold the treat in front of his nose. Ensure he is fully aware there is a delicious treat just centimeters from his mouth. Then firmly say "roll over".
Step
3
Lead him
Slowly rotate your hand over his head, leading him by their nose as you go. He will follow your hand until he falls over onto his side. You can also gently help him roll over with your hand. As soon as he rolls over, quickly give him a treat and shower him with praise. Practice this trick for 10-15 minutes every day for a week, then slowly reduce the frequency of the treats until he rolls over just from the command.
Step
4
Put into practice
Now as soon as he bark, stand in front of him, instruct him to 'lie down' and then ‘roll over’. Block him from whatever it is he was barking at and have him perform the trick. Then quickly give him a treat and praise him. This promise of food will quickly distract him from whatever it is he was barking at.
Step
5
Consistency
Be consistent. You need to keep a careful eye on him and have him roll over whenever he starts to bark or whine. By simply distracting him every time he gets vocal, he will slowly break the habit.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Koto
Pitsky
9 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Koto
Pitsky
9 Weeks

He bites and growls like he’s being aggressive and I know he’s a puppy and teething, but he’s being very aggressive.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
257 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Here is information on puppy nipping/biting. Nipping: Puppies may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment.

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Question
Ollie
Blue Heeler
3 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Ollie
Blue Heeler
3 Months

How can I train him to not bite and to listen will this just take patience

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1105 Dog owners recommended

Hello Rigo, At this age it does take a puppy a lot of time and repetition not only to learn what a command means but also to develop the self-control and focus to be able to do it consistency. Pup is also learning how to learn. Check out the article I have linked below. I recommend starting with the Bite Inhibition method while also teaching Leave It from the Leave It method. The Bite Inhibition method can be used starting today, but ultimately Leave It is what pup needs to learn but that will take a lot of practice, so begin now. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Check out these puppy resources. Often a puppy doesn't understand what you are asking of them, or doesn't have the self-control and focus to obey, especially when there are distractions around. Proactively teaching some obedience commands can help pup develop those things too. Follow along with your puppy at home and practice the exercises to help with general basic obedience. Joining a puppy class is another way to accomplish this. Plus a good puppy class should also include time for moderated off-leash puppy play, where the puppies practice playing with the instructor giving breaks when they get too rough or overwhelmed. Playing with other puppies can also help pups to learn how to control their mouths when the other puppies give them feedback during play: Puppy class info - finding one to join if you wish. You may not find the ideal puppy class, but the article below can help you know what you are generally looking for to get closer to choosing a good one. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/puppy-classes-when-to-start/ Puppy Class videos for at home: Week 1, pt 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnhJGU2NO5k Week 1, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-1-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 2, pt 1 https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-2-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 2, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-2-part-2-home-jasper-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 3, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-3-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 3, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-3-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 4, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-4-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 4, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-4-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 5, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-5-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 5, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-5-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 6, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-6-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 6, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-6-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1-0 Finally, check out the PDF e-book downloads found on this website, written by one of the founders of the association of professional dog trainers, and a pioneer in starting puppy kindergarten classes in the USA. Click on the pictures of the puppies to download the PDF books: https://www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Oreo
American bully
4 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Oreo
American bully
4 Months

My dog won’t stop barking in her crate and bites people while playing how can I stop this

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
257 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Here is information on puppy nipping/biting. Nipping: Puppies may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment.

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Question
Bandit
Dalmation hearder
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Bandit
Dalmation hearder
1 Year

Bandit is a rescue we adopted 2 weeks ago. He is pulling on walks like crazy we've tried treats, distraction, stopping until leash is loose and he's just way too excited. Bigger issue is the whinning/pulling when we see another dog. We tried introducing to our close friends dog and couldn't get him calm enough to even meet. He was with another dog with a Foster family couple months ago. Not sure what to try/train on.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1105 Dog owners recommended

Hello Januarie, First, I would start by practicing the Turns method from the article I have linked below. This will involve starting heel training in boring locations and working up to distractions very gradually. Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Expect this to take time. Heel for a highly distracted dog takes weeks to months with consistent practice. Imagine your long term goals for the next dozen years with pup. Once pup can handle a normal walk down the sidewalk without pulling, then I recommend recruiting friends with friendly dogs to practice the Passing Approach method with. Once pup can handle passing another dog calmly, then switch to the Walking Together method before actually letting them meet, so help with socialization and calmness around other dogs too. Keep nose to nose greetings to 3 seconds max at first, to prevent fights from a lack of socialization or rudeness from over-excitement, then encourage pup to walk with you and the other dog calmly, or follow you away from the other dog if this isn't a friend you are walking with, by saying "Let's Go!" happily and walking in that direction. When pup turns their attention away from the other dog and toward you, you can reward with a treat if the other dog isn't right next to them (don't want to start a food fight if right next to the other dog still though). This helps pup learn Let's Go for future greetings. The three second greetings don't have to last forever with dogs you know, but with those you don't know and when pup is first learning how to be calm around other dogs, it helps pup learn some manners and how to keep calm, while minimizing the chances of a fight from pup coming on too strongly and being too aroused. Passing Approach method and Walking Together method: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Kallie
American bully
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Kallie
American bully
3 Years

She pulls so much on the leash. It is often fine when we begin our walk, but when she knows we are on the way home, she starts pulling so hard to get there quicker I assume. I stop and wait for her to let the leash loose but she barely ever gives me eye contact, I have done this for a few days and she still continues to pull.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1105 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sum, Check out the Surprise method from the article I have linked below. I recommend keeping walks closer to home at first to help you make some progress with shorter distances and this method. Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Know that heeling takes some time to learn as well. An average obedience class works on it for 6-12 weeks on leash. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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