Do you love your four-legged friend to bits, but just can’t stand how overexcited, and therefore vocal, he is sometimes? Maybe he annoys the neighbors to the point at which they start knocking on your door and asking you to keep him under control. Or maybe you have relatives or friends with small children, and although you know he only wants to say hello and is excited to see a small person, maybe his barking scares them off and makes the parents distrust your friendly pooch. If these situations sound familiar to you then it’s time you taught your pooch some manners and relieved those bark-induced headaches, by training your pup to stop barking on command.
Teaching your pooch to stop barking on command is an important and rewarding endeavor. Especially if your pupper is keeping you up with his noisy barks, or just interrupting your well-deserved quiet time after a hard day at work. Imagine how relaxing your home environment will be when you teach him to respect quiet time. Your pooch's barking could even be jeopardizing your living situation if you’re a tenant in rented accommodation, and your neighbors can’t stand your dog's barking.
Teaching your dog to stop barking can vary in difficulty, depending on the severity of the problem. For some pooches, it will only take a few weeks and they’ll stop speaking when not allowed in no time. However, if it’s a learned behavior, there could be an underlying behavioral problem, in which case consulting a behaviorist may seem necessary. Also, if you notice a behavioral change in your pup, causing them to bark more than they used to, they could be telling you they’re in pain, in which case it is always a good idea to take them to your vet for a quick check over to check nothing is wrong. This command is suitable for dogs over 3 months old.
To start to teach your dog how to be ‘quiet’ you’ll definitely need a calm environment without any distractions so that his focus is on you. It might be a good idea to teach him how to ‘speak’ on command at the same time. That way he will be more disciplined in general when it comes to using his bark and you won’t be relying on him barking randomly to train him to be ‘quiet’. If you’re using clicker training for your pooch, grab his clicker and some tasty treats for a reward, but if not tasty treats will do. If you’re not teaching him the ‘speak’ command first, make sure you have a method of getting him to bark ready, such as knocking on the front door. An assistant may be useful for this.
Other than that, training should be in short to medium length bursts, being no longer than 20 minutes per go. Be sure to come ready with a patient attitude and don’t get frustrated, just keep trying and seek the help of a professional if it gets to be too much.