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How to Curb Excessive Barking

The Paw Print

Essential Pet Blog

Medium sized brown dog with mouth open, barking
Sometimes it’s amazing the parallels you can draw between the canine world and the human one. Each pup has its own personality, distinctive preferences, and skills, just like all of us. So it shouldn’t be surprising that (like some humans you may know) some dogs simply bark for the joy of hearing their own voices. Barking is a natural, innate part of the canine world, but that doesn’t mean that you have to make your peace with excessive barking. Before you buy stock in earplugs, check out our tips for how to curb excessive barking.

How to Curb Excessive Barking

Assess the reasons for barking

Before you can cut down on the noise, you first need to understand your dog’s reason for barking.


Some dogs have high guarding instincts. They bark anytime they sense an intruder- even if that “intruder” happens to be your 4-year-old neighbor girl playing in her own yard. Understand that your dog’s barking comes from a noble place, and don’t punish him for his efforts to keep you and your home safe. Instead, it might be more constructive to consider ways to help him “clock out” of his guard duty.


Stress is another reason a dog may be excessively vocal. If your dog is experiencing stress or nervousness, a calming aid might bring them some comfort- and you some peace and quiet. Try a high-quality chewable supplement or one of these great calming collars!


Another common reason for excessive barking is attention. While causing a ruckus might not result in the type of attention your pup is craving, it generally results in attention, nonetheless. When you shout at your dog or reprimand her for barking, she’s simply thinking, “Woo hoo! Now we’re barking together! This is great!”

Breed characteristics

It’s also worth noting that certain dog breeds are simply more prone to excessive barking. It’s just part of their genetic code. This doesn’t mean they can’t be taught to cut back on the chatter, but understand that you may have an uphill battle ahead of you.

Ignore the barking

One the easiest things you can do (easy in theory, difficult in practice) is to simply ignore the barking. If your dog is barking because it results in them receiving your attention, removing the reward from this action will eventually result in a quieter dog.

How to do it:

When your dog begins to bark, simply ignore it. Don’t talk to, touch, or even look at your dog until the barking ceases. Leave the room if you need to. Eventually, your dog will learn that being quiet will get them the reward they’re looking for. Keep in mind that this is a long-game strategy. You likely won’t notice results the first few times you do it.

Remove the trigger

If you know what causes your dog to bark, you can simply remove that trigger.

How to do it:

This might mean keeping your curtains drawn, playing music to drown out sounds from outside, or keeping your dog in another room as guests are arriving. The solutions are unique to your dog and its triggers.

Desensitize your dog to the trigger

The idea is that the more often your dog encounters their barking trigger, the more comfortable they’ll become with it and the less inclined they’ll be to bark.

How to do it:

If your dog barks anytime guests approach, try having him lay down and stay while a family member or friend rings your doorbell or walks past your window. As your dog gets ready to bark, offer a treat or a favorite toy. Continue offering a treat or toy until the ringing stops or until the trigger disappears. Repeat this process, progressively increasing the difficulty and reducing treats offered.

Does your dog bark excessively? We would love to hear about any tips or tricks you have to curb excessive barking! Share them on our facebook page with our pet-lovin’ audience!

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