Why Puppies Bark and How to Stop It

If you have a new puppy, there is a good chance that it barks. A significant number of puppies have a barking problem that you do not want to continue into adulthood. However, if you cannot address the cause of the barking, you won’t be able to stop it.

Puppies bark for many reasons. They bark when they want to play, greet you, or defend their territory from intruders. You should look at your puppy’s bark as an alarm of some sort of change. While barking can be beneficial sometimes, it is not always necessary. Read on to learn how to stop a puppy from barking.

How to Stop Your Puppy From Barking

To stop your puppy from barking, you will need to determine the cause. Once you do that, you can train them to react appropriately to different stimuli. As a first step, try to look at your puppy like a human child. They respond to the same kind of positive and negative reinforcement as children.

Provide Consistent Rules and Responses

When your dog barks or does something negative, you must be consistent in your response. You cannot respond to barking positively sometimes but negatively other times. 

If you yell at your dog when they bark 75% of the time but give them food the extra 25%, they will not learn to stop barking. Instead, they will learn that barking gives them food sometimes, and they will continue to do it when they get hungry.

Ensure that your responses are consistent, and your dog will learn not to bark to avoid a negative reaction.

Use Appropriate Training Techniques

As we mentioned above, your puppy is a baby and so only knows what you teach them. Instead of punishing your dog for poor behavior, reward them for positive behavior. Positive reinforcement is proven to be a better training and learning technique than negative reinforcement.

Do Not Let Your Emotions Get in the Way of Training

Unfortunately, you will need to leave your puppy alone at home sometimes. When you leave, your puppy might whine or bark because it’s scared to be left alone. As much as it might break your heart to leave, you should not go back to comfort it. If you go back, your puppy will learn that barking is a great way to get attention.

Make Sure Nothing Is Wrong With Your Puppy

While barking can be a sign of bad behavior in many situations, it is also a tool to let you know something is wrong. If your puppy is in pain or distress it will bark or whine. Before you assume that your dog is acting out, make sure that it does not have any health or environmental issues.

Training Your Puppy To Stop Barking

Once you go through the steps above for how to stop your puppy from barking, you should see improvement in their tendency to bark. However, some dogs are harder to train, and, as a result, you will need to try some new things.

Never Bark Back

When humans yell at their dogs, they think they are reacting negatively to barking. Unfortunately, dogs sometimes think of barking as a joyful expression. As a result, they sometimes think their human yelling at them is positive. So, instead of yelling, you should respond to your dog in a calm voice.

Don’t Come Running

If when your dog barks, you always come to them, you are rewarding their behavior. Most dogs bark for attention, and you coming to stop them is the result they want. Instead, when your dog barks, you should get up and leave the room. Leave them behind, and they will learn not to bark.

Additionally, try rewarding your dog when they stop barking. Ignore your dog whenever they’re barking. Be sure to give them a treat once they stop. That way, your dog will learn not to bark if they want you to stick around and give them treats.

Practice Door Drills

One of the most common problems for dogs is that they bark when someone rings the doorbell or knocks on the door. The likely reason for this is dogs think visitors are intruders because of their territorial nature. 

However, you can teach them to trust visitors by staging arrivals with a friend or family member. Have the visitor ring the doorbell while carrying treats. Then when they come in, they can give your puppy treats to calm them down. Eventually, your puppy will learn to associate visitors with treats and not with an invasion of their territory.

Keep Them Entertained

Many people who get a pet dog do not realize how much work it is to take care of one. After all, it can be easy to think that all one needs to do is feed them and go for walks. Of course, there is much more to it. Dogs get bored throughout the day, and they will act out if they have nothing to do for too long. 

You can solve this problem by ensuring that your house is filled with toys for them to play with when they are alone. When you are home, make sure you take extra time to play with your puppy.

Remember, you are your dog’s whole world, and they do not get to leave to do fun things. As a result, you need to make sure that you play with them so that they have a fun and fulfilling life.

Final Thoughts On Why Puppies Bark

You should not get a puppy if you are not prepared for the work that comes with being an owner. Puppies take a lot of work to train and take care of, and as a result, it is essential to be prepared for what is to come.

There is a good chance your puppy will bark at inopportune times, but you can cut back on that by using effective training methods. Now you know how to stop your puppy from barking. Follow the instructions above, and you will be off to a good start.

Photo of author

Dr. Jacob Hawthorne, DVM

Dr. Jacob Hawthorne, DVM is a certified veterinarian who graduated from the University of California - Davis Veterinary School in 2012. He specializes in nutrition and veterinary medicine for companion animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits, and more. He has been featured in websites such as PetMD, Yahoo News, Hills Pet, Daily Paws, and more. Learn more about Dr. Jacob Hawthorne, DVM.

Leave a Comment