Let’s face it, excessive barking is a serious dog behavior problem. It may seem cute right now for your new puppy to be yapping at everything and anything, but it will get old pretty fast as he grows up. Nip problem barking in the bud while your puppy is still young.
Prevent Problem Barking From The Start
A new puppy demands a lot of time and attention. Some people go so far as to take a couple of days off work around a weekend so that they’ll have plenty of time to spend on puppy socialization right at the start. Then they come home at lunch for a couple of months as well to spend time with the puppy. This may seem like a lot of time invested, but it’s worth it to prevent bad dog behavior later on.
For the first few days, don’t allow your puppy to bark or whine. When he does, put your hand around his muzzle and says “quiet.” When he’s quiet, praise him and give him a treat. He’ll soon learn what “quiet” means.
An easy tool you can use to quiet your puppy from a distance is an empty pop can with pennies inside it. Tape the opening closed, and you have a handy noise-maker. When your puppy whines at night, shake the can loudly. The noise will startle the puppy into being quiet. You may not get a lot of sleep the first night, but your puppy will quickly learn that if he whines or barks, a loud scary noise is the result. It shouldn’t take more that a night or two to get your point across.
Of course, be sure to let your puppy out often. You can’t expect your puppy to be quiet when he needs to go.
The key to preventing nuisance barking is persistence. If you let your puppy bark sometimes, but not other times, he won’t learn. If you correct him every time he barks, you have an excellent chance of preventing the problem before it starts.
Is Your Older Puppy Developing Problem Barking?
Your puppy barks at anything and everything. The phone ringing, the neighbor’s cat, people walking by in the street, trees in the yard. He’s already showing signs of nuisance barking, and now is the time to deal with it.
You need to take control as the pack leader right now to teach your puppy what the limits are, and to enforce them. You can do this easily by using body language and the tone of your voice. Since this is how dogs instinctively communicate, your dog will respond quickly.
When your pup barks, stand as tall as you can and growl at him in a low tone, “Quiet!” As soon as he obeys, praise him in a high, happy tone. Continue to correct him if he starts barking again, this time clapping your hands. Again, consistency is the key. Don’t allow him to bark sometimes and not others, or you’ll never end the problem of loud barking.