All Things Dog

5 Ways to Tame the Dog That Cries Wolf

If your dog is a barker, you may not be welcoming the warmer weather. With more joggers and children playing outdoors, there are more things than ever to trigger excessive barking. But take heart, you can control the situation. Understanding why you have an excessive barker is the first step in solving the problem. Here are the most common causes of constant barking:

Loneliness. A dog that is home alone for long periods is likely to bark because he feels anxious.

Conditioning. Your dog may bark because you have inadvertently trained him to do so. Think about it: He barks and you open the door to let him out. He barks again and you let him back in. He barks, and you give him attention. He may even bark for a treat—and then you give him one.

Inactivity. Lack of exercise can result in a dog that has pent-up energy and barks out of frustration. A well-exercised dog is more likely to sleep when you're not there.

How to tame the dog that cries wolf

  1. Take your dog for at least two 20-minute walks each day (if he's physically fit enough), or head to the park for a game of fetch. Dogs that spend most of their time in the backyard or in the house need regular exercise.
  2. Visit the same park daily or weekly and let him make doggy friends. Dogs are social creatures. Plus, it's true that a tired dog is a good dog.
  3. Give your dog something to do when he is home alone. Instead of barking, your dog can keep himself busy by earning his food. Fill a hollow chew toy with a biscuit or two. If you don't mind a little mess, you can also pack it with canned food and freeze it, so it takes a long time for your dog to get the food out. Some dogs are also entertained by animal videos. You can learn more about them in our article DVDs Your Dog Will Love. Many dogs bark at everything that moves within their view in the street outside the house. To lessen this type of "I see it, therefore I must announce it" barking, close window shades when you leave the house.
  4. Attach an unpleasant experience to inappropriate barking. Never strike your dog, but do something that will catch his attention, such as clanking an empty soda can half-filled with coins or squirting water toward him. Do not look at him while doing this, or reprimand him for barking. (These actions can reinforce the behavior because you will be giving your dog the attention he seeks.) As soon as your dog stops barking, instantly reward him for quieting down: the appropriate behavior you want him to learn.
  5. Teach your dog a "quiet" command. After each time your dog barks, give him a command of "quiet" or "no bark". Simultaneously, hold a treat in front of your dog's nose. Most dogs get quiet immediately because they can't sniff the treat and bark at the same time. Lavish praise on your dog during his quiet time. After three seconds of no barking, let him have the treat. As you continue with your training, increase the amount of time you require him to be quiet before giving the treat.

While you can't calm your dog's constant barking overnight, you can retrain him to bark only when necessary. Be prepared that it may take weeks to establish new habits. Just be consistent with the training, you will see a new pattern of appropriate barking develop.

Recommended For You

Not on Facebook? You can register by clicking below.

Sign up on this site
We just need a little information.
All fields required.
FIRST NAME
PassedFailed
LAST NAME
PassedFailed
EMAIL
PassedFailed
A confirmation e-mail will be sent to
the address you provide here.
PASSWORD
PassedFailed
password must contain between 6 - 10
characters, no spaces.
ZIP CODE
PassedFailed
This will help us provide you with information
that's specific to your area.
Yes, I'd like to receive updates and special offers from PEDIGREE® Brand. You can withdraw this consent at any time.
Check if you'd like to give permission for future special offers and additional useful information from Mars, Incorporated. (We will collect the information you've entered here, store and process it in the U.S.) You can withdraw this consent at any time.
Go to last step >
Privacy Policy. We will never share your information.
Thanks for the information. This is the final step.
To get personlized special offers and alerts, enter your
information below:
EMAIL
PassedFailed
STREET ADDRESS
PassedFailed
CITY
PassedFailed
STATE
PassedFailed
ZIP CODE
PassedFailed
Get Special Offers and Updates on Your Mobile Phone
This is the convenient way to get the latest info when you're on the go.
-
-
PassedFailed
Providing your mobile phone number is optional. Msg & Data Rates May Apply
Submit >
Privacy Policy. We will never share your information.
All information will be sent to the mobile phone number you provided:
MOBILE PHONE #
-
-
PassedFailed
You can also sign up by sending a text: PEDIGREE to 97979

Msg & data rates may apply. You will receive up to 4 text messages per month. For HELP, please text HELP to 97979. You must be the account holder or have the authorization of the account holder to request this text service.

This text service works on on Alltel, Appalachian Wireless, AT&T, Bluegrass Cellular, Boost, Cellcom, Cellular One, Cellular One of East Central Illinois, Cellular South, Centennial Wireless, Cincinnati Bell, Immix Wireless, Nextel, Revol Wireless, Sprint, Unicel, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Verizon Wireless, Virgin Mobile, and West Central Wireless. This is a subscription service. You can cancel your subscription at any time by texting a STOP to 97979. Terms & Conditions apply. For support, call 1-888-782-2180.
PLEASE ENTER THE CODE DISPLAYED TO VERIFY YOUR REQUEST:
Terms: I have read & agree to the Terms & Conditions.Failed
Submit >
View our Privacy Policy.
Now that you're registered, you can subscribe to our free e-newsletters. There's one for every stage of your dogs life.
Puppy Planning E-Newsletter > Puppy Scoops E-Newsletter > The Feed E-Newsletter >
Close x Subscribe Now
Look to receive your coupon by mail within the next 10 - 15 days. We hope you enjoy our best Dry Food ever.
Puppy Planning E-Newsletter > Puppy Scoops E-Newsletter >
Dog Knows E-Newsletter > Healthy Living E-Newsletter >
Close x Subscribe Now
Or log in to the PEDIGREE® website using the fields below
EMAIL
PASSWORD
Having trouble with your password?
Click Here
Forgot your password?
No problem. If you originally registered on our website, just enter your information below and we'll e-mail your password.
EMAIL
Password sent
Your password has been sent to the e-mail address you provided.
We're always happy to be of assistance.
Close x