Life with a puppy that barks excessively can be very stressful for both family and neighbours and, sometimes, for the dog too. It is important to stop excessive barking in puppies fast before it becomes a bad habit
If your dog is older than 6 months of age, go to ‘Barking’
Why do you bark?
Puppies bark to communicate or to reassure themselves. Just like us, they make a noise when excited, angry, frightened, frustrated, anxious, lonely or want something. The secret to stopping the barking is to find out why they do it or what they want and do something about it. A contented puppy is a quiet puppy.
If your puppy barks only when left alone, go to ‘Separation Problems In Puppies’.
Which pups are more likely to bark?
Terriers and dogs whose ancestors were bred to guard or warn of intruders will bark more than other breeds of dog. If you have a puppy whose genes give him a propensity to bark, it is important that you discourage barking from the outset as, otherwise, when he develops more confidence during adolescence, you may find that his barking gets out of control.
Don't encourage protective barking
Puppies begin to alert you to noises and events happening outside by barking at about 6 - 7 months of age (although some may take longer). If you encourage your puppy to ‘see people off’ or bark at noises outside while he is still young, you will find that it is very hard to stop him doing it later and he will bark too much and too often. Consequently, it is best to let them develop their guarding abilities naturally.
If your puppy already barks excessively, help him learn to be quiet by distracting him from doing it and giving him something else to do instead that is incompatible with barking. This could be anything from sitting and waiting for a treat, to carrying a toy around in his mouth.
Stopping the barking as soon as it occurs will help to prevent a bad habit from forming and will stop him learning how much fun it can be. Distracting him into doing something else that is more rewarding will teach him good habits for the future.
If you know when your puppy is likely to bark, prevent the unwanted behaviour by encouraging him to chew on something tasty or to play with a toy so that he is too busy to bark.
For puppies older than 6 months of age and for more information, go to ‘Barking’
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