When puppies start barking it can drive their pet parents a little crazy, not to mention the neighbours! Barking is a healthy and normal development for pups that you don’t need to quash completely. With a little effort you can teach your new fur friend the difference between appropriate barking and non-appropriate barking with some simple steps.
DON'T JOIN IN
Barking back or yelling at your puppy can confuse them into thinking you’re joining in with him. Instead use a calm voice and demeanor to talk to them and tell them to hush.
DON'T REWARD WITH COMPANY
If your puppy barks thank them and tell them to hush. Praise their silence and if they bark again turn your back and leave the room. Your puppy will quickly learn their barking sends you away.
PLACE A LIMIT
Instead of trying to quash all barking, set a limit for how many times your puppy can bark before telling them to hush (for example, five times). It is a good idea to also treat them at this point as chewing dogs can’t be barking dogs.
ASSESS THE SITUATION
Barking at the postman or people outside can teach your puppy that their bark is working in chasing them away. Instead, try asking your postman or a passing friend to feed your pup a treat when they become quiet.
ARRANGE ARRIVAL TIMES
Because a door knock, doorbell or arrival of friends, family and strangers can be exciting or scary, organize a friend to arrive laden with treats to give your pup and teach them that visitors are not threats.
IS IT BOREDOM?
Puppies can occupy boredom with pointless barking just to fill up the silence. A chew toy full of treats or puzzle toys can be the best boredom buster for your furry friend if this is the case!
MASK OUT SCARY NOISES
Because your pup is still learning about the world a sudden or unknown sound may inspire barking out of fear and anxiety. In this case Adaptil can help ease your pup’s worry or you can simply turn on the radio or TV.
TRY A COLLAR
As a last resort a tone collar that emits a loud, short tone after the first bark can be used, making your pup search out what caused the sound and forget their barking. Otherwise, there are citronella collars that can further emit a scent if the barking continues. We advise that you try the above methods before trying a collar.
No two pups are the same so some techniques may not work for them. We recommend trying each technique for no more than five days to see if there is an improvement. If not, try another approach.
Good luck :)
DISCLAIMER: The advice given in this article is of a general nature. Pet Guardians Australia recommends a health check with your local vet at least once a year for advice pertaining to your pet's individual circumstances.