Dogs bark in the very same way humans speak in their own language. Whenever a dog is bored or excited, when he wants to greet a family member or scare off an intruder, you will hear that barking noise emanating from his voice box.
Of course, a dog needs to bark, but when those barks turn into cacophonous mantras played every other minute, it might not be long before the cops pound on your door because your mutt had been causing a disturbance. Starting at home would be the best way to start on your goal to quell your pooch’s problematic barking.
Employ a bit of strategy by creating a situation that would force your dog to bark. One example would be the ring of a doorbell or knock on the front door of your house.
And at the very moment your dog barrels towards the door and starts barking excitedly, gently approach your dog, grab his collar and say (take note we didn’t say shout, scream or yell) the word “quiet”.
Use the “praise and reward” technique if he quiets down. He did as requested, so give him his just desserts.
When he continues barking, close his mouth with your hand, wrap your fingers around his muzzle – use both hands if needed, and give the command for him to keep quiet. If he stops, then give praise.
With such training done repeatedly, the “quiet” command should be a piece of cake for your dog. Set up similar situations to “lure” your dog to bark and repeat training whenever possible.
However, if your dog barks as if his life depended on it, then control such persistent barking by doing the following:
Mix some vinegar and some water together. Mix a proportion of 7/8 water & 1/8 vinegar together. The little ones call it a “super soaker” but to people like you, it’s a water pistol – grab one and load it up with the solution you had just created.
If your dog keeps on barking despite the “quiet” command, then fire at his chest area. Dogs abhor vinegar on the same level as vampires hate garlic and Superman avoids kryptonite. It may even force them to sneeze a bit. It’s harmless so you need not worry.
When your dog stops barking, make sure he gets some praise in the end.
As an aside, you may be thinking what I’m thinking here – what’s to do when you leave home for a bit only to discover an irate neighbor complaining about your noisy dog? Fortunately, “bark collars” have been created to soothe such “savage beasts” when you’re not around.
There are different varieties of bark collars to choose from. Some of these collars send an electric shock to your dog when he barks, some make a high pitch sound or emits a squirt of citronella which is annoying but safe for your dog. Usually, these collars can help you solve a problematic barker.
My take on this? I go for either the citronella collars or those that emit high-pitched noises, because these are the most humane ways to deal with a problematic barker.