An Effective Barking Deterrent!

Learn how a kid's water pistol can become a great barking deterrent . There are many other methods to stop dogs barking, but this is a more gentle remedy and I recommend you try this first...read on to learn more.

Stop Your Dog Barking

Yes, you heard right!

A child's water pistol or a simple spray bottle, filled with water (some owners swear by a well-diluted mixture of water and lemon juice, or water and vinegar) directed into your dog's mouth each time he barks will help you to teach your pet to stop nuisance barking.

Cocker spaniel being squirted with a water pistol as a barking deterrent

If used properly and timely, a spray of water can stop dogs barking in their tracks!

Although this practice may sound cruel, it isn't, and more importantly, it won't hurt your dog.

The spray isn't meant to be a punishment, it's a barking deterrent; it's meant to startle him into silence, literally interrupting his barking.

You can use an ordinary water gun or spray bottle for this method, just fill it with water and do the following:

  • Each time your dog barks use the spray. Squirt a quick spray into his mouth or onto his muzzle and say the words, 'Be Quiet', in a firm but controlled voice.
  • When your dog stops barking, wait a few seconds and praise him with the words, 'Good quiet boy', and give him a treat.
  • If he begins barking again, re-use the spray immediately.

Points To Note

Points to note when using a spray as a barking deterrent:

  • Take great care not to spray directly into his eyes, especially if you're using vinegar or lemon juice.

  • Trigger the spray the second your dog barks. This will help him to associate the unpleasant sensation, and/or taste of lemon juice or vinegar, with his barking. Cause and effect.

  • If your garden is large, and you can't reach him in time to stop him, don't be tempted to use the spray after he's stopped barking because he probably won't link the two - he won't understand why you're unhappy with him and he won't learn anything. 
  • Instead, consider fitting a correction device to his collar. Please note this, in my opinion a correction device should only be used as a last resort or unless a behavior therapist has recommended it.

Barking Deterrent: To Sum Up

Be consistent. Use the spray each time he barks and remember to always use the same command to help reinforce his training.

Never call your Cocker to you to spray or punish him. If you do that, he'll think he's being punished for coming to you and that will only confuse him and may make him think twice the next time you use the re-call command.

If your dog or puppy is sensitive and you think he may be frightened of the spray bottle, please find an alternative barking deterrent to interrupt his vocal outburst, for example, throw him a ball, or his favorite toy; move his train of thought away from whatever was causing him to bark in the first place.

If your Cocker Spaniel is lying quietly, reward him for this, give him lots of gentle praise and a stroke. Your pet will soon come to realize that quiet behavior is best for everyone and his vocal outbursts will soon become a thing of the past - you'll no longer need to use a barking deterrent!

Other Effective Methods To Stop Your Dog Barking

I hope the above has been helpful, but it's important to recognise that this method only works when you're around to hear the barking and near enough to do something about it!

There are other ways to tackle your dog's barking, depending on why he's barking in the first place. 

For example, if your dog is barking at anyone who visits your home, delivery men, garbage collectors, or the postman, follow the try some of the recommended training exercises. Just follow the link.

If your Cocker goes barking mad in the garden, this page will help you to stop him in his tracks so that you and your neighbors will once again be able to enjoy the peace and quiet of your own yard.


  1. Home
  2.  ›
  3. Dog barking
  4.  ›
  5. Effective barking deterrent

Enjoyed this page? Click 'Like'!

If you enjoyed this page, please click on the 'Like' button below and tell your friends about us. Thank you.


Like To Ask A Question or Leave A Comment?

If you have a comment or you'd like to ask a question about what you've just read, please have your say below. Looking forward to hearing from you soon!
Top of Page