Does Your Dog Bark In The Garden?

Dog barking can quickly become a nuisance especially if your pet becomes a vocal demon when he's let out into the yard. If you and your neighbors are at your wits end read on to learn how to stop your dog barking, quickly and easily.

How To Stop Your Dog From Barking

Does your dog start barking whenever he hears people or other dogs passing by outside your house or garden?

Now I'm the first to admit a barking dog can be very annoying, especially if you're enjoying a bit of quiet 'me time', perhaps relaxing in your garden lounger, that's the last thing you want to hear!

Stop your dog barking in the garden - give him something to play with!

Although dogs bark to communicate, and it's natural for them to do so, some will bark at anything that moves in the garden; birds, squirrels, leaves, moving water, and sometimes even their own shadow!

Some will bark if they can hear neighborhood children playing close by, especially if the children are excited and he hears high pitched squeals and laughter.

People simply walking past your home or garden may be enough to trigger a little vocal chorus.

One thing I do know is that if your dog's barking is driving you mad, you're not alone. 

How To Your Stop Dog Barking In The Garden

So, how do you stop your pet's constant barking?

  • Do you chase him around the garden until you catch him?
  • Do you give him a treat to shut him up?

Yes? Well most of us do, but this will only encourage him to bark because he soon learns that when he barks you'll do two things:

  • you'll play a game of 'Chase' with him and...,
  • you'll reward him with a treat!

Who said Cocker Spaniels were daft?

Well, I finally managed to stop my dog from barking in our garden, here's how.

When I lived in the UK we had a delightful family with young boys living next door. The boys would play football and adventure games in their garden. My Cocker Spaniel could hear them, but couldn't see them and the sound of their playing used to drive him wild - he just wanted to join in the fun.

His whining and barking really became a nuisance and was beginning to drive me up the wall. I spent weeks running out into the garden with a bag of goodies or chopped chicken from the fridge shouting 'biscuit!' to distract him.

At first I had to get up real close and let him see that I had a treat for him, but I didn't give it to him immediately (otherwise he would have thought I was rewarding him for barking).

Instead, I 'teased' him with it and made him wait a couple of seconds by walking away from the sound of the playing children. Once he saw the treat he would stop barking (result!) and come running to me and then I'd reward him (after he'd been quiet for a few seconds).

I guess what I was doing was distracting him from his task in hand. Enough distractions like this eventually broke his barking habit and he came to learn that being quiet gave him cookies or yummy tit-bits and eventually he stopped barking when he heard the children play.

I'm taking care of a two year old Labradoodle at the moment. She's so adorable, but she barks at anything that moves. Unfortunately she's setting Max off again so every five minutes or so I'm running out into the garden, waving a goody bag like a mad woman and shouting 'biscuits!'

I'm not really sure what the French think of their new English neighbors!

How To Stop Barking Dogs

There are other methods you can use to stop barking dogs and you might like to take a look at some of the alternative options below:

  • If it's puppy barking you're concerned about you may prefer to try a more natural approach as outlined in our article 'How to stop your puppy barking'. This method mimics a mother's behavior towards her puppies when she's trying to keep them quiet in times of imminent danger in the wild and is said to be very effective.

  • Alternatively you could teach your puppy the 'Be Quiet' command, where you first train him to bark and then reverse the command and train him to stop. Yes, I know it sounds wrong, but it works!

  • If it's a really bad problem, and you've tried everything else, you might like to consider using a barking correction collar, (which is a device that fits onto your dog's collar) or a water pistol (or home made water spray) as described here.

Dog Barking: Summary

Whichever method you use to stop your dog barking, the key is to remain consistent at all times and reward him for his good behavior.

This means that as soon as you hear your dog bark or you spot the signs that he's about to, get up and go deal with it; don't let him get away with any behavior that you feel is unacceptable.

If you can get to him before he barks (ie watch for the signs) even better because he hasn't been able to 'get into the zone' of barking. It's much easier to head it off at the pass than it is to deal with it.

Once your Cocker Spaniel has stopped barking and becomes silent for a few seconds, if you reward him with plenty of praise and perhaps a treat or some playtime, it won't be too long before he learns that being quiet gets him the goodies.

Happy training and good luck - remember, perseverance is paramount.

» » Territorial Dog Barking

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