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    How can you stop your dog from barking incessantly? Dogs love attention. And they quickly discover that barking is a great way to get it. More >

Woof, yap, bark.

How to stop your dog from barking constantly.

Dogs love attention. And they quickly discover that barking is a great way to get it. What’s more, it’s even more fun if they can get you to shout back at them. A lot of people end up unable to answer the doorbell, make a phone call or have a cuddle with their partner without putting the dog in another room first – where, of course, he’ll bark anyway.

However, there is a way to cure your dog of his barking habit before your neighbours stop talking to you. Ironically, the first step is to train your dog to bark on command.

Do whatever it is that usually sets him off – like making the phone or doorbell ring. When he barks, praise him while repeating the word ‘speak’. Once he associates the word with barking, you’ll be able to get him to bark on command.

Great, you say, but how do you make him stop again?

Try this. While he’s barking, repeat the word ‘quiet’, while holding out a toy or treat for him. When he stops barking for a few seconds, give him the toy or treat, while praising him and repeating the word ‘quiet’. Repeat, Reward and Reinforce.

Once he’s learnt about ‘speak’ and ‘quiet’, you should be able to say ‘quiet’ at any time and get him to stay silent. Just remember to praise him like mad when he gets it right.

The next step is to train him not to bark when you leave him home on his own. To do so, you’ll simply have to pretend to go out and return, over and over and over. As you’re about to ‘go out’, take him through his ‘speak’ and ‘quiet’ routine and praise him for his efforts. Then come straight inside again and praise him for being quiet. Next time, stay out a little longer. And so on and on.

Sure your neighbours will think you’ve finally gone mad. But it’s a lot better than the real thing.

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