How To Stop A Dog From Barking At People?

  • 22/05/2020
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Dogs are very protective. If they sense their owners are in danger, they bark. If they see unfamiliar faces, they bark. No matter how noble their intentions are, admit it, too much barking at people can be irritating.

What can you do then to control the incessant barking of your pet to people? Allow us to help you deal with this behaviour.

Why Does Your Dog Bark at People?

Fear is the main reason for barking which is also referred to as ‘reactive behaviour’. Your dog’s barking behaviour causes people to back-off. And, when they do, your dog feels safer because the ‘threat’ is no longer there.

The problem is if you keep on scolding your pet. Without you realising it, reprimanding your dog reinforces its barking behaviour. Here’s what you can do to stop your pet from fearing people: 

Friendly Tips to Stop Your Dog From Barking:

There are two ways on how you can control the barking behaviour to people. These are command training and social training.

1. Command Training

Correlate ‘shh’ hand gesture with treats. You can also pair shh with the word ‘quiet’.  Just remember to maintain a calm demeanour when commanding your dog to be quiet.

To do this command, try to initiate barking by asking someone to buzz the doorbell. The soon it barks, do the shh hand gesture. If it stops barking, give the treats.

Do this sequence each time your dog barks when someone knocks on the door. With consistency, your dog will learn how to stop barking by using the shh command.

Another way of doing this is through the clicker training method. The same principle goes. Only this time, your pet associates the sound of the clicker with positive reinforcement. If it keeps quiet at your command, give the treat.

2.  Social Training

If the delivery guy knocks on the door and your dog begins barking, ignore it completely. The same can be done if you have house guests.  Do not look at it, do not reprimand, and do not touch your dog. In case you do any of those gestures, you are only reinforcing the barking behaviour.

The moment your dog stops barking, give a reward. Your pet will eventually associate keeping quiet or calming down with something positive.

When training outside, do it in a place where there are not many people around. The goal is for your dog to associate people with something positive.

Once your pet sees an unfamiliar face, give it dog treats. Be generous. For as long as the person/s is within a short distance from your dog and it does not bark, continue rewarding it with treats. 

Now, once there are no longer people in sight, stop the treats.

The idea is to alter your pet’s negative association with unfamiliar people.

Conclusion

Don’t be frustrated if your dog barks at people. It is his/her way of responding to a stressful situation. Instead, follow the tips we shared and in no time, your pet will slowly become comfortable with unfamiliar faces.

Author's Bio:

Jaden is an author of mypetience.com, a pet blog sharing knowledge about taking care of pets. He has more than five years of experience in raising small animals like dogs, cats, hamsters, and freshwater fish. What he always focusing on is offering valuable and useful information to pet enthusiasts.

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