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​How to stop my dog from barking all the time

Dogs bark for many different reasons. Figuring out why your dog is barking is the first and most important step to treating the problem.

dog up on window looking playful and curious

Dogs bark for the following reasons

  • Boredom
  • Anxiety when alone
  • Fear
  • Attention-seeking
  • Watchdog

Training options for barking dogs

1.) Boredom barking

Feed him with smart toys. Make sure he’s getting exercise and mental stimulation.

2.) Anxiety barking

See your veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment plan.

Find more information in our fact sheet  Separation anxiety – Preventing and reducing dog anxiety when alone (PDF).

3.) Fear barking

Teach your dog that the things he’s afraid of are fantastic and predict fantastic things. Contact a force-free humane trainer to help you and your dog. See the BC SPCA Position Statement on Animal Training (PDF) to help you choose a qualified trainer.

4.) Attention-seeking barking

Many dogs bark to get attention or to make their guardian do something such as take them out or play with them.

To stop attention-seeking barking, stop rewarding him for it.

Don’t throw the ball, open the door or let him out of his crate if he is barking. These are all rewards to your dog.

He barks = ball goes away

He’s quiet = ball gets thrown

5.) Watchdog barking

Teach him to do something that isn’t compatible with barking. Teach him to get his toy so he can’t bark because he has his toy in his mouth.

Give him a time out

Teach him any time he barks more than a few times it results in him going in the penalty box.

Time out

  • After he barks say “quiet”
  • Next bark say “too bad” and immediately put him in another room

Eventually he’ll learn his barking causes him to be removed from the action.

An aggressive scary looking dog barking directed towards a person on a field

Veterinary help for barking dogs

Deaf, geriatric and dogs suffering from separation anxiety may all bark excessively. Check with your veterinarian to see if there are any health reasons for the excessive barking.

Caution

Do not use any tools or techniques that cause physical or emotional distress, such as electronic shock collars. Learn why your dog is barking and then train him or provide enrichment. Barking is a natural dog behaviour.

Resources

BC SPCA Position Statement Animal Training (PDF)

Barking – Preventing or reducing excessive dog barking (PDF)

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