speak to a Veterinary Behavior Technician
Paws To Speak!
Barking in the Vet Lobby
Pet Professional Tips
sure dogs have access to water.
Ask "barkers" to
sit, then take them out to rule out the need to
Identify "lead barkers" and isolate them,
Provide dogs with something to do such as food puzzles or kongs stuffed with frozen
Have an authorization on file to
give mild sedation, as a last result to comfort and
calm the excessive barking.
Gentle Leaders are helpful to correct excessive barking.
Help is at your
fingertips by library, email and
to learn more
How to Prevent and Respond to Excessive Barking
Barking is a normal
and natural means of canine communication. However,
when barking becomes excessive it can become a
source of frustration to families and neighbors. How
much your dog barks falls under establishing your
may be desirable when the dog is guarding the home
or warning strangers at the door. The most important
principle in preventing excessive barking is to
interrupt any non-approved barking episodes
before they become extended.
Consider a 5-Bark
Rule: Up to 5 barks is
okay and then it must be
excess barking from becoming
a bad habit.
of excess barking
- Be careful not to accidentally
reinforce unwanted barking.
NOT attempt to stop barking or
calm the dog by providing a
bone, toy, food treat, or with
- Do not pet
the dog while the dog is still
- Do NOT let the dog in
the house or release from any
other isolation or confinement
in response to barking.
distractions before the barking
begins or as a reward for the
dog being quiet on your request.
- Make sure the dog is quiet -
even for two seconds - before
getting any rewards.
time goes on, expect more and
more seconds, then minutes of
quiet before the reward.
It can also happen when a dog is
released from confinement after
barking. Be aware if there are
other things you may be doing to
unintentionally reinforce the
barking you wish to stop.
Teaching the "quiet" Instruction
should be trained to stop barking after being asked
to be, "quiet." To teach the dog the word,
"quiet" begin to praise the dog when he or she is
quiet right before a situation that usually triggers barking.
One - After you are sure the dog does
not need to eliminate, give a stern "Quiet",
then praise for being quiet.
- If step one is not effective, or if the
whining is repeated later, apply a head collar.
- Using a head collar, like the Gentle
Leader, attach a long leash. Give a tug on the end of
the leash immediately when the dog begins to
make a noise. Wait 3 seconds. Praise the dog for
being quiet. If the whining continues, follow
the time intervals given above. If the dog is in
a kennel, and you have not been successful
interrupting the vocalization, try a rap on top
of the kennel just to startle the dog so that
the barking is interrupted, then praise quiet.
Move kennel or tether
the dog in different parts of the house.
Provide a chew to give your dog a good
alternative to barking.
none of these four steps are working, consider a
Pet Behavior History Analysis.
You and your dog need professional help.
Something isn't right.
Get lab work to rule out early diabetes or renal
disease. If the dog is healthy, then you may
want to remove food and water earlier in the
evening, and increase the reward for late (just
before bed) elimination.
human vocabulary word takes
effort. Just like toilet
training a toddler, you need to
Do not allow
excessive barking. Barking is a
stress release and easily
becomes a habit. It is
important when teaching the dog
to be quiet and for any other
training that the dog is walked
at least once daily for at least
20 minutes and preferably
At home, when the dog begins
barking, go to where the dog is,
move in front of the dog so you
take over the leader position,
and determine why the dog is
barking. See if there is a
stranger outside of the house or not. If
your dog is barking at neighbors
across the street or a neighbor dog or cat, then relax YOUR body (as a
calming signal). Then, face the
dog, and say in a very relaxed
voice, it's nothing, be
During this training
time, it can be helpful to have the dog wearing a
and dragging a leash indoors. Do not grab the dog by
the collar. Use the leash-collar combination to
gently pull the dog's mouth closed as you give the