Dogs bark instinctively, but this behaviour can easily become a nuisance if he doesn’t know when to stop. Read more on this subject in this article.
Barking is a normal behaviour for a dog and it is not at all fair or realistic to expect your dog not to bark at all. But that being said, constant barking is not acceptable and it is a good idea to train your dog from a young age so that he does not bark continually. It is important that your puppy doesn’t bark for no reason, and also that he learns to stop when you ask him to.
Dogs bark for several reasons. They might be bored, frustrated, playing, guarding you or simply asking for attention. Sometimes, it has been accidentally trained when the dog was very young – perhaps a fuss was made of the dog when it was a puppy and gave an adorable little bark, and it learnt that it got plenty of attention when it barked. Dogs might also bark because of separation anxiety, and this is especially true for puppies.
Although it doesn’t feel like the most proactive method of training a puppy to stop barking, ignoring it can be one of the most effective ways. As already mentioned, one of the most common reasons for a puppy to bark is anxiety at being left alone, as in the past it would have been used to having its mother and the rest of the litter around.
To go from that to being left alone when you leave the room can be quite a stressful thing for a puppy until it realises that you will come back. Keep your absences short at first and don’t make a big fuss of your puppy when you return. If your puppy barks when you are out of the room, try and wait until he is quiet until you go back to him. If he is quiet, give him a treat. But don’t shout at your dog, as this will only increase its anxiety.
If your puppy is kept busy a lot of the time, it will be much less likely to bark. However, distraction is more a method of prevention rather than cure. If your puppy has toys to keep it occupied when you need to leave the room, it will likely be much more content and keep quiet for longer.
Another method of distraction involves making a noise to startle the dog and put it off what it was doing – in this case, barking. This can be as easy as banging a cupboard door, and then immediately carrying on with what you were doing. This breaks your dog’s concentration and interrupts his barking. The idea is that he associates the noise with his barking and not you.
Exercise is a great solution to stop barking in a dog or puppy. If your dog has been left alone for a long time or has been in the house all day, it could well be frustrated or barking out of boredom. Frequently, a nice long walk will help to relax both you and your dog, and when you get back home, your dog will most likely curl up and go to sleep. Playing with a puppy and getting it to run around inside the house will have the same effect.