How to train your puppy not to bark

Female Beagle puppy on a white leather sofa, barking
Hush now (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Barking is very normal behaviour for dogs and puppies, but that doesn’t exactly make it nice.

Training puppies out of constantly barking is key, both for your sake and the sake of your neighbours.

That’s why Lorna Winter, director of the UK Dog Behaviour and Training Charter and co-founder and head of training at Zigzag, has shared her tips on how to get your pup out of that noisy habit.

INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOUR PET: Labradors have been the most popular breed in the United States for the last 26 years.

Don’t punish them

Don’t tell your puppy off for doing something that comes so naturally to them – they don’t know it’s naughty after all.

‘Don’t punish barking as it is one of the limited means of communication your puppy has with you and the world,’ says Lorna.
Portrait of pomeranian sitting on floor
Remember, they don’t know it’s naughty (Picture: Getty Images/500px)

Reward quiet periods

Instead, opt for positive reinforcement over negative.

‘Heavily reward periods of quiet behaviour,’ says Lorna, ‘especially with more vocal pups.’

Train your pet to understand obedience. Dogs should at least understand basic direction like “sit” and “stay.” In an emergency situation these cues could save your pet’s life.

Check they’re not bored

Your pup might be feeling vocal because they’re under-stimulated.

‘Barking is very often a symptom of boredom and frustration, says Lorna.

‘So try to figure out what it is your puppy is needing.’

Teach ‘speak’ and ‘quiet’ commands

You can also try to channel the barking into something constructive like specific commands.

Lorna explains: ‘Teach “speak” and “quiet” on cue, so you have some control over barking.’

Invest in an escape-prevention harness if you have a small dog and a fenced-in yard. A little silly looking, but safer than risking a runaway dog. Buy it here.

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