Let’s face it barking dogs can be pretty annoying, especially so if they do it at inappropriate times, but there are ways you can get your dog to calm down, it just requires a little time and patience.
The first and most effective thing you can do is to just ignore him. Although this sounds difficult and sometimes it is tough not to shout in frustration but through communicating with your dog – even angrily – you are rewarding him. Remember that he craves your attention and if he finds that barking will make you react he will continue to do it. When your dog becomes quiet again, reinforce his good behaviour by offering him a treat..
You should also take your dog away from any sort of stimulus that makes him bark, for example, if he is looking out of the window and barking at passers-by you should shut the curtains and take him to another room, this will also take away whatever reward he gets from barking.
Another effective way of teaching your dog not to bark is to teach him to bark! That might sound absurd but it has been proven to work over and over again. To do this you should first tell him to “speak” and get someone to knock on the door at the same time. Allow him to bark a couple of times then offer him a treat. Once he stops barking to eat, praise him for being good. If you continue to do this until he barks every time you command it, then you can teach him the “quiet” command by telling him to “speak”, allowing him to bark and then saying “quiet” whilst offering him a treat then praising him for being quiet.
At Dog School we understand that training your dog can be a long and frustrating process, this is why we offer specialised dog training in Sutton. Keep checking back for more useful dog training tips!