How To Stop My Dog From Barking At Strangers? If you are looking for these answers then you must be a dog owner. And you understand the problem. So here I am to solve your problem completely of how to stop your dog from barking at strangers.
Dog barking can be difficult many times when it gets excessive. Handling it with love and understanding is what a need is. Precautions and different methods can help you stop your dog from barking.
3 Reasons why your dog is barking at strangers.
- To protect you: The dogs can bark at strangers to think of protecting the owner. So, be patient and humble with them. As you take care of your dog, he can get to think of protecting you from everyone. The people who are strangers to him.
- Frustration: Like human beings, dogs can also get bored of sitting in one place. If dogs are not able to have a look at the outside world, they will not get socialized. A proper time given to games and exercise is needed. As they can bark because of socialization also.
- Due to fear: Fear can make them bark at strangers. There can be something they didn’t find comfortable of stranger so, they might be thinking to inform or warn you. To keep them safe.
We think the following can be the best methods to stop your dog from barking at strangers,
7 methods to stop your dog from barking at strangers:
- The Quiet Method.
- Handle them nicely when barking.
- Train to deal with distractions like strangers.
- Giving them proper Exercises.
- Communicate with the dog well.
- Changing route or place.
- Learning to socialize with them by giving treats from strangers.
These are explained as below:
- The Quiet Method:
As you may have seen on the internet, the most famous way to stop dog barking is the quiet method. You just have to say the word ‘Quiet’ to your dog calmly looking into his eyes. Try saying it till he stops barking then after some training sessions reduce the time of saying ‘Quiet’.
As you do this, your dog must be aware of some basic commands like ‘come here’, ‘sit’.
When he stops barking, treat him with a reward like playing with him. You can hold him while applying the method as you start. As the dog gets used to it, stop holding its muzzle.
As the dog barks again, repeat the same procedure. But increase the timing of treats.
Let the dog bark 2-3 times while looking at a stranger then start the procedure.
- Handle them nicely when barking:
Positive behavior will help it change the habit of barking fast.
Give him toys or treats when he is stable. But when he is barking, don’t scold him or show anger toward him. Most of the behaviorists say that Positive reinforcement is what helps in changing a dog’s bad behavior. Don’t use a muzzle to stop barking.
Another way to deal with your dog in the start can be saying ‘thank you’ to your dog when he is barking and eliminating the danger. Dogs want to be in control or safe. Their every experience should be safe and positive.
- Train to deal with distractions like strangers:
You can start with giving your dog training sessions like ‘Stand, Sit, Lie down, Come here, Stay’. Seeing strangers is distractive for dogs. This training will help them in listening to you. Give the instructions to your dog and train them to follow them properly.
Tell your dog to ‘Stay’ when he is looking at strangers. Give him a reward and then say ‘Sit’. Also, give him toys to play with as a reward.
What you have to do is shift their focus to you rather than strangers. When they have given you attention, treat them with a reward.
Add the items in your house that your dog is scared of. Like, your dog can be reactive while seeing other dogs or puppies. Bring a teddy bear to your house and let your dog have to look at it more often.
- Giving them Proper Exercises:
Dogs can bark due to frustration. Frustration can easily happen when not given proper care and time.
To avoid frustration, which will eventually lead to a problem, give him proper activities and exercises. You can ask any professional trainer for some basic exercises to start with if you haven’t tried them yet.
Bring him toys which can be played with alone. Play with him on a regular basis. Playing with him more than on regular days can be given as a reward if the dog did show good behavior and if he enjoys playing.
The ultimate goal is to keep him busy and make sure he is not bored. Make sure that you are giving proper workouts to your dog.
Don’t even strain his energy too much. Understand his stamina. Don’t forget he is a small animal with emotions.
- Communicate with the dog well:
A book by Zak George named ‘Guide to a Well-Behaved Dog will help you communicate better with your dog and make him behave well.
Try to know the reasons why your dog barks. Understand why he reacts in a certain way in different situations.
Try to control your dog’s barking before it even starts. Control it. You can give him treats or talk with him.
Giving them something to eat can also be a great way to get attention from dogs. Eye-to-eye contact can be a good way to communicate with your dog at that time.
If your dog is the fearful one and he is afraid of the strangers, then see if any kid has shown some inappropriate movement towards your dog. Make him feel safe so he can let you take charge and be calm.
- Changing route or Place:
Your dog might be barking for many reasons while looking at strangers. For example, their appearance, body language, or something which your dog can relate to as a past bad experience.
While going out, if you are leaving your dog at home then make sure he is at his favorite spot. You have added curtains so that the outside view is not visible.
When going on a walk, embracing strangers can be difficult for you to handle your dog. Just take the opposite route but before that make sure your dog is trained to move, walk and turn as you do. It will help in getting the quickest reaction.
As he will get a little comfortable in turning the route while contacting strangers you can try slowly walking side by side.
But at home, try changing his place where he normally barks or gets aggressive.
- Learning to socialize with them by giving treats from strangers:
Present your old friend who is unfamiliar with your dog with an amazing treat in front of the dog. Start slowly by looking at the dog. Come forward slowly. Then after some time, give him a treat and make him comfortable. He would get happy.
But try to maintain a good and calm posture. Be assertive. Dogs can bark due to their fear. Giving them something which they like, for example, food or toys will build a good image of strangers.
At the start of this training, stay far away from the dog. Some dogs can also react aggressively in the beginning.
The dogs need calm and relaxed energy when you are treating or controlling them.
If your dog is barking at strangers then you may have got the feeling of him not being liked by other people. Your family gets disturbed by barking and you may struggle to keep thinking about how to make your dog happy and stop barking. With that, your new relationships can also get affected.
But don’t worry by following the methods I have shown above you can easily help your dog and yourself also.
Get your dog under control, manage them, and get them to the place where they are comfortable.
- Is a dog barking at strangers always a problem?
Ans: Dog barking is nevertheless an issue unless it is excessive. Instead, your dog’s bark can save you many times. Whether it is a thief coming in or any problem. Some strangers can also treat your dog not well which is why the dog is reacting aggressively.
- Is breed a reason behind excessive dog barking?
Ans: For some dogs, it can be a reason. As they are bred to protect their territory as a guard. It can happen more when you have adopted the dog at the age of between 6-12 months.
- Does it take a lot of time to stop territorial barking?
Ans: As you may know after reading the article, territorial barking can be because of many reasons. So, understanding a dog’s nature can take time. Training him from start will need a lot of patience. Remember it’s not impossible.
- Should you use a muzzle sometimes to stop the dog bark in an emergency?
Ans: You should never use a muzzle to stop your dog’s bark as it will hurt him. It may look like a good solution but it isn’t. Being a pet owner, you always want your dog to be happy and active. Using a muzzle is not even a permanent solution. Handling him using methods is what you should do. No matter which method helps you. You need to train him.