Dog Training Tips: Nuisance Dog Barking

Every time someone walks in front of my house my dog barks, is there something I can do to stop this barking?

Barking is normal dog behavior. A dog will bark for a variety of reasons including fear,attention, boredom, territorial, play, social,, learned and loneliness. It would not be reasonable to stop a dog from barking the goal should be to resolve excessive barking.

When a dog barks at the window when someone passes by your house it is usually a territorial or social behavior. The territorial behavior is designed to alert the leader that someone or something has invaded their territory. The social behavior is inviting the person to come and play.

A person should never yell at their dog for barking. Most dogs interpret yelling in humans as a reinforcer for the barking behavior. Any behavior that gets reinforced will continue and occur more frequently.

The following should only be implemented if your dog is not aggressive or exhibited aggressive behavior in the past. If your dog is aggressive seek assistance from a professional. First you must go to the window and investigate why the dog is barking.

This may be enough to stop the barking in some dogs. If the dog does not stop barking give a firm, calm and assertive “quiet” command. If the dog stops barking for a few seconds praise and reward. If the dog does not stop barking try the following options:

1. Block your dog’s access to the window by placing your body between your dog and the window. Give the quiet command again and step towards your dog, continue until your dog stops barking. When the dog stops barking and is quiet for a few seconds praise and reward your dog.

2. Shake a can of pennies to get the dog’s attention and say “quiet” if the dog stops barking praise and reward.

3. Use a water spray bottle to spray the dog to get their attention and say “quiet” if the dog stops barking praise and reward.

Other things that can be done to reduce barking are:

  • Ensure the dog is exercised each day. Your average dog will need two 20 to 30 minute walks per day.
  • Teach your dog the “come” command and call the dog away from the window.

If the above techniques are not successful contact a professional dog trainer to provide further instructions.