ALL ABOUT DOGS and CATS Resource Center for Canine & Feline Lovers
Dealing with Excessive Barking
By Kelly Carter
Canine Behavior Articles
So, the plan is to respond to everything your dog does with either positive or negative
reinforcement - a kind, happy “Good boy!” when he is quiet, a harsh, low-pitched “Bad!”
when he barks, for example. To begin teaching him to not bark excessively, trick him into
thinking you’re around even when you’re not. Just like a child, a dog will behave even if he
only thinks you’re around because there’s always the chance of you walking in and
catching him misbehaving, and as you taught him first with positive and negative
reinforcement, he knows that means B result will happen, and he doesn’t want that. If he
thinks you’re there, he also won’t feel he is alone and neglected.
Some people try the tape recording technique. They record their voices scolding the dog,
“No!” “Bad!” “Stop!” etc. They leave intervals of time between the shouts, say ten or
fifteen minutes. They play the tape when they are not at home, the intention being that if
the dog is acting up, he will hear the reprimand he is used to and will stop.
However, this method could actually hurt the training process. Your dog isn’t acting up all
the time while you are gone. So, he could be taking a nap or playing with a toy, and hear
your negative commands. He now will lose that powerful association between that scolding
and his bad behavior. Your No’s will lose all meaning, and you won’t be able to control his
behavior with reprimands and warnings any more.
So what can you do? As one successful owner did, train him to be calm while you are gone.
Leave the house, and make sure he sees you leaving. But leave something so you can hear
him, like a walkie talkie, or you can call your house phone from your cell phone and leave
the house phone behind without hanging up.
Don’t go too far, and the second he starts to bark, run back and give him that reprimand
he knows means he was misbehaving. Do this a number of times, and your dog will learn A,
to behave while you’re away, and B, that you’re not as far gone as he may think.
Article written by Kelly Carter of Oh My Dog Supplies, where you can find a incredible
collection of dog gates online.
Training your dog is all about association for them.
They think based solely on the result of their actions.
When I do this, A happens. When I do that, B
happens. Plain and simple. So if A is pleasing to
them, they will obviously want to keep doing A. If B
is displeasing, they will learn that they don’t want to
do B. If the results of their actions are drilled
regularly, it takes about a week for this to hit home
in your dog’s mind.