Quieting Your Puppy’s Barking

Among a puppy’s several unique habits is the tendency to yelp and bark excessively. It can be harmless enough when your puppy is very young, but once his voice starts developing and the barks get louder, it can be very annoying. Here, a Farmington Hills veterinarian tells you some possible reasons for problem barking, and offers tips on curbing this behavior.

Barking out of Boredom

Many dogs will bark simply because they are bored. Giving him a selection of toys and doggie treats, as well as making sure his water and food bowls are adequately filled, may help curb his barking. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations on good toys as well as proper food and treat choices for your puppy.

Barking for Attention

If your puppy barks and you automatically respond to his cry for attention with a barrage of hugs and doggy treats, you’re only reinforcing his behavior. He will bark because he knows it gets him what he wants.

You need to walk away or ignore your pup if he’s barking for attention. Once he’s stopped barking, then you can give him the treats—this will associate his quieting down with receiving rewards. Eventually, he should stop his attention-seeking behavior. Ask your vet if you think your dog is barking because he wants attention or if another reason could be the cause.

Barking out of Anxiety

Some puppies bark and whine when you leave the house, because they don’t want to be left alone. While it may not be easy, you need to leave home and return home without a big show for your dog—don’t cuddle him and make promises to return. Simply leave and come back without saying anything. Make sure your pup has food and toys in his bedding spot while you’re gone.

After several repetitions of this behavior, your dog will learn that you coming and going is really of no consequence. He’ll be fine, and you always come back home, so there’s no need for him to make a fuss. His puppy anxiety will be greatly reduced if you stick to this plan. Your vet can advise you more on dog anxiety, and how to help your dog if it is a problem.

Whatever the reason your puppy barks excessively, there are ways to curb the behavior—it just takes the right techniques, patience, and commitment. Talk to your Farmington Hills veterinary professional about what might be causing your pup to bark, and the right path to go about quieting him down.


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