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Do you have a dog who barks incessantly when you take them for walks? It can be frustrating and annoying, not to mention embarrassing.
In this post, we’ll share some tips on how to stop your dog from barking so you can enjoy your walks together in peace.
Why Does My Dog Bark on Walks?
Before we get into how to stop your dog from barking, it’s important to understand why they’re doing it in the first place. Fear or excitement are usually the two main reasons.
A dog who is afraid may bark because they feel threatened by their surroundings. This could be due to a traumatic experience, like getting lost or being attacked by another animal.
On the other hand, a dog who is excited to be out walking may bark because they’re trying to communicate with you. They may want to play, or they may be trying to tell you that they’re ready to go home.
Tips to Stop Your Dog From Barking When Out Walking
Now that you know why your dog is barking, here are some tips on how to stop them from doing it.
Start with Obedience Training
If your dog is still a puppy, or if they’ve never had obedience training, this is a good place to start. Dogs who know how to follow basic commands like sit, stay, come, and down are less likely to bark excessively.
This is because they understand that you’re the leader and they need to listen to you. obedience training will also help your dog feel more confident and secure, which can reduce fear-related barking.
Use a Leash and Collar That Fit Properly
Barking is usually accompanied by pulling on the leash. If your dog’s collar and leash are too loose, they may feel like they can get away from you and this can increase excitement and barking.
On the other hand, if the collar is too tight, it may be uncomfortable for your dog and make them more likely to bark out of frustration.
Find a middle ground that is comfortable for your dog and gives you some control over their movement. This will help reduce pulling and barking.
Use Positive Reinforcement
When your dog is walking calmly by your side, be sure to praise them and give them treats. This will reinforce the behavior you want to see and make it more likely that they’ll do it again.
Conversely, if your dog starts barking, don’t give them attention. This includes yelling at them or trying to physically stop them. This will only increase excitement and make the barking worse.
Stay Calm and Confident
Dogs are very good at reading our emotions. If you’re feeling anxious or frustrated, your dog will pick up on that and it will make them more likely to bark.
Instead, try to stay calm and confident. This will help your dog feel secure and less likely to bark.
Teach the “Heel” Command
The heel command is a helpful way to stop your dog from pulling on the leash and barking. To teach this, start by having your dog sit or stand next to you.
Then, give the command and start walking. If your dog starts to pull ahead, stop and make them wait until they’re calm before continuing.
Reward them with treats and praise when they walk by your side without pulling.
With patience and consistent training, your dog will eventually learn to heel on command. And when they do, they’ll only be focused on you and not on the things that are making them bark.
Desensitize Your Dog to the Things That Trigger Their Barking
If your dog is barking because they’re afraid of something, it’s important to slowly desensitize them to whatever is causing the fear.
This process should be done with the help of a professional trainer or behaviorist. They can work with you to create a training plan that is safe and effective for your dog.
Move Away From the Trigger
If your dog is barking because they’re excited, you can try moving away from whatever is triggering their excitement. For example, if they start barking when they see other dogs, walk in the opposite direction.
Gradually increase the amount of time that you’re able to stay near the trigger without your dog reacting. This will help them become less and less reactive to the things that excite them.
Pull the Focus of Your Dog Back to You
If your dog is barking because they’re trying to get your attention, you can try to redirect their focus back to you.
This can be done by calling their name, giving them a command, or offering them a treat. Once they’re focused on you, praise them and give them the attention they were seeking in the first place.
With time and patience, you can train your dog to stop barking excessively. By using positive reinforcement and remaining calm, you can help your dog feel more secure and reduce their need to bark.
Barking is a normal part of dog behavior, but it can become a problem if it’s excessive. If your dog is barking when out walking, try to identify the cause and then use the tips above to stop the behavior. With patience and consistent training, you can help your dog learn how to stay