Barking is a dog’s principle means of communicating and should be expected to a certain degree. However, when your dog’s barking becomes disruptive to your household or to the neighbourhood, there are disciplinary options. Using rewards and positive reinforcement to teach your dog to bark when you say “speak” will enable you to introduce a “quiet” command to switch off the barking as well.
Certain dogs may bark as a result of a need for attention, or possibly out of boredom, or they may be barking at people or animals. Some dogs may bark as a result of stress or anxiousness. A dog barking because of anxiety should be treated differently than a dog who is barking because of boredom.
Involving your neighbours in the process can help to ease tensions and will help you understand and monitor when and for how long your dog is barking. If you are away from home a lot, ask them to record the time of day and duration that the barking happens. If you are at home, make a note yourself. Consider using a video camera to monitor your dog when you’re not there. If the video approach doesn’t suit, try walking out the door and waiting on the step. If your dog starts barking, go back in and give your dog discipline. Blindly punishing your dog will only serve to make things worse.