Barking is a natural method of communication for dogs as well as wolves in the wild. It is important to remember that dogs were at one time wild and were domesticated by humans as pets millennia ago. When we begin the process of stopping puppy barking, we must remember that we are modifying innate behavior that is part of the puppy’s DNA.

Understanding that puppy barking is natural, does not make it acceptable to simply let a puppy disrupt the whole household with the constant noise. Instead, stopping puppy barking methods must include a process of behavior modification that takes into place the reasons why puppies bark.

Very young puppies make a mewing-like sound when they are in search of food or warmth. If the puppy is hurt or frustrated he will let out louder crying sounds. As puppies get older they begin to bark for various reasons: Alert/warning barks, Attention-seeking barks, Play/excitement barks, Self-identification barks, Bored barks, Lonely/anxious barks.

As you can see, there here are many reasons for barking and it is your job in stopping puppy barking to determine why your pup barks excessively. If you want to control your puppy’s barking you must let him know you are in control and that he must look to you for his own behavior cues.

Some of the theories put forward as methods to stop puppy barking are:

1) Don’t shout “No” at your puppy. He will think that you are joining in on the barking too.

2) Be consistent. Use a word like “Enough” all the time to express distain for the barking.

3) Be patient. Changing barking behavior is a long-term process.

4) Reward your puppy for good behavior. Positive reinforcement trumps punishment.

5) Do not hug your dog or play into his barking. This just reinforces more barking.

6) Control the situation. Use short 5-10 minute practice sessions as training.

7) Do not be afraid to ask for help if you think your puppy’s barking is severe separation anxiety.

Excessive puppy barking can drive some people and their neighbor’s nuts. Don’t discount the stress that this type of behavior puts on you and your family. You must make a concerted effort to get the barking under control so that there will finally be some peace in your home again.