All dogs bark once in a while, but if you find that your dog continually barks at noises that it hears, you will need to take steps to prevent this behavior. When a dog is barking at noises all the time, it will be very stressful for you and the dog. Luckily there are many steps you can take to help correct this behavior.
Seek the help of the experts.
When dogs are barking at noises, there may be an underlying issue, such as separation anxiety. Separation anxiety can mean your dogs’ stress levels are very high, which will only exasperate the barking. Bring the dog to the vet to access the situation. The vet might prescribe anti-anxiety medicine. Alternatively, if the issue is severe enough, the vet might also have you work with a trainer to teach you how to modify the behavior. For separation anxiety, there are also products such as a thunder shirt, to help keep the dog calm and prevent barking.
Figure out the most common noises which cause your dog to bark.
It is crucial to identify the sounds that your dog is most likely to react to and write them down. Once you have the list, it will be easier to train your pet to remain calm when they hear the noise. Some dogs react to sounds such as thunder, while other dogs might respond to noises such as the buzzer going off when the dryer is done.
Start working with the dog to desensitize them to the noise.
Once you have figured out the noises that your dog reacts to, you can begin working with them to desensitize them to the sounds. You can have CDs made that play the noises that cause the dog to bark. Start with the volume on low and give the dog treats as it listens to the sounds. Gradually you can begin to increase the volume and continue to provide the dog with treats. Over time the dog will start to associate the noise with treats and will bark less.
Make sure the dog is exercised.
While frequently dogs bark at noises because they are scared of the sound, dogs also bark at noises out of boredom. If you exercise the dog enough, it will be less likely to bark at noises. Also, giving your dog toys or food puzzles to keep them occupied will help keep the dog distracted from barking.
Put on background noise while you are gone.
If your dog tends to bark at noises such as cars going by, you may want to drown out the noise. You can leave the TV on or purchase a white noise machine.
Create a safe, quiet space for the dog.
It is also vital to create a space that is quiet for the dog to go and relax. Pick a quiet part of the house, and set up either a crate or a dog bed. If a dog is scared by the noises, they will have a safe place to retreat instead of barking at the sound.
Block the dogs’ view.
While dogs bark at noises, if they can not obtain a visual on the cause of the sound, they may be less likely to bark at the noise. Pull down the blinds, so the dogs cannot also be visually stimulated, which will help to reduce the barking.