If you are reading this article, I’m sure you’re wondering how to get your new puppy to stop barking quite so much. We often don’t know what to do if our Labradoodle puppy barks more than we’d like, but there are measures you can take when your Labradoodle is barking unnecessarily.
How Do I Stop My Labradoodle Puppy From Barking? There are two phases to getting barking in check. When barking occurs, you should try to ignore the barking and reward the silence. Before it occurs, try to determine what is triggering the unwanted barking. If you can identify the trigger, you can make efforts to prevent it or redirect your pup with a toy or game. Adding regular exercise, teaching a “quiet” command, and consistency in training will all help you get the desired result.
Common Causes for Barking
Before you can truly stop your Labradoodle puppy from barking, it’s important to know why the pup is barking. Let’s face it. Dogs bark. It’s what they do and how they communicate. Seldom will dogs or puppies bark without a reason. They may also have a different bark for every situation. The first step towards stopping unwanted barking is to determine the cause.
- Fear or alarm – Puppies and dogs will often bark if they see an object or hear a noise that scares them or catches their attention in some way. A fear-induced bark can happen at home or away from home. Sounds that will often bring about this type of bark are sirens, thunderstorms, fireworks or similar loud noises.
- Protective or territorial – Dogs consider certain areas as their home or their territory even at a young age. When a person of an animal invades their territory, they may view it as a threat and, their first instinct is to bark. The closer the threat comes, the louder the dog may bark. This bark can generally be easily identified because the dog will look very alert and may even seem aggressive.
- Loneliness or boredom – Dogs and puppies are pack animals and don’t particularly enjoy being left alone. Puppies and dogs will often bark to show their unhappiness when they’re bored and sad about being left alone.
- Seeking attention – Dogs love attention and when they’re not getting the attention they want or feel they desire, they’ll often bark.
- Pain or discomfort – If a dog is in pain or discomfort, they may whine or bark.
- Excitement – Sometimes a dog will just bark because he’s excited or happy.
What is Excessive Barking?
Excessive barking is probably the No. 1 complaint among not just dog owners but neighbors of dog owners. Despite some cities and communities having no-barking laws, police don’t typically enjoy following up on these complaints. They usually encourage neighbors to work things out on their own. However, this is not always the case. If you’re the owner of the barking dog, it’s up to you to work with your dog and attempt to correct the problem.
Expecting a dog, even a puppy, to never bark is unreasonable because it’s how they talk and tell the world what they want or how they’re feeling. There is, however, a difference between regular barking and excessive barking. In fact, the Dog and Cat Management Act of 1995 has a specific definition for excessive barking. It’s described as when a dog persistently barks or makes other noises to the extent that it unreasonably interferes with the comfort, peace and convenience of others.
Dogs and puppies always have a reason to bark, but when the barking seems to just go on and on with no indication of slowing down, it’s considered as excessive barking. Sometimes, the owner can be trying with every imaginable step to stop the barking, but it continues. This is why it’s so important to begin working with your Labradoodle puppy at a young age.
How Can I Train My Dog to Stop Barking?
There are several methods you can use to train your dog to stop barking. You can try one of two methods or a combination of both.
Socializing your Labradoodle puppy around as many people, places and things as possible at a very young age will make him more comfortable when he does see those things in the future. This will eliminate barking out of fear or anxiety or because he feels someone is invading his territory.
Ignore the Barking – Reward the silence
Try ignoring the barking. In most cases, the dog is barking to get attention regardless of the type of bark. If he fails to get attention, he’ll probably stop barking. The second the dog stops barking, give him praise and a treat. Do NOT give a treat while he’s still barking. Do not give the dog any type of rewarding behavior while he’s still barking.
Avoid positively reinforcing the behavior:
Many owners will pet their dog and say “it’s OK” in a reassuring manner in an attempt to get the dog to stop barking. All this accomplishes is letting the dog know that “it’s OK” that he’s barking and you’ll continue to pet and reassure him while he’s barking. The dog needs to know when it’s appropriate and when it’s inappropriate to bark. At the same time, do not punish the dog for barking or put him in his crate.
Eliminate, avoid, or help him get used to triggers:
If a certain situation causes the barking, and it’s possible to eliminate the situation, eliminate the situation. For instance, if your dog repeatedly barks when left in back when the neighbor’s cat is outside, try to avoid putting him out back when the cat is there. In a controlled situation you can try and get him used to being around cats, especially early on if this will happen frequently.
Teach her what will make you happy:
A good way to teach your Labradoodle puppy to not bark excessively is to correct the problem at the first unnecessary bark. When the dog barks, say “no’ or “quiet” in a firm voice. The second the dog stops barking, praise him and give him a treat. There really is nothing that will please your Labradoodle puppy more than knowing he’s making you happy.
Labradoodles are very intelligent dogs and will catch on eventually if you’re persistent with the training. The earlier the training begins, the easier and quicker it will be. It’s much easier to teach a 3-month old puppy not to bark excessively than it is to teach a 2-year old that’s been doing it for a long time. It’s still possible to train the older dog just more difficult, frustrating and time-consuming.
Does Teaching Them to Bark Give You Better Control of the Barking?
You’re probably wondering how teaching a dog to bark can actually give the owner control over a barking dog, but it does. It can work because it’s taking control away from the dog and giving it to the owner, who is dictating when and where the dog barks. The great thing about this is that the dog still feels he’s in control even if he’s barking on command.
When you’re teaching the dog to “speak” and giving a treat when he speaks, you’ll also be teaching him “quiet” when he stops barking. With repetitive training, your dog will realize that it’s to his benefit to only bark when he’s told to bark and that being quiet will garner him treats.
Can Health Issues Cause Excessive Barking?
As annoying as excessive barking can be, sometimes it can be caused by a health issue. Before you initiate some form of anti-barking techniques or training, WebMD recommends having your dog checked by a veterinarian to make sure the dog doesn’t have a health issue causing him to bark.
Barking is your dog’s way to communicate. If he is in pain or discomfort, he really has no other way to communicate with you. Excessive barking can be caused by something as simple (not so simple to your pup) like a bee sting or toothache to something as complicated as a brain disease.
If the dog has a health issue that causes ongoing pain, this could very easily make the dog bark. Older dogs often suffer from chronic pain and may bark when the pain becomes serious. Walking your dog on hot pavement in the summer can cause the feet to become very sore, which could also cause barking.
How do you teach your dog to bark on command?
If you know that a certain thing, such as knocking on the door, makes your dog bark, knock on your door and give the dog a treat or a click and treat as soon as he barks. Eventually, he will associate the word “speak” with barking.
Do anti-bark devices work and are they humane?
The most common anti-bark device is a collar that goes around the dog’s neck and emits a certain stimulus when the dog barks; the stimulus may be an ultrasonic noise, a loud noise, a quick electric shock or a spray of citronella mist. Of these methods, the ASPCA states that the citronella spray was the most effective. Anti-bark devices do work for a while or until the dog becomes “collar smart” and recognizes when the collar is on and when it’s off. They may not be inhumane, but they’re not the recommended choice to eliminate unnecessary barking.
As annoying as barking may be to your neighbor, and even to you and your family, your Labradoodle pup is trying to get a point across. Teaching your pup how to “speak” in appropriate situations and when to stop is the best way to ensure your pup grows up to be a joy to everyone and a source of pride!