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Auckland Council

How to control barking

Me pēhea te aukati kurī tautau noa

It is important to get barking under control while your dog is still a puppy. Dogs can become nuisance barkers if they are not trained at a young age. A constantly barking dog can cause stress and disturbance for you and your neighbours.

​Why dogs bark

Dogs usually bark because they:

  • have separation anxiety
  • identify a threat
  • are bored
  • are stimulated by something they see.

Train your dog not to bark

Teach your dog to bark only to alert you and to then stop barking afterwards.

If your dog barks at everything that moves, use short reprimand words.

If you do the same every time your dog does something wrong, it will soon understand. Praise your dog as soon as it stops barking.

Do not console a barking dog. This will reward or reinforce barking.

Training advice on getting your dog to stop barking is available in this article.   

​Consult your vet or an animal behaviour specialist if you are having trouble training your dog to not bark.

Minimise sight stimulus

Do not leave your dog home alone where it can see the footpath or anybody passing by.

Either confine your dog to the backyard or in a way that it is unable to see things to bark at.

You can use shade cloth or brush stick fencing to block off any sight stimulus.

Keep your dog occupied

Giving your dog something to do prevents boredom and barking at everything it sees.

  • Exercise your dog regularly.
  • Rotate and restrict toys your dog can play with at one time. Easy access to all toys will easily lead to boredom.
  • Place treats in different places:
    • around the lawn so your dog can sniff it out
    • in a sandpit, if you have one, so your dog can dig the treats out
    • hanging on a rope's end so your dog has to jump and work for it
    • in a treat ball.
  • Get your dog to play with other dogs. This will help your dog learn the difference between safe and threatening situations (when barking is helpful).
  • Ask a friend or a dog sitter to look after your dog.

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