Dogs bark; that’s how they communicate with the world, so your dog isn’t the only dog that constantly barks at strangers. The barking might result from fear, excitement, or trying to protect territory. And although having a dog that protects you and your territory is great, there’s not always a reason for that. So, if this behavior continues toward everyone passing you by, it can become a problem.
So, how to stop my dog from barking at strangers, you ask? If this is the situation you’re in, no matter how much you love your furry friend, the excessive barking at strangers is probably annoying you a lot, so you’re looking for a way to end this behavior. Well, you’ll be pleased to learn that there are plenty of techniques to try and manage this problem.
How to Stop Your Dog from Barking at Strangers
Your dog’s constant barking can become stressful for both of you, so you must do something. In this article, you’ll discover how to put a stop to this kind of behavior. The mentioned methods below are easy, so try to use them all and see which will result in a positive change.
Give a command to stop
Choose a word like “quiet”, “stay”, or “stop”, and use that word until your dog learns its meaning. You can teach your dog this command by gently holding its mouth and saying the word of your choice. When your dog starts understanding and stops barking when you let go of the mouth, don’t forget to give the puppy a treat. Always reward your dog’s good behavior, as this will keep the motivation!
It’ll take time for your dog to understand this, but be patient. And, of course, don’t overuse this command. Dogs love to bark, so telling yours to be quiet all the time is a torment. Use this command only when your dog needs to stop barking without reason at strangers.
The easiest way to distract your dog from barking is by shaking a set of keys because noise is an excellent distractor. The sound will definitely distract your dog from whatever it’s planning to do.
So, anytime a stranger approaches and your dog starts to bark, make sure you have the keys in your pocket or anything else that will make a similar noise. If you don’t have your keys, you can achieve a similar effect by snapping your fingers.
Once you have your dog’s attention, tell your furry friend to sit or lie down, which will turn the dog’s attention to you. Every time this trick works, give a treat to your dog.
Throwing your dog’s favorite toys to play with or a ball indicating playing fetch is another method that can be beneficial in distracting your dog from barking, but only if you apply it in your yard.
Prevent the barking
If you carefully observe your dog, you can learn its body language and know its next move. This is great because it will allow you to prevent the barking before it begins.
The signs to look out for are plenty. Usually, the dog becomes extremely focused on its target for a couple of seconds. Also, its tail won’t be moving. Another indicator can be leaning forward and pricking the ears.
So, by catching these changes, you can interrupt your dog’s plan to start barking and manage to control its behavior.
Check your reaction
Sometimes, even you can be the reason for your dog’s barking. Yes, you’ve read that correctly, so now you probably think there’s no way for that to be possible. Well, it is. Your dog knows you better than you can imagine, and it senses your tension.
So, when you’re face to face with someone you don’t like so much and who’s a stranger to your dog, even though you’re greeting that someone with a smile, your dog knows that that’s not quite a sincere reaction. So that might result in barking.
What you can do is take a deep breath and stay calm. Don’t spend too much time talking with people you don’t want to talk to. Reassure your dog that there’s no danger by keeping it close to you, and everything should be fine.
Change the walking direction
These methods are effective, but you should consider that it might take time for your dog to learn and change its behavior. So if you want to avoid uncomfortable situations with strangers while walking your dog, you can simply change the walking direction.
Changing the direction you and your dog are walking is a temporary solution, but it will give you the desired results. So, when you notice a stranger walking towards you, turn around before your dog sees the stranger and starts barking. You can cross the street or turn on the first corner. Everything to avoid your dog getting tempted to start barking.
Things You Should Avoid
The following things are a big NO when teaching your dog to stop barking at strangers, so make sure you never do them.
How to stop my dog from barking at strangers? Well, reread the above methods as many times as you need to, and try them all. One of them must work. Use the method that has the biggest impact on your dog, and teach it some manners.
Do everything calmly. If you get tense, nervous, or impatient, your dog will feel and absorb the negative energy and start behaving similarly. So keep everything under control, and don’t forget to appreciate your dog’s effort to alert you when danger lurks.