Dog outside looking into camera

With pet parents and their pups being confined to home, dogs are likely to become more vocal in the backyard. Below are four tips to help your pups be good neighbors:

Tip 1: Make sure your dog is properly exercised and entertained

Many people assume that because a dog is in a backyard, it means they will exercise themselves or find productive things to do. Not true! Even dogs with large backyards need to be walked or run for at least 60 minutes everyday. Make sure to provide your pup with interactive toys like food cubes and bones to chew. If your dog is tired and has toys to engage with, then your pup will be less likely to bark at a neighbor.

Tip 2: Don’t accidentally reinforce your dog’s barking

Often, when a dog starts barking, pet parents yell from the house for them to be quiet. Guess what the dog thinks? They barked, then the pet parents barked and suddenly the pup is getting way more attention than when they were quiet. To the dog, barking is a great thing!

Tip 3: Actively listen for those moments when your dog is not barking; go outside and lavishly praise your pup

Additionally, spend time in the yard when your dog will most likely hear the neighbors or other noises that make them bark. As soon as your dog hears the noise, but BEFORE they start barking, praise and treat them for being quiet. Your dog will soon learn that “silence is golden” and will start to bark less.

Tip 4: Want to teach your dog how to stop barking on command?

Here’s how:

  • Go in the backyard with your pup.
  • When your dog hears a sound and starts barking, let them bark a few times and then say “quiet” in a firm but soft tone
  • If your pup stops barking, even for a second, praise and give them a treat as you say, “good quiet”
  • If your pup ignores you and keeps barking, make a sound or movement to shift their focus to you
  • When your dog responds say, “good quiet” and treat, then repeat!

If the noises that make your dog bark occur inconsistently then start practicing the “quiet” command with a sound you can control such as knock at the front door or a doorbell. Once your dog understands “quiet” in the house then you can use the word to stop your pup from barking in the backyard.

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