Demand barking, the ever-recurring serenade that leaves dog owners feeling caught in a loop of frustration. But fear not, pet parents, as a certified canine expert has shared a straightforward secret to put a stop to repetitive barking.
It’s one thing to learn how to stop a dog from barking in their crate but it can feel like a much larger (and noisier) problem when the barks are happening all the time. It will test the patience of even the most patient dog owners.
Fortunately, certified Dog Trainer Jeff Causby, the founder of Best Buddy Dog Trainer, has taken to TikTok to share his secret to combatting demand barking. Here’s a little clue as to just how simple the advice is… have you ever tried giving your canine the silent treatment?
In the video below, Causby shares his theory while ‘Don’t Speak’ by the band No Doubt plays in the background, which emphasizes his advice about staying as quiet as possible during an episode of demand barking with your dog.
According to Causby, when dogs learn that barking gets them attention, they are more likely to continue the behavior. This repetitive barking cycle can lead to excessive noise and stress for both the dog and their owners. Addressing the issue early on can prevent the behavior from becoming deeply ingrained and harder to modify as time goes on.
The Animal Behavior College certified dog trainer explains that speaking to a barking dog inadvertently reinforces the behavior, as they perceive it as a way to grab your attention. To break this pattern, "Break eye contact and turn away when your dog barks," Causby says. Then, "Mark when they’re 100% quiet".
The key is to reward your dog only when they are completely quiet, using positive reinforcement to encourage the silence. This may be in the form of verbal praise or handing them some of the best dog treats. Practicing this technique during training sessions and real-life situations can help solidify the behavior modification.
Putting an end to repetitive barking not only benefits you and your household's peace but also will improve the bond between dog and owner. When demand barking ceases to be the go-to attention-seeking strategy, dogs are more likely to engage in calmer and more positive interactions with their owner.
Consistency is key when it comes to dog training, and Causby recommends practicing this approach for three weeks, three times a day. By dedicating time and effort to this training regime, dog owners should hopefully experience significant improvements in their dog's demand barking habits.
However, if the barking persists, you should consider working 1:1 with a professional trainer or behaviorist who can help you get to the bottom of the issue. Read our guide on how to spot dog trainer red flags before booking one in and ensure you pick a safe and experienced trainer to work with your pup.
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Jessica is Staff Writer at PetsRadar who joined the team after spending over a year writing for the brand’s sister site, Fit&Well. She is an avid dog spotter whilst out for her weekly runs and brings to the team a passion for creating informative and helpful digital content, which she has been putting to practice since graduating with a degree in Magazine Journalism in 2021.