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Incessantly Barking Dog

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From Melanie Walton:

I have a male pointer mix dog that is about 2 years old. He likes to bark at everything! He has been through a basic obedience class and I do use the clicker when working on training skills with him. He loves working with the clicker and learns skills quickly. My problem is I don't know how to Discourage an undesired behavior. He barks a lot. There are two different situations in which he barks that I would like to stop. If he is sitting in the house next to me and hears a dog FAR off somewhere else in the neighborhood (he cannot see the other dog) he jumps up, runs around and frantically barks. Frequently he imitates the other dog's bark. If it's high pitched, my dog barks higher; if it's low pitch, my dog barks lower. He gets so worked up and then eventually stops barking, usually if the other dog stops (this also happens when he is outside the house).

The second situation is if he is in the yard and a person or especially a dog walks/rides/drives by anywhere in his line of sight (sometimes right by the fence and sometimes all the way at the other end of the block). He goes nuts, starts barking and runs back and forth in front of the fence. I can't seem to distract or get his attention at all. And if I am inside the house (and he's in the yard) I'm afraid if I walk outside to stop him it will reinforce the behavior.

The barking doesn't appear to be "mean." His hair is not standing up on the back of his neck and his tail usually up and wagging.

This is causing great problems with the neighbors and they are threatening to try to have my dog taken away. He is a great dog and learns quickly, I am just not sure how to use the clicker to show him the behavior I want...which is no barking.... or being quiet. Maybe he could be taught to bark just once or twice and then stop. I just don't know how to do that. If you could please give some suggestions on how to use the clicker to stop him from barking I would greatly appreciate it. I don't want my dog taken away and I do want to make my neighbors happy. I would love any help/advice you could give. 

Dear Melanie,

When something happens that sets him off, In the house, get some super treats and the minute he barks click him and treat. Put him on a leash if you have to, so he doesn't run around. Stand on the leash. As he is eating the treat and can't bark, shove your hand in his face like a traffic cop giving a 'Stop' signal; this will suprise him a little. Click and treat. Then pause, don't move, let him start barking, click, treat, signal Stop, while he's still quiet, click and treat. Then say "Bark!" let him start barking, click and treat, signal stop, click and treat. Go back and forth at least twenty times, very fast, don't try to keep him silent, just Get silence and click it. He will catch on.

You will now have the beginnings of both a bark cue, to reward a single woof, and a Silence cue, to interrupt barking, indoors. Do this exercise every time he gets to barking in the house.

As for the fence running and barking outdoors, that is a different problem. Get it under control in the house first. My advice would be NOT to ever leave the dog in the yard alone, until you have control of the barking. Walk him on a leash, exercise him someplace away from the yard, and keep him indoors the rest of the time. Dogs don't really do well alone in the yard, they are better off being with you, and the neighbors can't complain that way. Crate him if need be.

When you have a perfect recall trained—so that he always comes the minute you call no matter where he is, you can perhaps let him in the yard again, but no more than ten minutes at a time, and a big reward for coming when called. The fence running is self-reinforcing especially in a bored dog, and prevention—by not turning him out on his own—is the first part of management.

Happy clicking,

Karen Pryor

Dog Barking Like Crazy!

I have a sheltie/dachshund mix (yes, I know, two quite barky dog breeds) that barks at pretty much any noise that comes from outside our home. He gets plenty of stimulation and exercise on a daily basis, and is quite well behaved and obedient other than when it comes to barking excessively.

We moved to a new location recently and when we first moved he was surprisingly quiet for the first few weeks. Barking a little, but not nearly as much as he did at our previous place. We were thrilled. However, we have been living at our new place for several months now and it seems like as he  becomes more comfortable in the new environment that his barking is getting worse and worse. He barks at our neighbors coming up the stairs, some far-off in the distance dog barking, birds on the deck- and heaven forbid if there is a dog walking by that he can SEE! It's not an angry bark- but it is like he's in a blind barking rage! We can hardly snap him out of it sometimes. I understand he really LIKES to bark and be vocal in general, but it gets ridiculous. Oh, did I mention that our immediate neighbors/landlords (that we share a wall with) have a small dog that literally barks all day long?!

We have started to curb the barking a little, we can snap him out of it by saying "quiet" and he will come over to us, sit down and wait for a treat- but as soon as the treat is given he goes right back to the door and grumbles and barks again- until we say "quiet" he sits, we give him a treat, repeat. It's like it's a game where he knows that if he barks and stops momentarily he'll get a treat- so he actually has started to bark MORE because now he associates barking with getting a snack!

Anyways we're a little stuck. I don't expect him to stop barking completely, but I also don't want to be rewarding the bad behavior that I am trying to gain control of. Also, how do we control barking while we're not even home? How is a dog supposed to learn that excessive barking is NEVER acceptable if we're not there 24/7 to correct the bad behavior? HELP PLEASE!!

Attention barking

Hi Karen

I have a 2 year old labrador who has developed a severe barking problem.  I have had various trainers out to help me and have done a lot of research myself as I am also a dog trainer but he has completely stumped me.

He has developed a bad barking habit and it is worse in the mornings usually about 5am. Although sometimes if he isn't with us when we are in the living room he will also bark. He is kept in a large play pen with my other lab overnight and has enough room to walk around and stretch out.  he has elbow displacia so his physical exercise has to be restricted and he has mental stimulation, learning tricks and doing basic training.  Everyday he wakes us up at around 5am barking and wont stop. Sometimes I go through to him but only when he stops and walk into the kitchen let him outside and bring him back in, he settles for a little while then the barking starts again.

I have tried using the clicker to reward him when he is quiet followed by a tasty treat, I have tried only going through the second he stops I have also used a thundershirt and a calming band, the barking subsided for a while but the barking still continues.  Have you got any other suggestions to help me where I am going wrong? 

Many thanks


uncontrollable barking

My Rat terrier barks at numerous things for example when we go outside or go somewhere she will get so excited and bark uncontrollablly you tell her to stop she will for a second then you start to open the door she starts barking again,then when she is finally outside she wont stop barking. Also when looking outside our window she will bark at anyone that walks by our house.She barks when you close your computer,mute the T.V. , get out of bed, get up to do something. We tell her stop or no but it still continues.

Laurie Luck's picture

uncontrollable barking

Hi Chantele,

Thanks for your comment. I think using Karen Pryor's method described above will really help you get that barking under control. Give it a try and let us know how it goes with your rat terrier. They're smart dogs and should pick up rather quickly!

Laurie Luck
For Clickertraining.com
Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner
See my profile and contact information at

I have a 8 yr old corgi who

I have a 8 yr old corgi who is great in all ways except when the two cats that he has known since they were babies try to come in the Tv room.  If the male cat tries to come in from the kitchen he will start barking and chase him back.  Yet outside the cat walks right along with us and no problem.  I guess its a terratorial issue. We tell him "no" and call him back but would like him just to not do it.  Of course if he gets too close they will swat him.

He is a very smart and well trained in everything else.  Any suggestions?  I want to get a girl puppy but don't want him having a terratorial issue and attack her.

Laurie Luck's picture

Cats + Dogs

Hi Nancy,

Thanks for your comment. How about trying this: grab some fantastic treats (chicken, steak, salmon, sardines, etc.), put your corgi on a leash in the tv room. Have your kitty come in. The instant your kitty sticks his head into the tv room, click and treat your corgi. Keep clicking and treating for as long as kitty's around. As soon as kitty leaves (you can have someone take kitty out if she wants to hang out in there too long), stop clicking and treating. You want your dog to figure out that when kitty shows up in the tv room, it's an opportunity for your dog to earn some really fantastic goodies! Kitty = yummy food. No kitty = no food. Hope this helps!

Laurie Luck
For Clickertraining.com
Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner
See my profile and contact information at

iluvchocolat08's picture

Agressive/bored/attention barking

I'm having trouble with a staffie who comes to the daycare i work at. He follows me around and barks incessantly at me. especially if i go to sit down. He does this also with other dogs when he wants to join in playing or get a reaction from them (example, he barks at one older dog who gets annoyed and will growl and lash out if provoked). There's hardly a moment when he's quiet and relaxed! He always wants me to throw him toys and he'll catch them and put them in my lap, but gets aggressive with them so I often have to remove the toys.  My manager said when he starts to bark immediately put him in time out so he "knows who's boss", but I don't agree with this and the dog gets more worked up when i put him in time out. There's on average 20-30 large dogs in the room for doggie camp. What can I do for him (and for my sanity)?


Laurie Luck's picture

Agressive/bored/attention barking

My first thought is this: is this dog appropriate for a daycare situation? It sounds as if he's constantly over threshold and over aroused. Training may help, but if the dog is tover aroused and over threshold, training won't solve the problems. 

With that being said, think of a behavior you'd like to see instead of the barking behavior. Maybe it's sit, down, or go get a toy. Teach that behavior and heavily reinforce it. Then, before the dog gets a chance to bark, ask him for the behavior. Reinforce him heavily for performing the behavior. 

AAgain, I wonder if this dog is appropriate for daycare (or rather, if daycare is appropriate for this dog...). 

Laurie Luck
For Clickertraining.com
Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner
See my profile and contact information at

barking at shadows, lights on the wall

I have a 2 year old Basenji Mix. He's definitely a barker considering the Basenji genes! He seems to be worse in the afternoon as the light of day changes and barks at shadows cast on the wall from the sun or lights, or when a car drives by and the lights pass accross the walls, etc. We've tried adressing this whenever he barks, by reprimanding him w/ a 'No!' and/or 'quiet!' and giving him a treat when silent afterwards for a bit, but it's not working. Sometimes I think it may be he's bored and we play w/him or pet him,  to calm him down, but then he returns to the barking.

Wondering if I should I try clicker training?


8 month old labrador

My 8 month old labrador barks a lot. The quiet command after giving him food didn`t work coz he started barking again to induce me to say quiet and give him food treat.Can you suggest some measures?

Also,he still bites us(somewhat ferociously) although his teeth are fully developed.We tried ignoring him,but that doesn`t work.Plz help.

Incessant Barking Outside


My Border Collie, Quin, 19 months old, is also a barker.  Along with Quin, we have a 2-year-old Golden Retriever, Joy.  They are both outside dogs and love it!  They are inside only occasionally for very short times because we have our son, DIL, and 3-year old grandson living with us at the time so it would preclude these very active dogs being inside.  They seem quite happy to be outside, however.

I am doing agility training in a class with Quin and just yesterday was introduced to clicker training with him as he has stopped paying any attention to me during these classes.  In the first 5 beginners' classes he was incredible, did everything right, and amazed everyone; I waited to see what he would do when he began to get a little bored, which occurred at the beginning of these next 5-lesson session, so he didn't "disappoint" me.  Now, halfway through the class, he pays almost NO attention, runs off when I don't have a leash on him, and ignores me most of the time. 

The one trainer suggested clicker training to get his attention back on me again, showed me how, and I was absolutely amazed at the immediate attention she got from him. 

I need to have this translate into changing his behavior barking outside.  He runs the fence, barking at cars, trucks, people, everything he can't see.  I will try the method you suggested being out there with him, but have one question.  Can Joy, the GR, be present at the same time?  Can one train two dogs at the same time or will I have to kennel or crate her while I'm working with him.  I have noticed that in the beginning of doing this clicking activity, she seems to do the activity with him.

I'm thinking it's better to work with one dog at a time, but it's pretty hard to get them separated to work with just one dog.  If I need to do so, then I will, but look for your guidance.

Sorry to go on so long, but I've been frustrated for quite awhile.  I am very excited about making some changes in a wonderful pup who definitely needs to change some behaviors.


barking when training

Hello, this is my first post to this site which I find very interesting.

I have three clicker trained dogs.  However one of my dogs tends to bark during clicker training.  I thought to begin with that it was frustration as she thought out what to do, however, she will bark and grunt while performing behaviours as well.  How do I prevent this?

Laurie Luck's picture

barking when training

Hi Demeter10,

There are a couple ways to approach the barking. I like the option of putting barking and quiet on cue with stimulus control.

You might want to read these articles for some helpful information:

I hope this helps!

Laurie Luck
For Clickertraining.com
Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner
See my profile and contact information at

older dog-just started barking

I have an 11 yr. old Portuguese Water Dog.  He's never been a barker, but, now, will stand in the

middle of the room & bark nonstop, usually high-pitched, and , for no apparent reason.

He's gotten very demanding of my attention and will bark to find out where I am, or, to go to bed

when he wants to & wants me to go too.


He's very far removed from ever being an alpha male, so all of this behavior is extemely frustrating.


He has been to the vet's and they can't find anything wrong.


He has a daily long walk, not left alone very often, goes for car rides, etc., but, still, for no

reason, will start barking.  That's about all I know to do about stress and anxiety.


Could this be some form of dementia starting?

Laurie Luck's picture

older dog-just started barking

Yes, this could very well be dementia or some other age-related problem. While he may be fine outwardly, he may be losing his hearing, his sight, or as you suggested - could be experiencing dementia of some sort. Perhaps your vet can give you more information or refer you to a specialist.

In the meantime, you might start some basic training with him. The basics such as touch, response to name, and even "go to place" might be fun for your aging dog, and will help you both enrich his daily life and give you some tools with which you can help modify his behavior. Even some fun games at mealtime might help: feed part or all of his meals to him in a food-stuffed toy (Kongs, Squirrel Dude, Kibble Nibble), etc. This enrichment might offer him some excitement and stimulation - and might also alleviate some of the barking.

Laurie Luck
For Clickertraining.com
Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner
See my profile and contact information at



Laurie Luck's picture

Melissa - so good to hear the

Melissa - so good to hear the addition of the radio has helped with the barking! Pyrs are livestock guarders - they may be doing what they think is their job: barking at any potential threat, so it's sometimes hard to find a solution. I'm glad you found one!

Laurie Luck
For Clickertraining.com
Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner
See my profile and contact information at



Seperation Anxiety Barking

I have a 2 year old coonhound, and everytime I go to my moms house, he barks and barks and barks.  If I leave in my car, he doesn't bark.  Its only when I go across the street.  I'm not sure how to get him to stop.  My neighbors complained about him barking in the yard with the other dog in my house, or when he wants in, but thats him playing and letting me know he wants in.  My biggest problem is when I leave to go across the street.  Any solutions?

Laurie Luck's picture

Can you take your dog inside

Can you take your dog inside with you when you visit your mom? Or if the barking is a problem when you visit her, can you leave him home? Short of those two solutions, can you give him several stuffed Kongs (stuffed with food) to keep him busy for 30 minutes or so?

Laurie Luck
For Clickertraining.com
Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner
See my profile and contact information at

the clicker and the barking dog, among other things


The clicker never worked for me. Not to say that it is bad idea! The utterance of "ut, ut, ut" sharply worked better for me with my dogs and my middle school students for 30+ years. Just to get their attention under certain circumstances! They responded like puppies!

I trained a Rhodesian Ridgeback back in the mid '70's. He was difficult, but after a year of training and "my becoming the alpha," he responded with incredible loyalty and respect for "his Dad." The training paid off.  The Ridgey saved my neck in a Boston Parking garage from three muggers one day and warned me not to travel our usual route through some heavy woods by not letting me head down that path. Every time I tried to walk in that direction, he stepped in front of me growing lowly with his ridge raised on full alert! There had been a drug related stabbing in that heavily wooded area.

My next two were rescue dogs, and needed little, if any formal training, It's like they knew "their place in the pecking order" from day one they were and instant joy to have around.

My third rescue dog [current] was my greatest challenge. For six weeks she didn't bark at all. Often she would sit in the crate and just stare at me. Finally I decided to let her stay on the far end of the couch in a doggie bed. She started to warm up to me, Never chewed anything but her toys. She came from a very traumatic life of being chased and hit and attempts to set her on fire.

I went to obedience training once again to be retrained. Yes I said that I needed to be retrained. It was a long journey to gain her trust and confidence. Training with a clicker made it worse. She did not respond even to the trainer when the clicker was used. I tried "different" clicker types and whistles. After weeks of failed clicker trials, I switched to my older version of attention getting. Yes I used small treats all along, but the clicker seemed to make her almost as nervous as a rustling plastic bag or any running motor electric or fuel powered. She would actually do a quick jump at the sound of the plastic rustling and face it defensively until I reassured her that it was OK. "Just OK, let's go!" I digress.

What I did that worked great with all three previous dogs was the "short-hand" language of commands that I "created" using variations of Polish words with standard hand signals. [I am Polish/Italian.] The Polish word for quiet! Is phonetically:" chee-huh." 

She still gets carried away a bit meeting new people. So excited to greet and be greeted, but it is not uncontrollable. To this day the clicker still aggravates her some. But never approach her with a battery powered nail trimmer!!!! Now that is something I need help with!!!!

Have a safe and enjoyable New Year!

afraid of clicker

Some dogs are extremely sensitive to sharp sudden noises so even very soft clickers can be upsetting. I use a verbal marker/conditioned reinforcer with these dogs and keep training sessions very short to start. 


As for the battery powered nail trimmer, this may also be far too much sound for your dog. I would try introducing her gently to regular nail trimmers. Look for an excellent nail trimming video by Laura Baugh on this site.





Barking when there's a noise outside

I have Chihuahuas. I'm a property manager. My dogs bark when someone knocks on the door, rings the bell or if they hear the "jingle" of another dog's collar/license when they're walking in the alley. They bark when I'm not home. These dogs are like my children, and I've been given an ultimatum, find a solution to stop the barking or find another home for them.
I was told by someone that you can't train a Chihuahua not to bark. Any answers, solutions? Help!

Barking Dogs at Dog Agility Show Class Training

I attend the above classes with my Border Collie who is obedient & very well behaved. When other dogs are on the circuit she does not bark as I often sit with her as a spectator or if I'm out of sit she watches for me but does not bark. It's the other handlers Border Collies that I'm concerned about. There are about 12 collies that get excited when there is a dog on the circuit & bark consistently that they often break their restraints. The handlers have thought of spraying them with water to stop them barking but I'm not so sure that would work.
Is there a way to stop them barking?

out of control!

I have a 9 mth old jack russel who barks at evertying. He will bark if a leaf blows by a phone goes off any thing that moves or makes noise. What should i do it is getting out of hand and he is scaring little kids. When kids come over he will bark at them and jump up and bit them in the rear. It is getting worse as he gets older.


How long does it take for someone to rspond?

Aidan Bindoff's picture

Hi Juanita, you are

Hi Juanita, you are unlikely to get a response posting to a very old blog which doesn't see much traffic. Post your question in a user blog and you are far more likely to get a response.

Nevertheless, pennies in a can is a really, really bad idea. There are a lot of articles on this site that address your problems specifically, the Search box should give you good results (e.g search for "barking at door")





I have 4 YR. old ShiTzu he barks at people, other dogs when out walking, and just started running after people when they pass on the road while walking or riding there bike. He doesn't bite them but he sometimes gets close to where he looks like he will. Any door bell rining or knocking on the door he barks till they come in. We sometimes put him in the kennel but I want him to get use to everyone he comes in contact with.Anyone driving up, he runs to the window and barks till they get inside and if they or people he hasn't seen much he barks, Please help! I read about the pennies in a can. I was gonna use that to see if that works. Any ideas? I don't want anyone bite. Just know he's is very protective of the house. maybe thats it. I just want him to stop barking ALOT at people.

I have had success stopping barking when I am away...

My first Springer had intense separation anxiety, although I didn't know that was it at the time. I read a lot of suggestions for stopping her barking and found one that worked. I took a soft drink can and filled it about 1/8 with pennies and taped the top. When I left I took the can with me, walked her to her crate, gave her a cookie and told her to lay down. I appeared to have left, when in reality I was just outside the door waiting for her to start. She started barking immediately and I burst through the door, shook the can and said "quiet, go lay down"; I walked her to her crate, gave her a treat and repeated "quiet and lay down". Again I left, and the process was repeated about 3-4 times. The next time it took her about 3 minutes to start whining and then barking and I again burst in, shook the can and returned her to her crate (I wasn't locking her in at that point - she was confined to the kitchen). The next time it took about 10 minutes and I repeated the process. Then she started at 20 minutes, 30. And finally a whole hour went by and I "returned home" and said "good quiet, good dog" and gave her a treat. One more thing, as she earned my trust by waiting longer, I moved further from the door so I could reinforce the idea that I was really "gone" in case she had figured it out. If you have to, drive your car down the driveway and sneak back up on foot so she buys the idea.

It worked perfectly, only took me a few hours and she never barked again when I left, much to the delight of the people in my apartment. Who knows what she thought, but would you want an insane woman magically appearing and angrily shaking a can of pennies at you? LOL.

The other option, as it appears your dog may have separation anxiety is to crate them as it calms them tremendously.

Frenzied barking/stress related ?

I have three dogs,one elderly collie cross,one 5 year old Jack Russel and Meg 12 month old Collie sheep dog.They are never ever left alone for any length of time.However if I take them out and am forced to leave them in the camper van Meg waits until I have left and than barks constantly to the extent that she stresses herself(lots of saliva and deep panting)
The other dogs only react if any one touches the vehicle.
My main problem is how to correct a behaviour that only ever shows when I am not present.
Some times it is not possible to have them with me,shopping etc.
Meg was a serial barker when she first came to me at 6 months old.This was corrected by clicker/treat reinforcement.
She can be trained,she is a very biddable dog,but how please???????????

He's braking and barking...

Hi -

I have a 4 month old IG puppy and we are both learning´a lot right now :-)
One of the things that he does is to get under the bed in the master bedroom and start barking, barking, braking...

I usually call him from the kitchen and he then comes out running (without barking), gets a treat and all is ok - until he goes to the bedroom again.

Will he always be doing this when in the bedroom? What is he trying to say when he is barking under the bed? It happens even after we played or after we had a long walk so he cannot be bored. He has never in his life been punished for anything.

Why is he "hiding" and barking under the bed?

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