How to Stop a Dog From Barking at Nothing

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Stopping a dog from barking at nothing can be an extremely difficult task, but it will allow you and your dog to have a more positive relationship. There are many techniques to train a dog to stop barking at cats, cars or certain noises, but when he is seemingly barking at nothing, the training can take a lot longer. With some patience, and love, you can train your dog to stop barking at nothing.

Things You'll Need

  • Spray bottle filled with water
  • Toys
  • Anti-barking collar

Ignore your dog when he barks. In many instances, your dog is barking to gain your attention. If he is successful, he will learn that barking is the correct method for him to get your attention. Whether positive or negative attention, your dog realizes that barking will get you to notice him.

Throw a dash of water at the dog's face every time he barks. This is unpleasant for your dog, yet it will not hurt him. If, every time he barks, a dash of water hits him in the face, he will learn to stop barking. When you throw the water at him, don't say a word and don't make eye contact. This is to ensure that you are not showing him any attention.

Provide your dog with plenty of toys and bones. Oftentimes, the reason for a dog's barking is due to boredom. Try to allow him enough playtime every day and give him chew toys to play with when you are away.

Use an anti-barking collar. There are many varieties of these, but the best ones are those that are unpleasant but do not hurt them. Every time the dog barks, the collar will spray out a burst of citronella, lemon or other offensive odor to a dog. These work good when you are not home and are not able to provide any other deterrent to your dog's barking.

Block out any possible triggers. For instance, if you feel your dog may be barking toward the outside, block his view. If you think he may be barking at other pets, separate him for a while to determine if that is the cause. If your dog barks when you are not home, try placing him in a comfortable crate and toss a blanket over the crate, thus blocking him from seeing anything. Use an old blanket in case your dog is able to chew on it through the crate.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be patient, it may take several weeks for your dog to learn.
  • Never use physical punishment with your dog. You will only make him aggressive or act out in other ways; also, this is against the law.

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