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Dear Bailey

Dear Bailey,

How do I get my dog to stop barking?

Most dogs bark, often for very good reason. But frequent barking can become a problem for you and your neighbors.

Dogs bark to communicate. They are social animals. Yelling at your dog when he barks will not make him stop. Your dog might even think your yelling is a way of talking with him.

Dogs bark when they are bored. They may be frustrated or bored and looking for something to do.

Dogs also bark to get attention. Even if dogs are punished for barking, they may still bark just to get that attention.

So, how can you keep your dog from barking too much? Train your dog to bark only when appropriate. Distract your dog when he barks too much. Drop a plastic soda bottle full of pennies or pebbles near enough to your dog to distract him – but not so close that you scare him. When he stops barking, praise him in a pleasant voice by saying "Good dog, that's enough."

Spend plenty of time playing with your dog everyday. Dogs who don’t get enough time with people are more likely to bark out of boredom or to seek attention.

Keep your dog busy. Give your dog safe chews and play toys. Check your dog’s toys daily to make sure they aren’t damaged. Damaged toys can become dangerous if your dog tries to swallow their parts.

You can prevent too much barking before it starts by making sure your dog is happy, healthy and well-trained. Contact a dog club in your area for information about training opportunities. Find a local dog club.

Good luck!


You can send Bailey your questions about dogs. Please use the mailing address to the right, or e-mail Bailey at

Bailey receives letters every week from kids like you, so keep checking your mailbox and Kids' Corner for a reply. Thanks for writing!

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