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Ta P. writes, “We live in a suburb with a fenced yard and neighbors that are fairly close. Our dog barks at the neighbors any time they are outside doing normal, outdoor activities. How do I train my dog not to bark at them?” 

There are a few reasons why a dog barks when he’s in the yard. Often, it’s because he’s bored and doesn’t have enough mental or physical stimulation. Try adding some extra walks or runs each week, as well as additional training sessions to exercise your dog’s brain. If your canine companion knows basic obedience, you can teach him tricks and strengthen the skills he already knows. This will likely decrease the barking, but may not stop it altogether.

Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about the barking, unless you are in the yard with your dog, which isn’t always feasible. The easiest thing to do is to call your dog into the house and reward him with a tasty treat. After enough repetitions, your dog may start to come in on his own when the neighbors are outside.

Our dogs are cherished members of the family, sharing our lives and providing unconditional love. But all dog owners know that our canine partners have different perspectives on life than we do.

If you have ever asked, “Why does my dog do that?” then this feature is for you. The AKC GoodDog! Helpline training team will answer your questions on dogs’ behavior and offer training advice to help you and your pup have the best relationship possible. The AKC GoodDog! Helpline is a seven-day-a-week telephone support service staffed by professional dog trainers. For more information on the service and how to enroll, go to
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Why does my dog do that?

You have questions, we have answers. Download this e-book to get the explanations behind some of the strangest canine behaviors.
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