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Labrador retriever puppy sitting in the grass howling.
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Dogs bark. There’s no denying the fact that barking is a natural reaction for most canines. But sometimes, dog barking can become a problem and annoyance.

Oftentimes, owners respond to barking in ways that fail to address long-term behavior—for example by yelling, rewarding bad habits or inconsistently disciplining.

When looking for a permanent solution, keep in mind that as the dog’s owner, finding the source of the behavior is important. If your dog is barking because of boredom, providing your pet with something to do may be the answer. However, if separation issues are the trigger, this may require a completely different approach. Sometimes, the most straightforward solutions work. For dogs who have established barking as a leisure-time activity, though, a simple solution does not always work.

Luckily, there are several common recommendations for dealing with your dog’s barking.


Make sure your dog has an adequate amount of exercise before you leave in the morning. A tired dog is more likely to rest when you’re not at home. If possible, have a dog walker come to walk your dog mid-day.

Dog Toys and Puzzles

There are a number of products that will give your dog something to do. For example, treats can be placed inside a toy, and the dog will work to get the treats out.

Manage the Surroundings

A common suggestion by trainers for dogs who bark when owners are gone is to leave the dog with some familiar sounds such as a radio or television. The idea is that these approximate the household sounds when the owner is present. Additional behavior tweaks like closing the blinds before leaving the house can help by removing your dog’s temptation to bark (such as during the mailman’s daily delivery).

Teach the “Quiet” Command

A popular method is teaching the “quiet” command, using a calm, firm voice to tell your dog to be “quiet” and positively reinforcing correct behavior with treats and affection.

Canine Good Citizen

The AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) program is the gold standard of how dogs should behave. Not only is Canine Good Citizen a great way to train your dog, but it is also a good stepping stone to other canine sports. Find a dog trainer near your location and take the Canine Good Citizen test for your dog.

Spray Collars

Bark collars are one of the most reliable, effective and trustworthy methods. To adhere to particular pet and owner preferences, they also come in a variety of options. Spray collars deliver a safe, light burst of unscented or citronella spray when the dog barks. Often used in candles and incense, citronella is made from the natural oils of lemongrass.

The PetSafe® Spray Bark Collar is the newest addition to the market, deterring unwanted or excessive barking and whining with a mild burst of citronella or unscented spray using a rechargeable, water-resistant collar. Using advanced sound technology, the collar detects the dog’s bark and is able to distinguish it from other noises.

There are no false corrections, even from the barks of other dogs. Each easy-to-use, recyclable refill cartridge provides 35 sprays and can help reduce barking in as little as two weeks.

Visit to learn more about the PetSafe® Spray Bark Collar.
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Canine Good Citizen (CGC)

This program is recognized as the gold standard for dog behavior. In CGC, dogs who pass the 10 step CGC test can earn a certificate and/or the official AKC CGC title.
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