How To Stop Your Dog Barking

Barking can be very annoying and distracting, but it is also a dogs main form of communication. So we do have to be realistic and remember that we won’t be able to stop them from barking completely, but we can certainly help to reduce this. 

First, you need to understand why your dog is barking, this will help to choose the correct training plan for them. Don’t forget, all dogs are different so what might work for your pup, might not work for another. If your dog continues barking after trying the following advice, it is best to contact a fully qualified animal behaviourist or dog trainer to help you further. 

There are multiple reasons why your dog might be barking, so let’s take a look at our top 3 scenarios and what you can do to stop your dog from barking:

My Dog Barks When Someone is At The Door 

Some people don’t mind dogs barking when someone is at the door, but if you do, here are a few tips and tricks:

  1. Throw a treat or their favourite toy on their bed and ask them to “go to your bed”.
  2. Once they get use to going to their bed, take the next step by opening the door while they are on their bed. If they get up, close the door immediately.
  3. Repeat the previous step until they stay in their bed with the door open. Remember to calmly reward your dog for good behaviour.
  4. Once they get use to this, have someone ring the doorbell (or use a recorded noise similar) while they are in bed. Repeat this process until they stay in their bed and do not bark. Remember to reward them for this.
  5. The final step would be to have someone ring the doorbell and open the door (you may need their collar and lead on). Again, repeat this until your dog stays in their bed and reward them for good behaviour.
dog barking at the door

My Dog Barks For Attention

Some dogs bark purely for your attention. As a pet owner, our natural reaction would be to tell them to be quiet, or give them what they want. Giving them attention does actually encourage the behaviour. And while you think shouting at them to be quiet isn’t giving them attention, it is. Because you are giving them a reaction.

So instead, when your dog barks for attention, try to ignore them. This might take a lot of patience, but by not reacting or giving them eye contact, they will eventually stop barking.

Once they stop barking, calmly praise them and give them the attention they were looking for. This could be a treat, tummy tickles or to get the tennis ball from under the sofa. If you repeat these steps, overtime your dog will learn that barking will not get them what they want.

Top Tip: Reward them throughout the day for being quiet on their own or giving them some love and attention. This will teach them that they don’t need to bark to get your attention.

dog barking for attention

My Dog Barks When Left Alone

It is common for your dog to get upset when they are left alone, this is called separation anxiety. Your dog is essentially barking or howling to try and reach out to you so that you will come back. The good news is that we have a few tips to help your dog to be left alone: 

  1. First, choose a safe place for your dog to stay when they are left alone and prepare this area with food and water. You might leave the radio on quietly and give them a soft toy to play with. A baby gate is a great thing to use so that they don’t feel trapped behind a door.
  2. At random points during the day, put your dog in this safe place with a few treats and close the gate behind you. Leave them for a few minutes and go about your day.
  3. After a few minutes, open the gate and let your dog come out in their own time. If they struggle with this, you could sit in the room with them, but completely ignore them. Repeat this step but each time, move closer to the gate and eventually to the other side of the gate. Move further away from the gate each time to allow your dog to get use to you not being close to them.
  4. Once you are out of sight, come back to them after a few minutes and open the gate. Calmly reward them for being good. Repeat this step but increase the length of time you are out of sight. This way, they will learn that you are going to come back to them.
  5. The next step would be to leave the house. So prepare the area as you would, and leave the house for a few minutes (before they get anxious). If they are comfortable with this, amazing. Keep repeating this step and increase the time each time you leave the house. They may get distressed when you grab your keys and put your shoes on, if they do, get them use to you doing this first by repeating these actions until they get used to it.
  6. If they show any signs of worry, take a few steps back and start where they feel comfortable.
  7. Remember to greet them calmly when you return each time. If they have shown signs of distress, do not shout at them, just take a few steps back and try again.
    separation anxiety in dogs


All dogs are different, so it may take you a long time to grasp this, or it may not take long at all. Just remember to keep going and do everything calmly.

If none of the above advise helps to stop your dog from barking, it is best to contact a fully qualified animal behaviourist or dog trainer to help you further.


  • Don’t tell your dog off
  • Don’t reward your dog for barking
  • Desensitise your dog to their triggers
  • Do everything calmly
  • Reward them with T.Forrest treats