Calming Techniques

10 Key Steps to Prevent Dog Barking

Mel D

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Welcome to my 10 step guide on how to stop your dog from barking. I recently moved into an apartment and had my first eviction notice within a week. It was terrible! After only just moving in, to get the notice so soon, I was in a scramble to stop the barking and fast. I tried and tested many different methods available on the internet and documented my journey along the way. This is how Barking Batty began. Below you will find my top 10 Key Steps to Prevent Dog Barking guide, Use them together to get the best outcome in the shorted time frame.

Manage your stress levels

I know first hand your stress levels will be high, you will be trying to work out how to stop your dog from barking. Maybe, like my case, how to ensure you are not evicted from your property.

I can tell you, there is a path forward and together, we can stop your dog from barking. Please message or contact me if you need direct assistance. I am happy to help.

The video demonstrates the persistent barking that occurred in our apartment before I spent many months working through different strategies and techniques to minimise the behaviour.  Its a segment with our Cocker Spaniel barking. Today, (3 months later) she does not bark anymore.

Hopefully  the video provides visual guidance that nuisance barking can be manage through developing a plan and slowly executing it.

10 Key Steps to Prevent dog Barking

Lets get started, below are the 10 key steps I currently use to prevent my dogs from barking each day when at work. I have many more steps, but these are the most effective and I don’t want to provide an extended long list. Please read through my blog for other supporting strategies that I also use.

Barking Prevention Strategy 1 – Morning Walk (Effective score 6/10)

Rated 6/10, and probably not mandatory in the 10 step barking prevention plan, but if you can find time in the morning (or before you leave your dog alone), I highly recommend taking your dog(s) for a short walk. It only needs to be 10 minutes (even less) to stretch their legs and give them time to do their business. It doesn’t cost anything and based on my experience helps manage barking throughout the day. Read more about this strategy here.

Effective score 6/10

Barking Prevention Strategy 2 – Adaptil Calm Collar (Effective score 8/10)

A new additional into my 10 point plan, but has played a considerable role in preventing our dog from barking is the Adaptil Calm Collar. The collar releases a pheromone similar to a mother dog. Our cocker spaniel is able to pick up on the sent which comforts her when home alone. It took a few days to see results, but since we placed it on here, she has stopped her afternoon barking. Combining the collar with the other strategies delivers a compounding effect that provides consistent results. Read more about the collar here.

Effective score 8/10

Barking Prevention Strategy 3 – Background Radio with Continuous Talking (Effective score 7/10)

Playing a radio in the background, its an old approach that is often recommended by vet’s and other pet experts. I leave our radio on continuous news, or any other station that has constant talking. I expect it might help the dogs feel like we are home or other people around talking. While its not our voice its something that removes the quite empty noise. If you are looking for a radio, Amazon have a Panasonic RF-2400D which I use and works well. Great volume, reliable old school hardware.

Effective score 7/10

Barking Prevention Strategy 4 – Calm dogs before leaving house (Effective score 7/10)

I found if we leave the house while the dogs are wondering, it makes it very hard for them to settle. By spending a few minutes getting them into their bed, and a few pats, it helps them stay calm as we depart. As we live in a small apartment, they can hear the garage and car leave, a few pats doesn’t take long and can set them on the right trajectory before you depart. It might be an obvious strategy but I would say often forgotten and makes a considerable difference.

Effective score 7/10

Barking Prevention Strategy 5 – Play Calming Music (Effective score 7/10)

Another hot tip and highly recommended, is to play calming music, it appears some tones sooth dogs. I found this site and use the music available. Its $30 or so and I use an old iPhone to keep it playing. Calming Dog Music . I have seen mixed results with the music, but I feel it helps with the combined effort building from all the other strategies. On its own, maybe it might not be highly effective, but built with everything else and it adds value and recommended purchase.

Effective score 7/10

Barking Prevention Strategy 6 – Dogs sleep separate to owner (Effective score 8/10)

This one has taken considerable time to work into the 10 point plan, but after testing over an extended period, I see continued results. I understand it might not work for everyone. For us, after having dogs sleep in our room for 15+ years, it was a hard decision.

Having said that, the dogs do sleep better and can come into the room if they wish. As we moved into an apartment with stairs they partly preferred sleeping downstairs, so it was not too challenging in transitioning them. See more details around this strategy here.

Effective score 8/10

Barking Prevention Strategy 7 – Afternoon Walk (Effective score 9/10)

Keeping your dogs busy and tiring them out is important when it comes to reducing their day barking. A decent daily walk has made a considerable difference, if you are currently walking your dog each day, keep it up and add the other strategies mentioned. If not, start as soon as you can, or even hire a pet walker if you don’t have time.

Effective score 9/10

Barking Prevention Strategy 8 – Full Belly (Effective score 6/10)

Make sure the dogs have a full belly, give them a bigger dinner at night, or even a small meal before you depart. Something we have also started to introduce.  If you have two dogs this one is increasingly important, you also need to increase their food intake when walking them more. Overall, make sure they are not staying home on an empty stomach otherwise they will wonder around looking for food.

Effective score 6/10

Barking Prevention Strategy 9 – Managing Food (Effective score 7/10)

Control Food in your household environment, specifically when you leave the house. This can play a big part in reducing barking. If there is food available or within range of your dog, it can cause them to pace back and forth trying to obtain it. Review our short guide on different strategies you can consider to ensure your dog is not looking for food and barking at the same time.

Effective score 7/10

Barking Prevention Strategy 10 – Rescue Remedy Drops for Dogs (Effective score 8/10)

After 2 months of continued use, I can calmly state, these drops play a decent part in managing our dogs anxiety while we are away. We have been adding them to water or even on food before we leave, within 20 minutes you can notice a calming effect on the dog. Combine this with the adaptil collar and you begin to form a good baseline strategy.

Effective score 8/10.

The results speak for results speak for themselves.

Use Multiple Techniques Not One.

Cocker Spaniel laying on floor sleeping. Picture from behind wearing an Adaptil Calm Collar.

Combining all these strategies to a single approach has made a huge impact on our barking problem. I have gone from watching our dog camera throughout the dog, to only checking on the dogs a few times each week. I know they are resting and calm and not causing a nuisance to neighbours.

The multi-step layered approach provides a perfect consistent results, I recommend anyone having issues to go through each point and built a similar plan. Try it for at least a few weeks (ideally a month) and I am certain your dog barking problem will be resolved.

I will continue to add new methods as I identify and verify their worthiness.

Don’t forgot to read my blog for regular updates too.


Mel D

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