Does your pooch bomb your ears with barks when they want something?
And these high-pitched and piercing barks are really persistent.
I know it can be annoying not only for you. But for your neighbors too.
Wondering how to end this behavior?
Continue reading to find out:
- The true reason why demand barking occurs.
- 19 ways to stop a dog from barking if they have a request.
- Easy and effective step-by-step training to stop demand barking.
- And many more…
What is demand barking?
Demand barking is when a dog persistently barks mainly for a request. This will occur if dogs associate barking with getting what they want. Some of the reasons why a dog demands something through barking include play, food, attention, going outside, or greeting others.
How do you stop a dog from demand barking? 19 tips
#1: Find out the reason why your pawed baby barks
What’s the first thing to do in addressing issues with your dog?
It’s finding out what causes the behavior.
In this way, you’ll be able to know how to fix it.
Wondering where to start?
You may begin by observing your pup closely. I recommend writing your observations. It’ll be easier to recall everything that way.
Here’s what you have to spot:
- When does your dog start barking?
- What you’re doing that made Fido bark?
Here are some questions that can help you fix this.
For example, a dog starts to demand bark at 5 pm each day. Say you’re preparing their meal during that time.
This could mean Fido is hungry. So, their barking might be due to the demand for food.
Now, try this with your pooch. And when you finally get an answer, proceed to…
#2: Prevent serious demand barking
Let’s apply the “Prevention is better than cure” here.
It’s normal for dogs to bark. But the behavior of demand barking isn’t. It can only be developed if we reinforce the behavior.
How can this happen?
It all starts by responding every time Fido barks.
For example, when you’re eating dinner. You might notice that your pawed baby starts to bark. As if saying…
“I want your food, hooman.”
And most dog parents would hand them food as a response. Admit it or not, it happens. Some people may even find it cute at first.
But this can be a problem when canines get used to receiving what they want.
By responding this way to their barks, they’ll think what they’re doing is right. Because it gets them what they want.
So it’s best to avoid responding to Fido if they ask through barking. The sooner, the better. And you can do this by checking out this…
#3: Ignore your pooch when barking
Picture this scenario:
You’re sitting on your couch, relaxing. After having a long day at work.
And then your pawed baby interrupts your rest by barking like crazy.
“Attention please, Mom/Dad.”
And unintentionally you respond to them with…
Dog parents might’ve had moments like this. Yes, it’s tempting to stop your pooch from barking by voice commands.
Such as hushing your dog. Or telling them “No!” and “Stop”.
But that just makes dogs bark even more. You might be unaware how it works. But by responding, you’re giving them attention.
And when dogs get attention, they’ll think they’re being rewarded.
Mind you, a rewarded behavior is likely to be repeated.
To avoid this from happening, ignore them. Act as if you’re not hearing anything.
And only give them attention when they stop barking.
But what if they continue barking?
Simply start walking away from them. Go outside or to another room for example. Ignoring them like this could do the trick.
#4: Redirect your dog’s focus when they start to bark
There’ll be times where your dog gets bored.
And if that happens they’ll demand someone to play with. So they’ll seek attention from their dog parents.
How to prevent this?
Get your dog to focus on something else while barking. This works by giving them something to keep them busy.
As a result, they won’t spend time on demand barking.
This can be achieved by giving dogs:
- Chew toys.
- Dog-appropriate toys.
#5: Work on crate training
When do dogs demand bark?
When there’s someone to listen to them. And do what they ‘ask’.
One way to deal with that is by making them go to their crate. That way, they won’t have anyone to bark to.
Now, here’s how it works:
Anna Flayton, a dog trainer, tells AKC tips on how to effectively crate dogs. She said that it’s best to train them when they’re relaxed.
It’ll make dogs associate being in the crate with a calm feeling. As a result, dogs will learn that it’s a space to rest.
So, this can be your solution. Practice your dog to go to their crate during their calm state.
For starters, 5 to 10 minutes of stay in the crate will be enough. And then increase the duration as the practice goes by.
Your goal is to make them used to be in the crate. And if that happens, use this method every time demand barking starts to show up.
Besides getting rid of demand barking, there’s one more advantage to the crate.
If you train them properly, dogs won’t think that they’re being punished for barking. Instead, they’ll learn it’s time to rest.
Note: Dogs, regardless of age, shouldn’t be in the crate for more than 6 to 8 hours. They can’t hold their bowels that long.
#6: Use the “bed” technique
Crate training isn’t the only way you can make your dog stop their demand barking. You may also use the “bed” technique.
You can do this by luring your dog to their bed. Again, it’s best to train dogs when they’re calm.
- Use their most loved type of treat. Move it near your dog’s nose.
- Move your hand towards their bed/spot. Make sure that they’re following you.
- Command “Bed” before placing the treat down on their bed.
- Reward your dog if they place their whole body on their spot.
- Make them wait and stay in the bed for a minute as a starter.
- Say “free” and throw a treat away from the bed. It’s a way to signal your dog that they’re free to leave.
Repeat step 1 and gradually lengthen their stay on the bed as you go on. Do this consistently until your dog can do it on their own. Then use the command “bed” every time they demand bark.
#7: Apply positive reinforcement
I know demand barking can get on your nerves. It’s an annoying piercing sound. But please, never punish your dog for it.
Aside from it being cruel, it doesn’t correct a dog’s unwanted behavior. It only makes dogs fearful.
But there’s a better thing you can do.
It’s to apply positive reinforcement. It’s when you reward good behavior. In your case, when your dog is quiet.
“How can I do that?”
Let’s say your dog started demand barking. You’ll ignore that and prepare a yummy treat.
Wait until they stop barking. It’s okay if it’s for a short period of time. Still, reward them for being quiet. You may want to praise them too.
Keep doing this every time they’re quiet. To make sure they know what you’re rewarding them for, give the treat as soon as they stop barking.
Eventually, they’ll learn that being quiet is a rewarding behavior. And since dogs love rewards, they’ll keep quiet often.
A study suggests that positive reinforcement improves quietness in dogs. Researchers observed 26 dogs who underwent positive reinforcement. The results showed that 35% of the dogs became quieter.
#8: Teach Fido the “quiet” trick
Teaching a trick to dogs is great in correcting unwanted behaviors. Aside from that, it’ll be useful in the future.
The “quiet” trick is perfect to resolve the problem with demand barking. This is best to do when your dog is barking at the moment.
Here are the steps you can take:
- Ignore your dog when they start barking.
- Command “quiet”.
- Give them a high-value treat when they’re quiet. This way, your dog will pick up the cues that quiet means no barking.
- Practice consistently and increase the time before giving them a treat. You may add praise as a reward too.
- Repeat the steps until they finally can master the trick.
Watch this video for a more detailed tutorial:
#9: Keep greetings lowkey
Some dogs get thrilled if they see people. It makes them want to play and get their attention.
And this can be a problem if pooches do that in public.
For example, you’re on your usual walk with your dog. Then every time there’s a person approaching, Fido starts to bark at them.
Which people could find scary. Because it might seem that Fido wants to bite them.
Now, here’s how to teach your dog calm greetings:
- Watch your dog if there’s a person approaching.
- If your dog starts to bark, stop walking. Then redirect your dog’s attention.
- Use a treat and lure them to focus on you. Do this by sitting facing your dog and move the treat in between the two of you.
- Continue approaching the person if they stay quiet.
- Give them the treat if they complete the approach without barking.
Further reading: 19 Tips To Stop Chihuahua Barking (How-To Training Guide)
#10: Make your dog used to being alone
Does your dog bark when you leave them?
If so, that demand bark might be due to separation anxiety. And pooches mostly do it because they’re not used to being left alone.
Managing separation anxiety is the key to resolve this.
This can be achieved through desensitizing them. It’s a technique of gradually exposing your dog to what stresses them out.
In this case, you’re going to make your dog get used to being alone. Here’s how you’ll do it:
- Let your dog stay in one place. Then stand close to them.
- Allow them to see you walk away. Create a distance between you and your dog. A couple of meters would do as a starter.
- The goal is to get a calm response from your pooch. If they start to bark, go near your dog and try to lessen the distance between the two of you.
- Now, if your dog starts to show calmness, that’ll be your signal to go on.
- Try moving away until they can’t see you.
- If they remain calm, try to leave them for a longer period of time.
- Repeat until you can leave them without demand barking.
Keep in mind that you may not achieve all of these in just one session. It might be longer or shorter than you expected.
But just be consistent and patient. Your dog will get used to any desensitization in time.
Study about effects of separation anxiety desensitization. 6 dogs after 3 months of treatment showed great improvement. Researchers say that dogs almost completely eliminate unwanted behavior.
#11: Don’t miss out on their routine
Dogs love routines. It makes them confident and free from anxiety.
So, it’s best to keep up with their routines. Otherwise, they’ll demand it from you.
For example, you came home exhausted. Probably, you’ll want to just flop on the bed and rest.
On the other hand, there’s your pooch, barking. And they’re reminding you that they should be taken out for their business.
To avoid this, try to make sure you don’t miss out on their routine. May it be their daily walks, meals, and even exercise.
#12: Use music to block outside noises
There are breeds that have a more sensitive hearing than others. Some of them are Collies and German Shepherds.
These dogs are reactive to even the smallest of sounds. That’s why they bark excessively.
Do you know what’s worse?
Loud noises may trigger a dog’s anxiety. And we don’t want that to happen. So, you try playing calming music when there’s outside noise.
This will help block those noises and keep your dog calm.
Here are 12 hours of calming music you can use:
#13: Socialize your dog
A study shows that lack of exposure often causes behavioral issues in dogs. And demand barking is one of those.
So, proper socialization might work to address this issue. And this differs depending on a dog’s age. Here’s how it should apply to:
Socialization should begin during the puppy phase. Which starts at 3 weeks of age.
This phase is a crucial stage for them. It’s when pooches begin to learn about their environment. Which will keep them happy, fearless, and confident in the future.
Here’s the socialization that a puppy needs:
- Exploring their environment on their own.
- Interacting with other animals.
- Involving other people in their daily activities or play.
- Rewarding them when they encounter new experiences.
- Exposing them to different sights, smells, sounds and touch.
Dogs reach adolescence at the age of 18 weeks to 2 years. And despite passing the crucial stage, they’ll still need continuous exposure.
And this can be done through:
- Introducing them to people.
- Bringing them to new places to explore.
- Letting them play with other dog breeds.
- Never punish them when they start to show fear.
- Allowing them to be alone for a specific time during the day.
Socialization never stops. It’ll still be necessary even when your dog is already an adult. You may do this by continuing what you’ve done during their adolescence phase.
#14: Avoid any bark triggers
Demand barking has its triggers. And helping your dog avoid these will make them refrain from barking.
This includes seeing their dog friends from the window. Or hearing outside noises.
You can avoid this from happening by closing the window. Putting up blinds may work as well. Or keeping your dog in a more quiet room.
#15: Provide Fido an appropriate and enough exercise
Another reason why dogs are reactive is having a lot of pent-up energy. You can solve this issue by providing enough and proper exercise to your dog.
Keep in mind that exercise differs for every dog. Here’s how it works for a:
It’s true that puppies are boosting with energy. However, they need lesser exercise compared to older dogs.
Otherwise, it may lead to serious problems. Such as exhaustion and joint problems.
In general, puppies may have:
- Walking 1 or 2 times a day.
The proper exercise differs for every dog breed. Since some breeds are more active than others. So, they’ll be needing more exercise too. And otherwise for the less active breeds.
Here’s what exercises are for the giant breeds:
- Scent tracking.
Now, here’s how for medium-sized breeds:
And here’s for the tiny breeds:
- Puzzle games.
Health and behavioral problems mostly occur during senior years. They mostly get forgetful. And a lot of them may suffer from joint conditions. So, they should have gentler exercises and these are:
- Balance Exercises.
#16: Give your pooch mental stimulation
Mental stimulation prevents boredom and frustration. So, if done correctly, you’ll have a more quiet pooch.
Generally speaking, canines need at least 20 minutes of mental stimulation a day. However, active breeds such as Beagles and Huskies should have longer stimulation than others.
Here’s what you can do to keep pooches mentally stimulated:
- Playing hide and seek.
- Giving them puzzle toys.
- Giving them treat-dispensing toys.
- Teaching or training them to do tricks.
- Setting up an indoor and outdoor obstacle course.
#17: Noise desensitization
Demand barking can also be due to the noises that dogs hear.
Let’s say you live in the city. It’ll be normal to have a loud environment. Considering the noise from cars, people and construction.
Dogs with noise sensitivity will become reactive. They’ll bark excessively. Demanding for peace and silence for their ears.
And you can curb this by noise desensitization.
Here’s how to do it:
- First, place your dog in a quiet room.
- Play the sounds such as cars honking or construction sounds. Start by playing it at a low volume.
- Watch how your dog responds to it. If they remain calm, slowly increase the volume.
- Do this consistently. Increase the volume as you go on with desensitization. You may also lengthen the duration of your dog’s exposure to it.
Also check out: 7 Interesting Reasons Why Your Dog Barks At Thunder + Tips
#18: Sight desensitization
Dogs may also demand bark when they see people pass by.
And this problem usually starts due to lack of exposure. So, you’re going to gradually expose them to people.
Sight desensitization will make dogs used to seeing people. It’ll make them learn that there’s nothing to be excited or curious about.
It works just like noise desensitization. The only difference is the stimuli. We’re now using people instead of noise.
For example, expose your dog to 1 person at first. It can be anyone from your family. Let them spend time in a room together.
If your pawed baby seems to be fine with it, increase the exposure.
But if your dog starts to bark at the person, remove them from the situation. Then, you may try again if they’ve calmed down.
This time, try a lower level of exposure. For example, the person should be at a greater distance. Close enough so the dog sees them. But far enough so your canine doesn’t get triggered.
Gradually decrease the distance between the two of them. As long as the dog doesn’t bark.
If your pooch’s okay with it, allow them to make contact. And if this worked, proceed to make them meet your other friends.
Try exposing them to 2 people this time. Again, aim for a calm response.
Then the next step is exposing them to strangers. You may also let them meet more people than before.
Eventually, your dog will get used to them. And that would mean no demand barking anymore.
#19: Seek professional help
Sometimes, a dog’s demand barking means a cry for help. They could be doing it because of the pain they’re feeling.
So if you’re suspecting medical causes of demand barking, consult your veterinarian. Here’s your green signals:
- Weight loss.
- Excessive thirst.
- Rear-end scooting.
- Change in eating habits.
And when it comes to behavioral causes, you may opt to get help from a dog trainer. They’ll assist you in terms of curbing unwanted behaviors. And also make your dog master commands effectively.