Teaching Your Dog to Be Quiet

Is barking the standard background noise in your home? Is your pooch racking up complaints from annoyed neighbors? Our four-legged friends often express themselves through vocalizations. And, just like people, some dogs are more talkative than others are. In this article from Armitage Animal Hospital, a local Sharon, ON vet discusses teaching your chatty pet to be quiet.

Don’t Reward Barking

If Fido suspects that barking gets him attention, he may think it’s a good thing. This is common in puppies. We know, it’s hard to resist a puppy barking at the bedroom door, but if you give in to your pet every time he speaks, you’ll have a spoiled pooch on your hands in no time! Ignoring your dog’s barking is a much better tactic. Don’t pay any attention to your furry buddy until he stops barking.


While some pooches only bark on occasion, others will speak up at pretty much anything, from a squirrel sighting to the presence of another dog. Desensitizing Fido to the things he is barking at can help. Ask your vet or a professional dog behaviorist for tips on how to do this.

Teach Fido To Speak

To teach Fido to speak, say ‘Speak.’ When he barks, immediately praise your pooch, and give him his snack. Once he has this down, start teaching him to stay silent. You’ll need a calm, quiet room for this. When Fido barks, say ‘Quiet’ and hold a treat in front of him. He’ll probably be quiet as he sniffs the treat. When he stops barking, praise him for being quiet and offer the treat.

Give Conflicting Commands

When Fido starts barking, have him do something that doesn’t work well with barking. (Tip: the Lay Down command can come in very handy here!)

Avoid Doggy Boredom

Dogs often bark when they feels lonely, bored, or restless. Make sure your furry friend has lots of toys, and that he’s getting enough exercise.


Never yell at your pup for barking. Fido may just think you’re joining in! Plus, since barking is natural to dogs, punishing your pooch for it may just make him feel confused or anxious. Keep the focus on rewarding your canine buddy for being quiet, instead of reprimanding him for talking.

Please call Armitage Animal Hospital, your Sharon, ON vet clinic, with any questions or concerns. We’re here to help!

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