Tips on Training Multiple Dogs Not to Bark

Unfortunately, barking is like yawning -- contagious. Once you get one dog barking, the others will join in soon after. But have no fear! Here are three tips that should help you gain some control over your barking buddies.

Tip #1 - Figure out what's causing the barking. Is it excitement? Does one dog start to bark because he hears a noise and then all the others join in -- even if they don't really know what's going on? If it's always the same dog starting the commotion, pay attention to what sets him off. Is it noise, being alone, asking for food or attention? Rather than going crazy trying to stop multiple barking, focus on the dog who starts the whole thing, and try to remove his stimulus.

Tip #2 - Separate the dogs when the barking starts. It could be that the noise is the result of a doggy disagreement -- for example: "Don't touch my toys" or "That's my food bowl, not yours!" Prevent dogs from bossing each other around by creating limits. A little warning bark is OK, but as soon as it gets out of control, off to separate rooms they go.

Tip #3 - Consider training collars, but only if you're willing to put one on each dog. We suggest that you opt for humane spray collars (as opposed to shock collars) which squirts the barker with citronella or a blast of air every time he barks. Just keep in mind that the collar might be set off if puppy No. 1 -- who's not wearing a collar -- gets too close to puppy No. 2's collar. Rather than having one puppy pay for another's barking, get each one a collar.

By Tammy Dray

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References
Dog Training Central: How To Stop Your Dog From Barking Fast!
Perfect Paws: Dog & Puppy Barking Training Info
The Bark: Victoria Stilwell: How to Deal with Out-of-Control Barking

About the Author
Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.