Most dogs can literally walk for miles, and it should be a relaxing experience for pups and owners. But dogs are not always easy to control and a dog’s barking can be embarrassing walking with a constantly barking dog whose purpose it seems is to pull your arm from its socket.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can teach your pup how to control his voice. Do you have a barking dog? Let’s take a look at some of the best strategies on how to stop a dog barking when out walking.
How to Stop Dogs Barking on Walks .
1) Always Leave Enough Slack in the Leash so that your Pup has Room to Roam Without Pulling or Becoming Uncomfortable.
This may seem like a super obvious suggestion, but it can be tough to remember when it comes to dogs. If you’ve ever been dragged down the street by an overzealous pup, then you know how much slack is needed to keep from getting tangled in the leash.
Spend time training your puppy to walk on a loose leash from an early age; they are less likely to react compared to when the lead is tense and at full stretch. If your dog barks at strangers on walks, try interacting with strangers whilst on a loose leash to show them there’s nothing to be scared about.
2) Stop Walking When your Dog Barks at Other Animals.
If your dog barks at another animal, it’s vital to act immediately if you’re finding it difficult to control the barking. Otherwise, your pup could be strengthening negative communication patterns that you’re trying to break.
If your pup is looking at another dog and starts barking, stop walking so he can refocus all of his attention on you. If your pup can remain calm, restart the walk
Remember, fear could be the underlying issue if your dog barks, so early socialisation and getting your dog used to new experiences is essential.
When you see another animal, try to distract your pup by calling his name and giving him a treat. This will help prevent the stimulus from leading to an outburst. Carrying a pouch is a good idea for this, and you can choose for yourself which is the best dog treat bag from our detailed guide.
3) Walk at a Brisk Pace.
If your dog barking is driving you mad, walk faster. When you walk at a rapid pace with your dog, it’s going to be harder for them to get distracted since they’ll have a more challenging time catching anything interesting before it disappears.
4) Carry a Toy or Treat
While this might seem counterintuitive, many dogs find that having something to occupy themselves with is an excellent way of eliminating the urge to bark. If your dog loves squeaky toys, you can try holding one as you walk and reward them with it when they have stopped barking.
5) Give Your Dog a Job to Do
Trying to teach your dog something new is an excellent way of distracting them from barking, as well as giving them some physical exercise. While you can work on more traditional tricks outside like “sit” or “fetch”, you can also work on more unique things at home like “go to your bed” or “bring me the remote”.
6) Stay Calm
Often, when a dog sees another dog approaching, they pick up on your tension, which makes them feel threatened and start barking. We humans need to show them there is nothing to worry about by staying calm. If we can relax when other people and dogs are in close proximity, our furry friends will follow suit.
7) Play with your dog
Playing with your dog is an excellent way of burning off their excess energy and giving them some mental stimulation at the same time. Think how we would feel being walked around the same park every day; try to mix it up a bit, play games and keep them distracted so they won’t care if other dog owners and their pets are nearby
8) Chew on Something
If your dog is struggling, chewing on something can be an excellent way of reducing its energy levels. This trick doesn’t work for all dogs, but if you have a dog that likes to chew, it might be worth trying out!
9) Teach your Dog a Trick
Tricks can be great ways of keeping your dog’s mind active and occupied, as well as giving them some physical exercise. Try teaching your pup how to jump or dance – both tricks are usually reasonably easy to teach and require a certain amount of energy and enthusiasm from the dog to complete.
10) Get Involved with Dog Sports
This is a great way to socialise your pooch, make new friends and get some exercise and a tired pooch is less likely to act up during daily strolls. There’s tons of info available online from Canicross to Dock Diving
A new hobby might be just the thing to get your pup used to other dogs and new experiences that result in a whole lot of fun
Essentially, getting your dog to stop barking is your responsibility and they should learn from an early age what is acceptable behaviour and what isn’t. With training and positive reinforcement, most dogs will have no problem learning exactly what you want them to do and once they do, you can go on long walks without the hassle.
12) Stop Every Few Minutes to Interact with your Pet
Dogs are social animals, so they love interacting with people. If you can stop for brief periods every few minutes, your dog will be able to take a breather from all the activity around him. You may have to do this more often when you first start out, but if your pet does well, don’t be afraid to stretch the break time longer.
For dogs that are excited about their walk, it can be helpful to wait until they’ve calmed down a bit before setting out. This can be easier said than done, though; some pets may only take a few seconds, while others could never settle at the sight of a lead.
13) Keep it Short!
Short walks are great for building confidence and stamina in dogs who need time to adjust to new surroundings. Plus, this can help your pet significantly reduce his anxiety levels because he won’t get overwhelmed by everything happening around him and this may help stop barking.
14) Explore New Neighbourhoods and Areas Slowly.
Training your dog to be calm while walking on a leash is an essential part of voice control. If your dog is barking at an individual or a specific area, try changing direction and continuing to walk past the distraction. If you are exploring a new area, it’s a good idea to do the walk alone first to see what distractions may cause an outburst.
15) Consistency is key
Once you have decided on a plan of action, keep at it, your dog will never learn the correct behaviour if you are not consistent. If you say NO when he starts barking at someone going past on a bike one day and ignore it the next, your pup will never learn.
16) When the Dog Starts to Bark, Say “Quiet” in a Calm and Firm Voice.
Doing so will teach them that your word is the law, and they need to be obedient. After they stop barking, give them praise in the same firm voice. If they continue to bark, start this routine over again.
When your dog stays calm for an extended period (longer than 10 seconds), reward them with their favourite treat or toy.
Be patient: Training takes time and lots of practice!
Why Do Dogs Bark?
Dogs bark for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes they bark when they’re excited and happy. If your dog’s barking triggers excitement and happiness in you, this is usually a healthy and typical type of barking that can help you bond with your pet.
Other times dogs may bark because they’re anxious or stressed out about something going on around them. If you’re trying to walk your dog and start barking at another dog, person, or even a noise, this type of barking could be related to fear rather than aggression and is usually more problematic.
Teach Your Dog to Bark on Command
Many dog owners stop their pets from barking excessively by training them not to bark unless they have permission.
It takes a little patience and time, but it can be a helpful strategy if you know what you’re doing. Ensure that you give your dog a verbal cue or a hand signal, like raising your arm high to let them know they should bark. When you do this, make sure you have a handful of their favourite treats.
When it happens naturally while going for a walk, praise them and reward them with the treat. You can add verbal praise, too, if you’d like!
Keep in mind that this strategy works best when dogs are motivated by treats and enjoy the training process. If your dog gets too excited when they see other dogs while walking on a leash, then using treats may not be relevant for this problem. It could even make things worse if he thinks about food instead of stopping his barking!
Desensitise Your Dog
One of the best ways to stop dogs from barking is to desensitise them to things that trigger their barking. Fear is often the cause of the barking, so by exposing your pup to whatever it is, that’s bugging him – whether it’s a person, another dog or even construction noises – at a low level and rewarding him with treats each time he demonstrates good behaviour you will overcome his nervousness.
Plan and bring some tasty treats if you know what sets your dog off on his leash walks. Keep them nearby, so you don’t have to dig in your pockets if your pet starts getting barky. When he gets agitated, simply pull out one of those treats and hold it right in front of his nose, praising him as you do.
When Your Dog Barks at Strangers
Some dogs have stranger danger. If your pup barks when he sees someone new, take steps to help him get used to these situations, so he doesn’t feel scared or threatened by strangers.
Instead of scurrying in the opposite direction, introduce yourself and your pooch. Train Fido to sit and praise profusely when he complies; as long as he doesn’t bite, you can get other humans to pet him or give him a treat to show him there is nothing to worry about.
What Kind of Dogs Bark More than Others?
Certain breeds, such as those bred for herding or hunting tend to be more vocal. Often they will bark at new stimuli-like another dog walking by-as a means of protecting themselves and their family.
Most Common Barking Dogs
- German Shepherd
- Siberian Husky
- Border Collie
- Golden Retriever
What is a Leash Reactive Dog?
Leash reactivity is a behaviour that involves a dog barking and lunging at other dogs while on leash. This can be dangerous to the dog, who might get into a fight with another animal, people around them, or other dogs in the area.
Leash reactivity and aggression can start suddenly or develop gradually. It may be more prevalent during certain times, such as springtime, when dogs are more socialised. Some dogs will show signs of leash reactivity all year round. Often these dogs are perfectly fine when off-leash, which begs the question, are we the problem?
The behaviour usually begins with barking; then, they will pull and lunge at other dogs on walks, making it crucial to manage your pup’s behaviour, so they aren’t a risk to others.
Break Your Dog’s Leash Reactivity Habit
The most important thing here is to reassure your canine companion that the sight of another dog isn’t something to feel anxious about.
Whenever your pooch sees a dog, say his name and reward when he makes eye contact. Dog owners need to have their wits about them though, as it’s important to do this before he starts barking.
This will teach your hound two things. Firstly, he will start to associate treats – rather than stress– with other dogs. In time, your dog will instinctively check with you when he notices another dog, which may also reduce anxiety and gives you much more control over the situation.
Positive Reinforcement Stops Barking
There are several different ways to teach your dog to stop barking. The easiest is by using positive reinforcement.
If your dog is barking at another person or animal, you can distract him with something more exciting. You can ask for a high five or give a small cube of cheese, so he learns it’s more fun to do something else than bark. He might even learn that new people means lots of good things happen.
What if he barks at other dogs on walks? First, find out what causes his reaction – does he bark just because they’re there, or at the other dog’s reaction to him. Your dog’s barks are his attempt at communication.
We all want our pups to enjoy meeting new people too! Get their attention by talking cheerfully before they see someone new.
What are some ways to stop your dog from barking outside?
There are a few tricks you can use to stop your dog from barking. One of the first things you should do is make it clear that people and dogs walking past your house will not be chased or barked at. This starts with training your dog before an issue ever occurs.
How can you get my puppy not to bark when on walks?
You need to reward them for being calm, don’t get them all worked up before you even leave the house; they need to learn that barking won’t get them where they want to go. Giving treats and praise is by far the best way for dogs to do what you want, but you need to train from an early age to get great behaviour; adult dogs are more difficult to work with, but with some patience, your pup will stop barking.
I just adopted a new dog; what should I do for him not to bark when on walks?
Try to do some basic command training, like teaching him ‘sit’. With a lot of patience and praise, you should be able to train your pup in no time.
How can I stop my dog from barking at passing dogs?
Your dog barks at the things he’s unsure of, like other animals. Call their name and when your dog turns towards you, give the command sit; you can then give a treat if the barking stops.
Why does my dog bark during the walk when he sees other dogs?
Most owners love exercising a dog and dogs love going for walks, and although they can provide a great opportunity to discover new places and meet new people, sometimes your dog’s excitement can get the best of him. He may have an urge to protect you or is simply letting everyone know he is here.
A Dog barks for a variety of reasons. They may be excited to see something they want, frustrated by walking on the leash; your dog may be barking because he is frightened and wants to keep the other dog away. A dog’s barking can also depend on its breed, as some are more likely than others to vocalise when out with their owners.
Regardless of why your pup is barking while you’re out walking him, it’s a nuisance and there are plenty of ways to teach him how to control his voice so he doesn’t become overly distracted during walks outside in public areas like parks where other dogs might be present too.
Let us know if this article was helpful! We’d love to hear from readers who have found success using these tips at home with their pups.