Can you train your dog to stop barking?

There may come a time, after SHTF, that you would need your dog to not bark. This is especially true if you find yourself in a dangerous area and need to keep a low-profile. However, training a dog not to bark goes against their basic nature — dogs typically respond to new stimuli and would alert you to its presence. That being said, there are still ways for you to properly train your dog to alert without a bark. The suggestions we list below do require a lot of time and patience but will prove useful should we ever come into an apocalyptic world.

Invest in a high-quality dog leash

In any type of training, be it for this purpose or not, you would want to invest in a good dog leash. Dogs become accustomed to their collar so you should always aim for brands that offer you good value for money but also provide excellent durability. Ideally, a leash should last you a few years at least.

When considering a leash, invest in one that fits comfortably to your dog’s size and weight and is neither too loose nor too tight. You need a leash that is firm enough to restrain the pet during training.

Reward only acceptable behavior

Use treats to reward only the behavior you want. The treats can range from animal bones to petting/massaging reinforced with a verbal acknowledgment like, “good girl” (or boy). The treats should be the ones that the dog likes and only given when they obey a command. These treats should not be the same ones your children may use in their course of daily play with the animal.

  1. Create an environment where your dog will bark. This is usually when someone opens the gate or rings the bell. Your dog will naturally alert you of the event.
  2. Acknowledge the barking by checking the source of the noise. Tug on the collar with a combined hand signal that is visible to the dog.
  3. Show them the treat but do not give it to them until the barking stops.
  4. Repeat the tugs until the dog responds.

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Patience is necessary here. Make sure to keep all your tugs firm but not harsh. You do not want to injure your dog in any way. Keep a calm voice and never yell at your dog. Dogs can get highly stressed when you raise your voice and may no longer respond to training. (Related: 4 Wrong Practices Preventing You From Stopping Dog Barking.)

Do not give the treat until they obey your command. It may be tempting to give in when they give you that face, but do not succumb to this.

Keep repeating the processes until the dog learns how to get your attention without necessarily barking. Also, varying the amount of time it takes to get a treat is crucial. Use different gestures to notify your pet what to do in specific situations.

Familiarize your dogs with different sounds

Desensitize your dogs to whatever stimulus is making him want to bark. Once your dog becomes accustomed to different sounds, he will be less likely to bark until he truly perceives a threat. You may also use the aforementioned processes to get your dog to stay calm when faced with certain stimuli.

Lastly, we recommend that you train your dog as early as possible. While older dogs can learn new tricks, training is infinitely easier when you are working with a young pup.

Learn more about pet behavior at

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