Nobody likes a barking dog, but barking is often used as a method of communication – between your dog and other dogs, your dog and you, as well as with anything else they may encounter. However, a pitbull barking can become a problem when it’s constant and disruptive.
Responsible dog owners must ensure that their pitbulls are good citizens, so problem barking should be curbed as early as possible.
By taking an early measured response you can stop this problem before it gets out of hand.
But first you have to understand why your dog is barking, so you can find the right solution.
Why Do PitBulls Bark So Much?
If your dog has a tendency to bark when you are not home, then they may be barking due to boredom. Dogs can also bark when they are afraid of something, such as when they hear strange noises.
Dogs also bark when they are frustrated – which can occur when they cannot reach something or someone. By spending time understanding why your dog barks you can then take the appropriate action to correct the behavior.
Look at various factors – such as the time of day, where your dog is when it occurs, and what it barks at.
Correcting Fear Barking
Generally, if your pitbull is barking out of fear you’ll have a good idea what the cause is – sirens, bicycles, people in hats, etc. The best way to correct fear-barking is to gently introduce the thing that causes a fear-barking reaction under controlled circumstances.
You may wish to enlist the help of a professional trainer, or follow these steps:
- Place the person or thing that causes a fear reaction on the far side of a field, far enough away that your dog can see it but is not reacting.
- As long as your dog is calm, praise him and give him treats.
- Slowly move your dog closer to the item, but be prepared to step back should your dog show a stress response.
Desensitizing your dog can take time, even weeks. You need to remain patient and controlled. If you try to rush the process you may end up making your dog more fearful.
Eventually, your dog will happily be able to be in the same area as the thing it used to bark at without a response.
If the fear-barking is in response to something that rarely occurs, try to distract your dog with a treat and get it to sit.
Offer praise for the good behaviour, but do not try to comfort the dog as this will merely reinforce the barking.
Correcting Barking Out Of Boredom
When the majority of barking occurs while you are gone, then your pitbull is probably barking due to boredom. The trick to solving barking for boredom is to ensure that your dog is not bored.
Sounds easy doesn’t it?
Regular daily exercise helps, as does ensuring that your dog has lots to do while you are away. Hide treats and toys around the house, make sure it has things to chew on, and think about employing a dog walker to take your pitbull out for a quick romp in the middle of the day.
Dogs bark when they want something that they can’t get. The best way to stop this type of barking is to get rid of whatever causes the frustration, if you are able to.
It can also help if you enrol your pitbull in obedience classes, as this will help give your dog more control over their impulsive reactions. Teach your dog basic commands as this will give them a base to build from.
The Key To Preventing Barking
It is much easier to prevent barking by raising a happy and healthy dog that does not bark regularly, then to try to stop a barking dog.
You can ensure that your dog has no reason to bark excessively by keeping it exercised and exposing it too many different types of stimuli.
Your dog should get attention when it is behaving well rather than when it is barking, as this will only serve to reinforce the behavior.
While occasional barking is your pit bull’s way of communicating, excessive barking is distracting and disruptive.
Don’t expect an overnight result when you start retraining your dog. Any type of corrective behavioural training takes time, and a whole lot of patience.
If you find that you get frustrated, or are not seeing progress after a few weeks, then it is time to hire a professional.
Tips To Train A PitBull Barking To Stop
1. Set Definite Tasks
Defining the task in front of your pitbull is an effective way to get them to stop barking. Basically, you’ve got to teach your pittie to be quiet on verbal commands and to not bark just because they feel the urge to.
That said, you must keep in mind that there can be several vital reasons for your pitbull to bark.
Therefore, you must make them aware of the situations where they are allowed to bark. Ensure that you pay attention to your pup’s behavior to identify whether your pup is barking because he likes his own voice or because there is a valid reason behind it.
You can eventually work on the reason as recommended by your dog trainer.
2. Master Basic Commands
Before your Bully can learn not to bark just because he feels like it, you need to teach him to follow basic verbal commands such as – ‘down’, ‘stay’, ‘sit’, etc.
These commands will help establish you as a leader in front of your dog, and it will make it easier for you to train him.
You can even reward your dog with his favorite treats to promote his good behavior.
However, remember that when it comes to dog training, patience is the key, and you must keep working with your Bully regularly to instill good values in him.
3. Get Rid of Any Offending Objects
Some pitbulls often bark at sounds or any other animals in their sight.
For example, if you have a lot of birds in your backyard and you notice that your pitbull isn’t a huge fan of them, it is best to get rid of them as soon as possible.
You don’t have to physically remove the bird population in your backyard, but closing your home curtains can be a huge help.
Similarly, if your dog doesn’t like certain sounds, such as kids playing outside, you must try and mask the noise with music.
Some dog trainers even recommend keeping a radio beside your dog to help soothe them.
4. Desensitize Your Pup to the Barking Stimulus
Most pitbulls develop a habit to bark based on certain barking stimuli. These stimuli could be any person ringing your doorbell, children riding their bikes outside your home, or any other situation.
As a dog owner, it is your responsibility to identify the stimulus causing your pup to bark.
For example, if a kid riding his bike to school aggravates your Bully, try talking to your dog about it gently.
Reward your pup with treats whenever they don’t bark after they encounter such stimuli, and stop rewarding them if they bark.
This will help desensitize your pup to the barking stimulus and get trained out of barking. With regular usage of this tip, you might see your dog to even start interacting with the bike rider as a friendly gesture.
5. Relieve Boredom
Many pitbulls resort to barking as a way to entertain themselves when they’re too bored. Boredom can even cause excessive licking in pitbulls.
Therefore, it is important to ensure that your dog gets enough exercise when they’re at home. Take your dog on long walks before going to dog parks to help drain their energy.
You can even play certain games such as catch ball to tire out your pittie.
6. Opt For Anti-Stress Devices
If you notice that your dog gets stressed when you leave him alone, then try looking for anti-stress collars in the market.
These collars typically use a herbal mixture that soothes your pup and helps alleviate stress and anxiety. The pheromones released by these anti-stress devices are the same as the ones released by nursing dogs.
The best part is that these devices are super affordable and may be available at your local pet shop as well. You can also try using anxiety jackets designed to provide gentle pressure around your dog’s body to help him calm down.
Also, ensure that you set up a place in your home where your dog feels the safest.
For example, it could be a crate in your backyard with plenty of toys and a bed, and try talking to him in a soothing tone.
7. Acknowledge Your Bully
Pitbulls love to be appreciated by their owners for their mannerisms. If you notice that your pup has been staying well-mannered around other dogs and humans, it is important to acknowledge his behavior.
Remember that your pitbull is a part of your family, and it is important that you shower him with love and affection.
The best way to do this is to walk over to your pitbull whenever he behaves well and praise him using a soothing tone.
It will certainly improve his mood and calm any anxiety and stress he might be going through.
8. Get Professional Help
A little patience and professional help can go a long way in training a pitbull. Dog trainers are your best shot at figuring out why your pup is behaving a certain way.
Depending upon the behavioral issues with your dog, dog trainers might either opt for weekly training sessions or recommend a list of behavior management guidelines.
They’ll also provide you with a detailed list of techniques that you can use to train your dog at home efficiently.
9. Give Your Dog Plenty of Attention
Pitbulls are true attention seekers, and they love being around their owners all the time. So, giving your dog the attention he needs at the right time can help strengthen the bond between you and your pup.
That said, always remember that there are certain times when you must give your dog his own space. This includes times when he’s – stressed, anxious, eating, sleeping, etc.
So, remember to shower your dog with love and affection only when he’s in a calm state of mind.