Best methods to stop your dog from barking

December 5, 2022

Barking prevention.

Barking is a key component of dog communication and is engrained in their nature. However, if your dog is excessively barking – whether its territorial, reactive, or excited barking – it can quickly become a difficult issue to resolve. With these methods you can act early and prevent it becoming a more serious issue.

1. Desensitise your dog.

This method directly tackles the issue by conditioning your dog to not react to specific barking triggers. By recording the sound that triggers your dog (or recreating it, e.g. knocking on a door), you can slowly desensitise them to the sound. The most efficient method is to play the sound out loud in order to trigger your dog’s response, and then wait patiently while paying no attention to them whatsoever. Once they stop barking for a few seconds, quickly shower them with praise and reward your dog with a treat. This is teaching them that barking garners no attention or praise, and once they are quiet, they receive that much-wanted love and attention. The learning process will take time, so patience and consistency are key here. Doing this a few times a day in short, concise sessions is guaranteed to reduce your dog’s reactive barking.

2. Praise for the right things.

Whether your dog is barking by the window at your postman or at other dogs in the park, practice calling your dog back to you and praising them for returning to you, not for barking. You can read about the importance of a dog recall here. Don’t accidentally praise your dog for barking, praise your dog for being quiet. This can be a very easy mistake to make but can be damaging as your dog will then associate barking with rewards.

3. A safe space.

If your dog is frightened and barks out of fear, it can be beneficial to create a safe space in which they feel calm and comfortable. This space can be a particular corner or area that your dog gravitates to, perhaps with a cosy bed, water and your dog’s favourite toys surrounding it. This can be used if there are fireworks or other anxiety-inducing sounds outside. It’s also common for dogs to become unsettled when left alone, especially since covid where rates of separation anxiety amongst dogs have risen massively. If you’ve been informed by neighbours that your dog barks regularly when they’re alone or if you’ve heard it on home recordings, a safe space is imperative in the home as your dog will be much more relaxed in this area. Leaving the radio/tv on can also prevent your dog from becoming distressed when you’re not there as it will make them feel less lonely and can help mask over erroneous sounds that could trigger your dog’s barking response.


Dog exercising

4. Increasing physical exercise.

Another cause of excessive barking is boredom and excess energy. If your dog doesn’t get ample daily physical & mental exercise, they will exert this excess energy in other forms, and commonly in barking. Remember that an active dog is a happy dog! A sense of routine involving daily walks and activities that are fun for both dog and owner can prevent these issues from arising. Mental stimulation can be provided in the form of toys and games – there are games which involve puzzles to challenge your dog to work for treats and other rewards. These toys not only encourage discipline, but they also require effort which will reduce the risk of your dog getting bored.

5. Don’t shout at your dog for barking.

Although it can be overwhelming when your dog enters a barking frenzy, trying to stop them through shouting and aggressive movements will only make things worse. Your dog can become confused/alarmed by this reaction which can elevate their barking. Stay calm and use firm instructions to defuse the situation in a much healthier way. If you constantly shout at your dog, this can have multiple negative effects! It will confuse your dog and they won’t know when something is important – much like ‘the boy who cried wolf’ – when an emergency situation arises and shouting is justified, your dog might not respond as though it’s an emergency because you’ve desensitised them to the elevated tone.


Dog talking to banana

6. Improve communication.

Sometimes dog bark in an attempt to communicate with you. Becoming more aware of your dog’s behavioural patterns alongside some extra training can prevent you from mistaking their communicative barks for disruptive behaviour. Dogs will often bark because they want to go outside or are ready for their dinner, but this is not always clear. So, training your dog to signal to you what they want can massively improve communication and is not as difficult as it sounds! The use of a bell or symbol can come in handy here – train them to ring the bell by the door instead of barking at the door. With gradual reinforcement and repetition this can be an incredible tool that increases the quality of life for both you and your dog.



With each one of these methods, it is important to be consistent and stay calm when your dog begins to bark. Ensure that you are conveying the same message in each training session as this will speed up the process – it can be difficult for a dog to learn effectively when family members use varying training methods as their brain is being pulled in many different directions. If you have multiple people in your household, it’s a great idea to get everyone on board with the same plan.

If these tips are not successful, there may be medical reasons that your dog is barking and you should seek help from a vet or another trained professional.


We are so happy that we sent our 1 year old Pomsky to Platinum K9. He is now able to hang out with us more as a family, he no longer pulls us like a sledge on walks and we can finally sleep through the night! Thank you so much to the team at Platinum K9, all of this wouldn’t have been possible without you!
Michaela Diamondi
Michaela Diamondi
December 20, 2022.
Stunning Results for Reggie, k9 were the last chance for my border Collie Reggie, he is a lovely dog but was awful when it came to his aggression and behaviour around the house, He would resource guard food and attack the family for no apparant reasons, It became that bad that residential behaviour training was the last resort for him to stay with us, After the first contact with Jon I had the upmost confidence that K9 could fix Reggie, We agreed to a two week residential course that Reggie attended in November 2022, Upon our arrival we were very impressed with the site, it was a very professional setup and it was very clear that the staff were real dog lovers, this put me at ease to leave my dog with them, K9 set up a Watsapp group and sent regular videos and updates on Reggies progress, it was immediately evident that Reggie was responding well to the training and looked happy and bonding with the staff, The overall communication was outstanding from K9 throughout the training programme When we picked Reggie up the handover process was amazing Jon and Ben went through every eventuality with us and advised that the Watsapp group will remain open for us if we have any questions or concerns, Since returning home Reggie has been a much more happy and settled dog, he truely is a new dog, I can't thank Jon and the Team at K9 enough they have without doubt turned Reggies life around for the better, Keep up the brilliant work guys thank you so much for everything you have done for my best mate, Glen Jones
Kate Jones
Kate Jones
December 18, 2022.
My dog used to be incredibly anxious around foxes and cats, I found Platinum K9 as a recommendation from one of my friends and I could not be more elated with the results. I sent my dog for residential training where they helped him with some house manners (like not barking at the TV) as well as enforcement of loose lead walking and off lead walking. He came home a relaxed dog, super responsive and still very playful. The team are fantastic and I can’t recommend them highly enough to anyone looking for some help with their best friend. I finally have a way to effectively communicate with my pup and he responds extremely well to commands. Thanks team!!
Calla Venter
Calla Venter
December 6, 2022.
The team at Platinum K9 were fantastic from start to finish, I had been having trouble with my Cane Corso trying to dominate me and not listening. I was having a nightmare with him on walks pulling me (he weighs more than me 58KG) It was becoming a chore and I dreaded every walk. After a few sessions he has transformed into a completely different dog, he responds to me and I can now take him out with my two girls for a family walk not having the stress and worry of him misbehaving. He and I are so much happier - Thank you again John & Ben your both fantastic!
Natasha Mace
Natasha Mace
November 28, 2022.
Walks with our reactive dog were a nightmare because as soon as he saw another person, dog, or cyclist even in the far distance he was out of control, lungeing, barking, and snapping. At home he would also react to any noise or movement outside. We had tried one-to-one training and also numerous online courses. All of which helped somewhat but when Alfie managed to get out and totally unprovoked bit someone we knew that we had to book him in for residential training. We had our reservations about this as Alfie would often behave much better for our local dog trainer and we didn't want to be in the same situation again. Talking to Jon at Platinum K9 was immediately reassuring to the extent that we could not wait for the three months before there was a four-week residential slot available to pass, as we were sure this was going to be a game changer. Dropping Alfie off went very smoothly and Jon quickly assessed that all of Alfie's aggressive behavior was rooted in fear and the key to resolving this was to provide him with firm leadership so he understood this was not acceptable. We felt completely confident handing him over to the trainers after he had been with them for an hour as he seemed much calmer than we had expected. The weekly video updates were brilliant. We could not believe the difference in Week One and saw week by week Alfie become progressively more relaxed when exposed to things that would otherwise have been major triggers. The handover was clear and concise and it actually felt surreal being able to walk our boy near other people and dogs. After a couple of weeks at home, things had started to slip as we were not being entirely consistent with what we had learned on the handover and Alfie was starting to become more anxious around people and dogs again, though nowhere near his previous level. We reached out to Jon and after asking us to send in some video footage of us walking him he gave us lots of constructive feedback we are now back on track. I can not recommend the team at Platinum K9 highly enough. Walking Alfie is becoming more and more of a pleasure and it's great to be able to take him out where and when we want to go, rather than sticking to places and times we know will be unpopulated.
Jon Hawkins
Jon Hawkins
November 9, 2022.
I was apprehensive about sending Bella, our Boerboel (South African Mastiff) to Platinum K9 for 6 weeks. It seemed such a long time and we missed her terribly. However…. The nervous girl who always seemed on edge when new people were around, that we could not take into a pub or social environment and who, as a strong breed, could pull your arm out of a socket when on a lead at times, and had OK ish recall, has come back with impeccable manners and is now very chilled out. The bond she had with Kyron was impressive and loving and we really appreciated the care and training Bella received. She is now able to go into social environments and relax, walk on a loose lead all the time at whatever pace, walk next to you off lead (we live in a rural area and never let her off when near roads or livestock), has fabulous recall and empties her bladder on command. The handover was thorough. We were trained well, taken through all the commands and had hands on practise with and without the team, to confirm we could carry on reinforcing the training at home. Platinum K9 is a team of lovely, dedicated and professional trainers and we have no hesitation in recommending them to anyone considering getting training for their dog.
Debbie Holland
Debbie Holland
October 26, 2022.
I could not speak more highly of the experience we have received as a family at Platinum K9. 2 years ago we adopted a Malinois Labrador cross rescue puppy that had been severely abused, and was showing highly reactive behaviours. We tried many avenues to train him, and came across Platinum K9 this year, deciding to send Mowgli for a 4 week residential course. From our first call with Jon, our incredibly extensive handover, and everything inbetween it was done with professionalism, knowledge, guidance and support. It has been phenomenal to see the progress that has been made, and best of all - Mowgli enjoyed every second of his training. The progress videos and updates allow you to check in throughout the course, which is designed alongside you to make sure your pet gets the best out their time with the team. I can't recommend the trainers enough, and genuinely believe their help and guidance has changed Mowglis life.
Rhiannon Woodrow
Rhiannon Woodrow
September 12, 2022.
Platinum K9 thank you! I gave you two very boisterous dogs, one of whom had developed a penchant for chasing sheep. I dreaded going out for walks….they’d be aggressive to other dogs on leads…it had all become rather horrendous. After 4 weeks with you, they’ve returned home with their personalities still totally intact, but now they’re both calm, happy and a sheer delight to have around. Walking them has once again become a massive pleasure. The whole team is amazing, and I’m extremely grateful for everything you’ve done for Bo and Ludo.
Biddi Christensen
Biddi Christensen
August 26, 2022.
Bryn, the previously very boisterous Boxweiler, has been home a month since his 4 week residential training and I couldn't be happier with the impact the training has had on him. We've gone from carefully choosing where and when we walk in order to avoid triggers, which used to cause him to get over excited and then frustrated, to being able to walk anywhere, anytime. He's not excited by other dogs, even if they are reacting to him, or people, bikes, scooters, skateboards. He takes it all in his stride. Greeting house-visitors is ongoing (he's half-boxer, after all) but a massive improvement from where he was and he continues to be calmer each time. He's lost none of his personality and character and is clearly a much happier dog with a much happier owner too! Great handover to me by the team when I picked Bryn up after his training; they have really set us up for success and are always available for advice/encouragement if needed. Absolutely no hesitation in recommending.
Helen Jones
Helen Jones
June 22, 2022.
I cannot thank Jon and the team at Platinum K9 enough! My 2 year old German Shepherd Jax was extremely reactive to people and dogs which lead to our walks being very stressful and got to the point where I would dread taking him out! I really was at the end of my tether with him, having multiple trainers and nothing seemed to work, so I got in touch with Platinum K9 and arranged for Jax to attend their 4 week residential training course. I received weekly video updates to see how well he was getting on with his training and it really showed the amazing bond Jax had with the team. Jax has now been home for 4 weeks and I can honesty say our walks with him have totally changed for the better, we are now in control! We now enjoy going to busy places that we used to avoid, even taking him to his first beer garden which he handled brilliantly. He definitely tested us the first couple of days back home and still pushes us at times on walks, but with the foundations the team put into place for us to build on, which was explained to us over the amazing detailed hand over we received, we are soon able to get him back focused on us instead of the distraction. And I know Jon and the team are always at the other end of the phone if we ever need any advice! If anyone out there is struggling with their dog like we were please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team. It has completely changed my life for the better, the change in Jax is amazing too, seeming so much more happier and relaxed on his walks!
laurenjade183
laurenjade183
June 11, 2022.
For more information on our residential dog training services please contact us at info@platinumk9.com or call us on 0115 646 0905.