News / December 5, 2022

Best methods to stop your dog from barking

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.


jenna Smith
jenna Smith
I cannot thank Platinum K9 enough for helping me and my Flo, she has recently come back from a 3 week residential course and it is the best decision I have ever made. The handover was so thorough and we really left with no questions unanswered. Special thanks to Kyran for the daily updates and photos and treating her as if she was his own.
Dawn Wilson
Dawn Wilson
Our 4.5 year Old Female Collie had always been extremely reactive and this took over our lives , Most of her walks were tailored to avoid people and dogs . We had a bad experience on Holiday and said enough is enough , She needs proper training !! On the way home I found Platinum K9 during my search . We planned a holiday during her 3 week stay . Dropped her off and had a good conversation with Jon & Alex who put our minds at ease. Weekly videos were sent as promised and contact easy and when required VIA WhatsApp !!My Hubby and I were astonished with the results and after some initial convo about what to expect , we had the most wonderful walk up the lane and through the Town where all the obstacles we could have encountered previously , We Did ... Leanne did a fabulous job with our Sydney and was very patient with our training 🙂 we said our goodbyes to K9 and took her home , we followed the instructions given by the team and whilst only 5 days in I am loving the loose leash walks and less reactive behaviour . This training programme is worth every penny spent and I would highly recommend them to anyone with a reactive Collie .A million thanks to Leanne and Alex.
Caroline Murray
Caroline Murray
Thank you all so much. We have a new dog😁After her recent 3 week residential course with a fantastic handover from Alex and Tom, we were obviously optimistic of how Munchkin would be on her return home. She is amazing. We still use the training we were given but it works. She used to instigate growling and pulling reactivity of three of our other dogs as well. Munchkin believed she was the size of a rottweiler disguised as a French Bulldog. Using the techniques taught we now have pleasant loose lead walks with all four. Our walks have been completely transformed.We can even stop and chat with people and their dogs. Thank you all so much. Caroline & Andy
Josh Hallam
Josh Hallam
I could not recommend Platinum K9 enough for anybody who is having trouble with a reactive dog. After having a discussion with the team over the phone, we dropped our cockapoo Rolo off for a 3 week residential to work on his reactiveness towards other dogs. We were in a position where we had to avoid other people on walks as Rolo would react at almost every single one. During the residential we got weekly update videos showing his progress and a number of photos showing how happy he was staying there. Following a thorough handover when we picked him up, we have had Rolo back home for a week and we have not had any reaction to any dogs since. As the team also worked on his impulse control and lead manners, this has meant we can walk Rolo much further in a much shorter space of time and due to the lack of reactivity, we are able to walk him much more often throughout the day. We have been able to go to coffee shops and pubs where he is now much more confident and chilled out to the point where he has fallen asleep on the floor. For anybody who has a reactive dog and is considering using Platinum K9, don't hesitate.
Grant Cherry
Grant Cherry
Our 20 month Border Terrier, Teddy, attended a 4 week residential at Platinum K9 from August-September 2023. Teddy was always perfectly fine with other dogs but after around 17 months he unexpectedly began to become reactive to other dogs, which made walks very challenging, stressful and different to what they had been. His barking was also proving an issue. After extensive research we decided to contact Platinum K9. From our initial call with Jon, everything was incredibly professional and thorough. Of course, we were nervous about dropping Teddy off however, all the team at PK9 explained everything in full and reassured us. I can honestly say the results have been amazing, his lead walking is excellent now and he has not shown any intent to become reactive to dogs. His barking has improved dramatically, still work to be done but it’s amazing the result. Teddy’s trainer, Alex, was superb. Sending us the weekly videos, answering any questions we had and keeping us informed. The handover day is brilliant (lasts around 3-4 hours) and it covered everything, also gave us the chance to practice with guidance from the trainers. What an outstanding outfit PK9 are, would fully recommend them to anyone! Thanks Alex so much and the rest of the PK9 team!
Jorge Gonzalo
Jorge Gonzalo
We have taken our large mastiff to Platinum K9 as a result of reactivity issues. They have done a sterling job with him. Throughout his stay with them we were informed through video recordings on his progress and training. When we collected him the handover was very thorough and well explained which has enabled us to continue with the learnings in our home environment. It has been two weeks since we collected our dog and we have put him into situations we wouldn't have previously and he has passed the tests with flying colours, as he has shown no reactivity at all. Special thanks to Kyran for all the work he has put into training our dog. It has made a real difference to our lives and we highly recommend Platinum K9 if you have any issues with your dog.
Emelia Box
Emelia Box
I took my Australian Shepherd/Border Collie mix Sophia to Platinum K9 for 4 weeks of residential training to try and stop her being so reactive and trying to herd my children. I had tried dog trainers before and watched all the shows under the sun to try and get her listening to us better indoors and outdoors, but nothing was working and it was becoming difficult to live with. I was hopeful the training at K9 would work but also sceptical as everything else we had tried hadn't worked. Sophia has now been home with us for a week and life has become so much easier. My husband and I can see a real change in her and she now listens to what we are saying and responds. On walks she now stays by our side on a loose lead, which we never thought would happen as she used to pull horrendously, and knows that her being reactive isn't ok. We now have the tools to tell Sophia what we expect from her and she has responded really well to them. In the home Sophia seems a lot more relaxed and happier now she knows the rules and it's lovely to be able to be able to praise her for doing what she should be doing rather than feeling like we were always telling her off before the training. Sophia is one of those dogs that will always push the boundaries so we know we have to stay on top of her training but we are all so happy with her progress and know she will only get better and better. We really feel Platinum K9 have given us a life line and we are just happy to have Sophia back home with us and enjoying family life again. I want to thank Luke for all of his hard work training Sophia and for all of our weekly updates we received to show her progress while she was there. The care Luke and the team show towards the dogs they have there is so lovely and I felt so comfortable leaving Sophia in their care. I also wanted to thank Jon for his time talking to me over the phone before we decided to take Sophia to Platinum K9 for training and for the initial meeting. I felt valued in my concerns and Jon really spent the time to answer all my questions which made me feel confident K9 was the right place for Sophia to go to. Leanne helped us on the handover with Luke and was amazing. She was so friendly and really helped us understand the reasons why Luke was doing what he was doing with Sophia and also answered all of our questions. Thank you so much Platinum K9! You have made Sophia a very happy doggie and family life so much easier and enjoyable.
Charlie Whiteley
Charlie Whiteley
I sent my reactive 2-yr old Jack Russell, Billy, to Platinum K9 for the 4-week residential training. Billy's main problem was his reactiveness towards most dogs when on lead and larger dogs when off lead. He only had 2 modes - sleeping or 'playing'. He found it hard to relax in public spaces - both indoors and outside - which impacted my life considerably. Taking him anywhere was a stressful experience, so Billy didn't come with me to pubs, cafes or general trips out. I considered sending Billy to residential training a year ago but was tentative about the time he'd be away plus I wasn't sure it was for smaller dogs. I was recommended PK9 through a friend of my brothers and was immediately put at ease after an initial phone conversation with Ben. We went through all Billy's bad habits and Ben gave me a thorough breakdown of how they'll tackle them over the 4-week stay. I had all the confidence in the world he was in safe hands. It was a no-brainer for me. Throughout the stay I got weekly video updates from Alex on Billy's training, with a detailed explanation of why and how it helps him. On handover day, before going to see him, Alex and Kyran told me how Billy has been and a gave me a run through of how the handover will go. I was then given an incredibly professional training session with Billy from Alex who clearly explained how to lead and guide with confidence and correct him when needed. I was honestly blown away by the dog I was handed back. He's not a robot and still has his character. He's come with me to cafes and pubs, on buses, walks next to me at my pace, doesn't sniff and pick up anything on the ground and knows how to relax and go to his bed when I want him to. The difference it's making to mine and Billy's life already, and to those around us, is nothing short of transformational. Billy may always have his reactive tendencies - something I've come to accept - but I now have the tools to tackle any situation so that he knows the behavior that's expected of him. I couldn't recommend the PK9 team enough. A huge thank you to Alex and all the work he did with Billy. I'll always be grateful.
Jyoti Dabb
Jyoti Dabb
I had my 11 month Staffy with Platinum K9 for 4 weeks and I couldn’t be happier that the work the team have done with him. Kobe has been so much more relaxed since being home which has helped us spend more time together. The weekly progress updates were amazing and the handover was extremely comprehensive. Would not hesitate to leave Kobe with the team for any boarding or training needs again. Definitely recommend
judy jurasek
judy jurasek
I would like to recommend Platinum K9 to anyone who is in anyway concerned about the behaviour of their dog, whatever breed and at any age. I have today collected my little dog Spud from K9 under the care of trainer Luke Thompson who has helped this little man so much with firm but kind training, which so far has worked and i shall continue to do my best to keep him a good boy. I would not hesitate to use them again for whatever reason whether it be training or kennels. With best wishes from, Judy and Spud
For more information on our residential dog training services please contact us at info@platinumk9.com or call us on 0115 646 0905.