This page is part of Section One:
the Your Dog section of

A quick explanation of how to bark train your dog

This short section will tell you everything you need to know to bark train your dog.

No-Bark Bark Training: The Short Version

In its most unadorned form, training a dog not to bark is a simple matter. You just give him a gentle, little, corrective smack on the nose or make sure some other humanely unpleasant thing happens immediately after each and every bark. If you keep that up long enough, the dog will stop barking. It's that easy.

A No-Barking Bark Training Checklist:

  • Every time your dog barks inappropriately, go to him and shout "no." Then, an instant later, either spritz him lightly in the face with the watery mist of a clean spray bottle, or, give him a token, two-fingered smack on the nose. If you choose to smack your dog, keep in mind that your goal is not to inflict pain or injury on the animal. You are just trying to ensure that his every bark is followed immediately by a consequence that he finds unnerving and unpleasant. So be careful not to use too much force, and be especially careful dispensing punishment to puppies, who are extra fragile. The rule then is: Don't hurt the dog. Just make sure that after each and every bark, he suffers an unpleasant, unnerving consequence that is just harsh enough to cause him to want to avoid experiencing it again in the future.

  • Make sure that the way you smack the dog, or whatever it is that you do to the dog after he barks, is something that he truly finds unpleasant. If he doesn't mind what you are doing enough to want to avoid experiencing it again in the future, it is not going to work.

  • When the dog barks, go to where he is. Do not call him to you.

  • Go to him immediately after he barks.

  • Go every time he barks, for as long as it takes, until he masters the art of not barking.

  • Your punishment should be so consistent that the dog comes to perceive it as an automatic and inevitable consequence of barking.

  • When the dog is quiet, reward him with your presence and your affectionate interactions.

A word about bark training vicious dogs: DON'T! If you have an animal that might conceivably bite you in the course of bark training, don't take the chance. Although you do still have an obligation to quiet the animal. So first, if you can safely place an electronic collar on the dog, do so immediately. Follow that by hiring a professional dog trainer who can take a look at the animal and advise you as to the wisdom of keeping such a dog, because you just may be in over your head. Remember, harboring a vicious dog is seldom a good idea. If the trainer assures you that it is safe to correct the dog manually, then you can proceed with bark training.

Two Critically Important Points - Be Sure to Read This

Bark training a dog is a complex, highly nuanced task, and this page is little more than a checklist. Therefore, if all you know about bark training is what you learned here, on this one particular page, there is much that you yet need to absorb before you come to a complete understanding of the process.

Undoubtedly, the most misunderstood aspect of bark training is the instruction to use a two-fingered corrective tap on your dog's nose immediately after he barks.

The purpose of the corrective tap is not to cause either pain or injury to your dog. If what you do causes your dog any significant amount of physical discomfort, then clearly, you are doing that on your own, because that is not what the research shows to be effective, and it is not at all what this website advocates.

There actually is a very good reason for making physical contact with your dog when you correct him, but it has nothing to do with inflicting pain or injury. Rather, it has to do with upsetting your dog emotionally as a means of setting in motion a paradigm of classical conditioning that will eventually come to cause your dog to feel a significant degree of emotional distress every time he contemplates misbehaving. That in turn, will greatly decrease the chances that he will choose to behave badly in the future, whether or not there is anyone there to correct him at any given moment.

Through classical conditioning, you can imbue your dog with a profound sense of right and wrong. But if you want to really understand how that works, and you want to master the art of correcting your dog in a highly effective manner that is neither physically nor psychologically harmful, you will need to read a detailed examination of the process of bark training your dog.

Watchdog Training

Please note that there is another kind of bark training as well, called watchdog training, in which you teach your dog to bark at some things but not at others.

The Dog Science Network also sponsors a course in dog training, featuring a free workshop in canine
, as well as an advanced course in obedience training, street safety, and watchdog work.

This page is part of Section One:
the Your Dog section of