There are certain things you've got to accept when you decide to bring a dog into your life, and barking is one of them. Barking is a natural and necessary aspect of a dog's communication, socialization, and safety, but you don't have to put up with constant vocalizations from your pup. Even the noisiest of dogs can be trained to control their barking. These simple tips are central to limiting your dog's barking.
Dogs don't bark for no reason. Whether your dog wants attention, is distressed, or wants to notify you about something in the environment, their barking is a reaction to some stimulus. Try to remove these triggers when your dog barks. If they are barking at someone walking past the window, close the curtains. If they're barking to draw your attention, don't give it. By showing your dog that there are alternative ways to get noticed, you'll reduce their motivation to bark.
As with all dog training, you need to positively reinforce your pooch's good behaviors - in this case, not barking. Give your dog a treat and a "Good boy!" when they stay quiet in a situation that would normally elicit barking. If your dog does stay quiet for a prolonged period of time, reward them for this behavior with a treat, a pat, or attention. Over time, your dog will learn that there are upsides to not barking and their vocalizations will diminish.
It is also important not to reinforce barking, so ignore them when they are noisy. It can be difficult to ignore barking because vocalizations may be attached to danger - you don't want to ignore your dog when he's reacting to a home intruder! But by training your dog to bark less you are ensuring that when they do bark, it is for a real and important reason. Don't pay attention to your dog when they're barking and reward them when they stop.
Recognize When It's Natural
You can train your dog to bark less but you cannot stop them barking forever. There are times when your dog will still want to draw your attention to something that is distressing them. You should aim to stop them barking when it isn't appropriate, like when the postman comes to your door. Realize that you cannot stop your dog barking 100% of the time and recognize when you've reached a happy medium with your dog's barking.
Teach A "Quiet" Command
Teach your dog to "Speak" by giving the command, waiting until they bark, and then giving them a treat. When they can bark on command, add a command to stop barking by saying "Quiet" and rewarding them when the barking stops. The quiet command lets you stop your dog barking easily when they do become noisy. If your dog does bark in future you can use a sharp, clear "Quiet!" to acknowledge and stop them.
Your dog can learn to bark less with consistent, controlled training, so take these tips on board and look forward to a happier and quieter life with your pooch.