Few things are as frustrating or aggravating as listening to a neighbor’s dog bark for hours on end. The truth is that it’s easier than you think to train your dog to be quiet so that doesn’t happen.
In fact, the quiet command for dogs can be one of the easiest commands to teach them, as long as you keep in mind a few basic tips. Not only can this command come in handy when you live around a lot of neighbors, but it can also keep both you and your dog a lot safer in certain situations.
Quiet Command for Dogs: Why it’s So Important
Most people teach the quiet command to their dogs after teaching them how to bark when it’s convenient, such as when a stranger enters their property. The benefits of the quiet command include:
- It can eliminate stress
- It can stop complaints from others
- It can stop aggravation from the neighbors
Not surprisingly, a dog that is growling, barking, or otherwise making a lot of noise can be a real nuisance to both those around them and to their owner. This is why the quiet command is so beneficial.
While there are times when the dog should, in fact, bark, there are also a lot of times when the dog will need to switch to their quiet mode. Teaching them both how to bark and how to stop is advantageous in many ways.
How to Teach the Quiet Command?
As mentioned earlier, your dog should know how to bark or “speak” before being taught how to be quiet. The two commands go hand in hand. The first thing you should do is choose a command to use when you want your dog to be quiet.
It could be something such as “quiet,” “enough,” “hush,” or something similar. You can choose the word that you’re most comfortable with, but you’ll have to use that same word every time.
Method #1: Normal command
Here are five easy steps to take to teach the quiet command to your dog:
- Look for Something to Make Your Dog Bark
One of the easiest ways to do this is to ask someone you know to either knock on your door or ring the doorbell. If you wait until the dog barks naturally and you’re unprepared, it’s usually difficult to start to teach this command quickly.
- Acknowledge the Bark
You can acknowledge the bark by checking to see its exact cause. Afterwards, you should get your dog’s attention by holding up some type of toy or treat, or even by clapping so the dog turns and faces your direction. Present your dog with that toy or treat as soon as they do this.
- Keep Repeating the Steps
Each time your dog barks, get their attention and give them the toy or treat as soon as the barking stops. Eventually, you’ll notice longer periods of silence in between the barking. Always wait for as long as possible once the barking stops to give the dog the toy or treat.
- Add the Cue Word You’ve Chosen
After a few instances of your dog remaining quiet for a while, start using the cue word you’ve chosen so they can associate that word with the actual command. If the dog starts barking, repeat the quiet command by being firm and audible, but also upbeat. Once the barking stops, you can give the dog the treat.
- Remember That it Takes Practice to Perfect the Command
There is no set time frame for the dog to learn the quiet command. It usually takes weeks or even longer, and it can vary with each dog, but you should practice it frequently until they learn what is expected of them if you don’t want them to bark. Once learned, the quiet command is invaluable.
Method #2: An Alternative
While this method works most of the time, some pet parents decide to go with other methods instead. Here is another method that you might want to try:
- Go into a quiet room and give your dog the bark command.
- Once they have barked a few times, hold up the treat in front of them.
- The dog will usually stop at this point and smell the treat. When this happens, use your cue word and praise the dog because the barking has stopped.
- Repeat this several times, but it’s best to stop if your dog shows any type of stress while this is happening.
- As with other methods, this one can take a while for the dog to learn well. Don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t happen right away.
Consistency is the key, and if you’re alert enough, you’ll be able to take advantage of unexpected barking and sneak in another training session. Remember that different dogs bark at different triggers.
For some, the doorbell will trigger barking, while others tend to bark more aggressively when they see another dog. Once you determine exactly what’s going to make your dog bark, the quiet command becomes a lot easier to teach.
Also keep in mind that you may have to wait for the puppy to get a little older before being successful at teaching this command. This is because very young puppies don’t always want or are able to bark, and you’ll need to wait until this happens before you start the training. If a dog isn’t barking because they are too young, you can simply wait until they are a little bit older and go from there.0
Other Tips That Can Make a Difference
If you’ve trained your dog to both bark and be quiet, you should practice the training in different locations and with different triggers. If you stick to the same room every time you train, the dog might think that’s the only place they’ll have to be quiet. You might also want to consider training with a clicker, which is not unpleasant for the dog and can make the training sessions a little more efficient.
As far as the treat itself, it should be a different treat than what you give the dog during the course of the day. It should also be small and just a “bite,” not a huge treat that is more like a meal.
For some treats, it’s effective if you cut it up into small pieces, which is perfect if your dog has a favorite treat and you like providing it to them. Remember that treats should be special and not commonplace.
If you don’t want to use treats, you can use other things for a reward. These can include lots of hugs, cuddles, a toy, or even an activity they love, such as playing fetch or taking a swim in a pond. You can even combine food and non-food treats if you want, as long as you use them appropriately so the dog learns why you’re giving them the treat in the first place.
Training your dog to master the quiet command has to be done after they’ve mastered the bark command. It’s similar to other commands, which means that consistency, frequent practicing, patience, and positive reinforcement in the way of treats are all important if you want it to be successful.
To cater the training to your particular dog, you have several methods you can use that will work in the end.