Understanding WHY They're Barking is Key
There are different types of barking and understanding the reason behind the barking will help you get to the right solution. You don't handle all types of barking the same way, it's all dependent on the circumstances. Asking why won't my puppy stop barking is similar to asking why won't my baby stop crying. You have to examine the situation or have a dog trainer come help with training to get to the root of the issue and start working towards a resolution.
The main reasons puppies bark are because they want attention, because they're over-stimulated or over-excited, or because they are afraid. We handle each of these situations differently and it's vital to have good puppy training when it comes to approaching this correctly. First, if a puppy is barking for attention it's extremely important to avoid giving them that attention by talking, touching, or looking at them. Doing this can accidentally reinforce the behavior because your puppy will learn that all I have to do for attention is bark and they will continue to do so. Instead you want to wait for them to be quiet and remain quiet for a short time before reinforcing them for the correct behavior.
If your puppy is barking because they are over stimulated or excited then you want to practice with them in these scenarios and reward them for making good choices. Notice the times when your dog is likely to bark, then begin working with them in these scenarios by rewarding the correct behavior.
Use Dog Training Methods That Work Without Pain
Outdated methods of dog training use pain and fear to stop barking. These methods mainly involve the use of shock collars. Unfortunately, there are still some trainers out there who recommend these tools. This is primarily because it is the "quick fix" to your problem. However, in the past recent years we've had studies done showing how detrimental these tools are to dogs. Using pain and fear causes the dog to stop what they're doing often times, but there are serious consequences to going this route. Now we know that using shock collars can increase your dogs anxiety and result in even more intense actions. For example, if a dog was used to barking at the mailman but now knows if he barks he will be shocked, then he may begin clawing at the door or destroying furniture in the nearby areas. This is because that feeling they are experiencing is still there, and they have to find another way to get it out.
Be Consistent With Your Puppy & They Will Learn
When training your puppy or dog not to bark, the best methods will only work with consistency. If your dog is accidentally reinforced for the behavior, they are likely to continue it. Keep in mind that the best tools you can use to limit your dogs barking are providing plenty of mental stimulation, giving lots of physical exercise, and managing the situation so that your dog can be successful.