3 Ways to stop your Labrador puppy barking
For any new Labrador owner, handling prolonged barking from a new puppy can be a stressful experience. Many first time dog owners just aren’t prepared for the amount of barking and yapping that comes from these little furry bundles of joy. It’s worth mentioning at this point that not all Labrador pups will yap and bark. Some will hardly make a sound. However during the early days, puppy barking may be something you’ll experience, especially at night when left all alone in the dark. It’s only natural.
One of the biggest phases that a puppy will go through is the fear of being alone. I’m not talking about being alone in the sense of you leaving the house. Some puppies will go absolutely nuts even when you only leave the room for a few minutes. They just can’t bear to be alone because they are so used to having their mother or littermates around them constantly. This would have been a huge source of comfort to them. Take that away and a pup may feel pretty vulnerable and this is likely to lead to your puppy barking.
When faced with this situation, what do you do? If you run to your puppy to and comfort her every time she cries, then you are only feeding the behavior and creating a spoiled dog. On the other hand, if you ignore her and let her bark, everyone in your house…or street, will soon become pretty annoyed with you for allowing the noise to continue.
Quite a dilemma and there’s no magic solution I’m afraid. However, I do have some tips to help you deal with your puppy barking situation:
- I realise that in the short term, this doesn’t really help with the dilemma but the best thing to do is try to ignore your puppy’s barking. Yes people will probably still get annoyed by the noise but this really is the best solution. It’s difficult to ignore a barking or crying dog but eventually the noise will stop. The important thing here is that your pup will come to learn that making a noise will not lead to cuddles from you.
- When you leave the house, refrain from long and drawn out departures. Although it’s understandable to want to pet your puppy before leaving the house, it only creates more stress because she will start to associate your behaviour with you leaving her all alone. The same advice goes when you arrive home. Avoid big and exciting welcomes after walking through the door.
- Try using a simple training aid to get your puppy to quiet down immediately when she is barking. A water bottle that sends a quick burst of spray is a simple and harmless idea. An alternative is a small tin can filled with a few pennies in it. When you go to leave her side and she starts barking, simply shake the can vigorously. It will create a startling noise while at the same time diverting her attention. Please use some discretion when employing these methods to stop your puppy barking. The aim isn’t to terrify your dog, but simply to divert her attention.
On a final note, whatever you do, don’t try yelling at her. Yelling will either scare her from wanting to come near you or will further add to her anxiety levels and the barking will continue.
Good luck and don’t let the puppy barking problem get you down. With a little perseverance you WILL get there in the end!!