The most common reason for excessive barking is some kind of visual cue. What is your dog barking at?
Does he have close-up visual access to the street?
Consider keeping a gate between doorways so he loses sight of human and animal passers by.
Is the dog bored? Try giving him a bone or chew toy to take up his attention.
Is he overstimulated?
Too much noise can be upsetting for your pup. Try setting him up with a noise machine or one of those mom’s-not-home dog videos to calm him down.
Is he feeling cramped?
Dogs need plenty of room to run around and get their energy out. If the space he’s in is too small, see about opening it up a bit. And take him on lots of walks.
Is the dog aggressive and dominant? If so, you will need to spend extra time training him, and/or consult a professional.
Are there other cues that trigger your dog to bark? Be sure to remove these when possible.
Have you socialized your dog enough to be around other people and dogs?
This is critical training for your pet that you should begin as early as possible.
What NOT to do:
Steer clear of yelling at your dog to “be quiet” or saying “no,” as this rewards his behavior with attention. In fact, don’t even acknowledge his bark.
Instead, change the situation by taking him to a new room, place or outside for a walk.
If the barking occurs at night, confine your dog to a crate with dog bed and keep him away from noises and disturbances. This will curb barking and let him know that it’s time for bed.
Crating shouldn’t be used as a punishment! The crate should be the calmest, safest place your dog can go.
Maybe you just need to shake things up. If your dog’s been playing with the same tattered stuffed animal for years, or eating the same Milk Bones forever, he might be under stimulated.
Try a box full of new things to engage his attention and reduce stress.
And if none of that works, it may be time to visit a behaviorist.
Do you have any tips to curb excessive barking? Share them in the comments below!