Once you have gotten to the root of why your dog is barking, you can start working to change his behavior.
If your dog wants attention:
A dog who is barking for attention has one wish — to be acknowledged. It doesn’t matter if your reaction to his barking is positive or negative, it still reinforces your dog’s actions.
“If your dog is barking for attention, it is important that you do not accidentally reinforce this behavior by talking to them, touching them or looking at them,” Semel explains. “These are all forms of attention, even if you are pointing your finger at them and saying 'No!' They might stop in the moment, but they got what they wanted.”
Semel recommends using “abandonment training,” paired with extra daily physical exercise, for an attention-hungry dog.
Whenever your dog barks, instead of telling him to be quiet, immediately leave the room and return 20 seconds later.
Yes, you will have to continually pause whatever TV show you’re watching, but soon your dog will realize that his barking will make you go away — the opposite of what he wants. If you are not able to leave the room, try your best to ignore your dog while he barks.
With this form of training, the barking may get worse before it gets better, Semel warns, but it is all part of the process.