Ask Alecia: My Dog Won’t Stop Barking!

Dear Alecia,

I adopted a basset hound–he is a 3-year-old male. I brought him into a home with a 5-year-old male Cocker Spaniel, and 10-Year-old male indoor only cat. He is a good, albeit goofy dog—and usually gets along with the others. (All have been neutered.)

Anyway, he barks sooooo loudly–at ANYTHING… a leaf blowing in the yard, a cat walking across the street. When he gets barking, the cocker will begin to chime in–he was always pretty quiet. The cocker will start barking, even though he doesn’t know what he is barking at. My daughter gets upset at the noise, and YELLS for him to stop—as you can see, it sometimes becomes a circus.

I tell my daughter not to yell, but rather keep a calm voice, because her yelling just adds to the excitement. Any suggestions on me not having to get noise cancelling headphones? The basset (75 pounds, also tends to jump.) — Stephanie

Dear Stephanie,

Congrats on your newest family member. Barking can be quite the annoying habit. For rescue dogs I highly recommend a few retraining sessions over a one-month period on basic commands like: sit, stay, down, heel and come. I cannot stress how important this is to establishing healthy, clear boundaries and who is in charge.

When a dog gets to the point of barking and not listening to you, there has to be a little more physical intervention such as a tap on the dog’s side to let them know that you meant what you said. In the case of barking consistency is vital to ending the barking habit.

The other important factor is to identify if the barking is coming from a confident place where the dog feels like he is doing his job in letting you know that there is something to be alert about or he is nervous barking because he is not confident in your leadership abilities to handle the situation.

If it is coming from confidence, praise him that he let you know are thankful he alerted you and now you have the situation covered. If it is coming from nervousness or uncertainty you will need to ask him to be quiet and if he continues you will want to give him a tap or a leash correction (slight tug) ever time he barks so he knows that you are on it and he can stop barking.

It will take a little persistence and patience but will be well worth the effort.

Paws Up!

Alecia Evans, PDT, MA

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Alecia Evans is the inventor of The Walk In Sync™ Humane Dog Walking and Training System with her exclusive 5 Minute Manners Makeovers using the Walk In Sync™ Harness and Accu-Grip Leash, along with her Walk In Sync™ 3 Easy Steps to teach any human/dog duos to Walk In Sync in just minutes.

The former host of the award-winning GrassRoots Aspen TV Series, The Whole Animal-An Alternative Approach to Animal Care, Alecia takes a natural approach to dog training and health care. Her work has been featured on Fox and Friends, The Sandra Glosser Show, NY 1, and in Aspen Magazine,, The New York Daily News and Woof Report.

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