Help, my English Bull Terrier doesn’t stop barking! How to stop barking dogs

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Barking at home

English Bull Terriers and most other breeds in general are all more or less territorial. This territory usually is the home and often adjacent areas (porch, yard etc.)

Because of their excellent hearing they often “go off” without any noticeable trigger at home.

Learn more about a dog’s hearing in these two posts:
Did you hear this? – Interesting dog facts about how dogs hear
Interesting dog facts about dog’s ears

This kind of barking is usually intended to notify the family of threats and on the other hand notify other dogs and strangers of the dog’s presence.

Especially if the triggers are noises outside (cars, other dogs, people …) we usually have a hard time to identify them first and usually no influence on removing those triggers. Otherwise we could just take them away and stop the barking that way.

Sometimes dogs bark for attention, for example, if they need “to go” or if they get bored and try to “call” for someone.

Boredom or a lack of physical exercise and mental challenges can cause the barking to become more excessive.

Once in that excited state the dog uses this as an outlet in the form of seemingly endless barking, often accompanied by agitated behavior.

Remedy No.1

Enough exercise – and calming

Consequently, enough exercise and mental challenges will help to lower the general energy and excitement levels of the dog. “Enough” in this case means sufficient to drain the energy and avoid boredom, but not so much that the dog remains on a high excitement level all day long.

Dogs who are bored, do not only easily become destructive and noisy, desperately trying to fill theirs days with some action. Enough exercise – especially for high energy dogs, such as Bull Terriers – is also vital for their mental and physical health.

Bored dogs can develop OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Behavior) symptoms, which are very hard to control. One example is “spinning” or excessive licking (yap, not only allergies can trigger that) – both sadly often watched in English Bull Terriers. But also excessive barking CAN turn out to be an OCD symptom.

This can make a dog harder to control and the barking as well.

As always the truth lies in the middle and a good ratio is key.

Some owners misinterpret the exercise needs of their dogs in the other direction and think “more helps more”, and as a consequence by this keep their dogs on a constantly high excitement level with too much exercise.

The strategy to wear a dog out by exercising it until it drops and falls asleep, can’t work. The exercise not only drains energy. Many dogs already bring more strength and resilience than the owner is able to equal into the relationship from the start. And while exercise indeed drains the dog’s energy for a while, at the same time it trains the dog’s body and continuously raises the bar – an upwards spiral that hardly any owner can compete with in terms of exercising until tired.

Besides, this strategy is also not free of risks, because in some dogs the control mechanisms that should stop them before physical harm is caused from exhaustion are pretty weak and easily overruled by excitement. There have been dogs that have literally exercised until they dropped dead, because of organ failure.

Some of the very agile and active dogs are having difficulties to “come down” after exercise. For these dogs therefore additional calming exercises and routines are just as valuable as enough exercise and can even help with the barking issues.

Some owners try to stop their dog’s barking by shouting at them. That can work for a second, because it startles and distracts the dog. But, after that moment it’s often likely to ignite even more barking. Especially if the dog is not able to interpret the owner’s voice and facial expression correctly. Because many dogs don’t necessarily equal a loud human voice with anger or disapproval unless they know exactly what disapproval means.
Another lesson they need to learn in everyday life before this can be applied successfully and without room for misunderstandings.

They are being loud for the most different reasons themselves. So how should they know?
Some seem to think that the humans are “also barking” when they shout and feel rather reinforced by that to continue the barking.

Read more about remedy no. 2 “un-barking” your dog on the next page.

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Ruby navarro
7 years ago

Hello,

I am having a hard time trying to train my 4 month old bull terrier, Pluto is his name. He is full of energy and I have a few questions to figure out how to make him stop acting up. He is always ripping the carpet in my house, He starts to get crazy (happy and excited) when he sees people, or other dogs, he doesn’t stop barking even if I speak to him in a calm voice, and in the car he will continue to bark at me or try to get on my lap. I really want to get some help on how to train him because I don’t want him to get out of control when he gets old or become aggressive. Please help me.

Paige
6 years ago

Hi, we have a 8 month old English bull terrier named Bently, we purchased Bently after our previous English bull terrier passed from bladder cancer. We have raised them both the same way, all women in the house so we are very loving with him but also strong voices so when he is naughty we’re very vocal to let him know. But he is by far the naughtiest dog we’ve ever had, he chews EVERYTHING up and demolishes anything in his path, we bought a non chewable bed for him, he chewed it to pieces. He is very playful, and can be quiet vicious when he is, I don’t think he realises it but you can tell when you’re playing with him he’ll be playful and doesn’t bite hard but he passes a barrier and will just sometimes randomly attack you to the point you bruise and bleed from him, especially if you’re walking him, sometimes he can turn and will attack you on his lead in public. We can handle all of that but what’s most annoying is that because he chews all of the furniture up we only let him in the living room when certain people aren’t in there (as he attacks them constantly) and if there is somebody that can pay constant attention on him to stop him from chewing these things so when he’s in the other room seperated by a baby gate he barks, continously, for hours on end none stop, nothing will stop him, I must admit we have tried many things, shock collars aren’t one because we don’t agree with that, we have admittedly tried the spray gun but he just thinks it’s fun and tries to eat the water, telling him no doesn’t stop him, we’ve tried the treats method trying to train him with treats, we have this device which lights up when he barks I’m guessing sending out some kind of noise that he can hear when he does but that doesn’t bother him one bit. We’ve tried everything, our previous English bull terrier was a beaut, no problems would never harm a fly even if you tried to play with him he’d think he was biting to hard and would stop, he never barked unless he heard something he just loved attention and being close to us, the only issue we had with him was he was VERY lazy, to the extent to walk him you had to drag him as he’d sit down and refuse to walk. We’re all out of options. We just miss having a calm, loving dog. He does seem un trainable! Also another thing, We wanted our previous English bull terrier to be trained so we did take it to professional training centre which was very expensive they had dog pools and everything, they turned him down after a couple of sessions saying he was un trainable and that’s when he was a puppy so I’m dreading thinking that Bently can’t be trained because he really needs it.

Melanie
6 years ago

Hi there how do I stop my bull terrier from barking st his shadow and chasing his tail

Chicobean
4 years ago

I have a bull terrier , hes a great doggo . His names chico , he was dropped off by a friend i have no clue how old he is n even due to the weird circumstances he has grown to trust me n behave n listen . He barks at people he knows around the house though , my little siblings , my uncle n aunts , n no he hasnt barked at me . They all show him the same affection , &’ we havent done anything to frighten him in anyway . Please tell me what triggers him to do this n how to resolve it ! <3

Destiny Nasir
4 years ago

My Staffordshire bull terrier recently started barking while inside his cage. It started this weekend when my 5 yr old nephew came over, and he has been coming over for months. My nephew left last night we first suspected that it was jealousy but he is still barking. I don’t want to give him back to the shelter, but I don’t know what to do. I’ve tried exercising him, rewarding him when he stops barking, giving him attention when he stops barking, putting him outside, letting him sleep with me, and now vibrating collar. I don’t want to but I don’t know what else to do. what way can I stop him from barking?

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