If a dog is excited he will probably bark when visitors call, when you get his lead to go for a walk and when you make his dinner. He may also jump around and act like a 'hooligan'!
- If he is excited because the rest of his day is so boring and quiet, try introducing some interesting activities into his routine. Try clicker training and simple puzzle-solving games (i.e. find the treat under a cup) and take him out more often during the day for calm walks with plenty of sniffing allowed. Keep interactions calm with plenty of gentle praise and rewards; the idea is to exercise his mind, more so than his body.
- Brush up on his obedience training and train him to go and fetch a rubber ball or soft toy in his mouth. If you command him to do this every time he starts barking, he’ll soon automatically do this. Barking is a lot harder and quieter if a dog already has something in his mouth! Remember that asking a dog to do an alternative acceptable behaviour is far easier than asking him to completely stop an unwanted behaviour.
- You could try exposing him to the barking ‘triggers’ repeatedly over a few days, ignoring his reaction and then praising/rewarding him as soon as he quietens down but this can be a long and annoying process that may not work very well!
- Remember: don’t shout at him to stop barking as he may think that you are excited too and are joining in! This could make him bark even more loudly.