Dogs bark for many reasons – out of excitement, boredom, anxiety, fear, to defend a territory, or simply to get attention. The noise can become problematic when dogs bark frequently or at inopportune times and disturb their owners or neighbors.
Regardless of the underlying cause of the problem barking, treatment should center on positive reinforcement of the desired behavior (i.e., being quiet) rather than punishment for barking. Anti-bark collars can play a role but are most effective when they are used intermittently and when dogs are praised for not barking after the device has been triggered. If a dog is barking out of fear or anxiety, no form of punishment, including anti-bark collars, should be used. Anti-anxiety medications can be a helpful in these instances.
With patience and persistence on behalf of their owners, most dogs can learn not to bark excessively.