When choosing a poodle to add to the family, there are quite a few things that a new pet owner needs to consider. Things like how active the dog is and how big they are going to get. Another concern would be whether or not your dog is going to be one of those never-ending barkers no one enjoys.
If you’re opting for a poodle, you should keep in mind that this breed is one of the louder breeds that tends to bark often. How do you get a poodle to stop barking?
1) Identify the trigger of the barking, then remove your poodle from the situation.
2) If barking is not from a specific trigger, ignore your poodle and reward when the barking has stopped.
3) Never tell your poodle ‘No!’ while he is barking. If you want to use commands, teach him to bark on command instead.
You may be put off by a poodle knowing that they are one of the louder dog breeds. But keep this in mind: poodles are also highly intelligent and can be trained easily. This means that your barking poodle doesn’t always have to be an ear-shattering nightmare.
We are going to breakdown all of the must-know facts about poodles and how you can solve their barking habit. Remember, your poodle will always have a trigger that leads to barking, Learning these triggers, and knowing how to properly deal with them, will save you loads of trouble and save your eardrums.
Many people love poodles because of their darling and unique features. They are always eye-catching dogs that make your heart melt with every glance. Aside from their dashing good looks and intriguing features, the poodle is also friendly and typically great with kids of all ages.
However, while they may be one of the cutest and friendliest breeds, they have a major setback: poodles are known for their tendency to bark excessively. This is especially true for the poodle who has had no special training teaching them not to bark.
To put it simply, a poodle with no training is a loud poodle, and you will hear them talking often.
The good news is that poodles are highly intelligent dogs that can be trained quickly and can learn with ease, and they will usually only bark for a good reason. This means you can narrow down the triggers for all that yelling and yapping and stop the barking issue right at the source.
A great behavioral training course can really help lighten your bark training load. I found a fantastic training system called Brain Training for Dogs. With this training, I was able to greatly improve my dog’s barking and anxiety while in his crate.
I really liked the private member’s area where I was able to connect with other dog owners to get solutions to issues I had with his training. If you need any behavioral training at all for your dog, I would highly recommend this course! Check it out here
Does the Type of Poodle Affect Barking Tendency?
Another thing to keep in mind is that the size of the poodle will not have any bearing on how much he barks. Many poodle owners are under the impression that miniature poodles will bark the most as they are a small and yappy’ dog, but this simply is not the case.
There are actually three different types of poodles: the toy poodle, miniature poodle, and standard poodle. They are narrowed down by their size and weight:
|Toy Poodle||Miniature poodle||Standard Poodle|
|Height||Under 10 Inches||10-15 Inches||Over 15 Inches|
|Weight||5-10 Pounds||15-20 Pounds||40-60 Pounds|
Although there is a major difference between the height and weight from a toy poodle to a standard poodle, there is no difference when it comes to barking tendency. All three types of poodles have the same desire to bark at people, other dogs, and their own specific triggers.
However, keep in mind that the theory is mostly true for other dog breeds. Typically the smaller sized dog will be the loudest. This simply is not true for the poodles. The poodle breed comes in different shapes and sizes but they still all have the same barking problem.
When deciding which poodle to add to your home, don’t try and link height and weight to barking tendency. Remember that the characteristics of the dog’s body will have no reflection on their barking tendencies. Poodles will always be barkers unless they are specifically trained not to and have learned to handle different situations correctly.
Why Do Poodles Bark?: Cause and Solution
As we said earlier, the main reason why poodle barks so much have to do with a certain situation upsetting him. So how can you get your poodle to stop barking? The answer is simple: find the root of the cause for your poodle barking, and then find a solution that works.
Remember that your poodle isn’t just trying to have a chat with you, and he certainly is not doing all of that barking to annoy his owner. Instead, a poodle barking is likely to be caused by one of these scenarios:
- A poodle is left alone and has separation anxiety.
- There are loud noises affecting him, such as a thunderstorm.
- People are walking by the home, and he does not know them.
- Your poodle is trying to protect its owner.
- He is trying to protect himself.
- Boredom has set in, and he does not know what else to do.
- Guests are coming and going.
- Overall, excitement leaves him out of control.
Knowing that your poodle is not only an emotional dog but a sensitive one, too, you can understand why these types of events can trigger him to begin barking.
So what can you do to make sure that your dog can handle these situations without needing to bark incessantly? We’re going to break down each of the different main reasons for barking, what they mean specifically, and how you can help to find a solution that works for you and your poodle.
He is Left Alone and Has Separation Anxiety
What many new pet owners of poodles may not know is that poodles actually can have extremely high separation anxiety. Anytime that they are left alone, they may start to experience the feelings and stress of separation anxiety.
So what does that mean? It’s not like you can spend every waking moment with your pet poodle. How can you make sure that your poodle is okay with you leaving the house, so it won’t end up in a never-ending barking fest for you and your poor dog?
Here are some great solutions to solving separation anxiety in your poodle while you are away:
- Consider playing some calming sounds in the home while you are away. This could mean some soothing music or maybe a recording of the waves hitting the ocean or the rainforest. Just make sure there are no booming sounds in the recording as to not startle your poodle and cause barking all over again.
- Make sure there is an area where your poodle can look out the window. Poodles love to look outside, and it will make them feel less alone while you are away. Make sure your poodle has a special spot where he can easily look out the window with peace and quiet.
- Always make sure you leave some lights on, especially if you are gone at night. Just because your poodle is a dog and not a human does not mean that he can handle being in the dark. Nobody wants to be in a pitch-black space all by themselves, so make sure your poodle has some light while you are gone.
- Train with small increments of time. This is especially important when you first get your poodle. They are going to be in fear right off the bat and may believe you will leave them and never return. A good practice would be, when leaving, to come back every hour or so if possible to give your poodle some reassurance that he has nothing to worry about.
- Give your poodle lots of attention. A dog who is confident with his owner and gets plenty of time and affection will not feel so insecure when comes time for their owner to leave. That being said, make sure that playtime and cuddle time is enough to keep your poodle happy. Ignoring him will only make separation anxiety much worse!
A poodle that feels happy and confident in his home will not have any room for worrying with separation anxiety. These simple steps should cure him of his separation anxiety, which is, unfortunately, something every poodle is born with and will need your help to fix.
There Are Loud Noises Affecting Him, Such as a Thunderstorm
The majority of people know that loud noises and flashes of light do not go hand-in-hand with most breeds of dogs. However, you may be surprised to know that some dogs actually don’t mind things like thunderstorms and fireworks and can live peacefully through them.
Well, the same may not be true for your poodle.
Poodles are known to have incredibly high sensitivity to both loud noises and extremely bright flashes of light. What does that mean for you? You can expect your poodle to start yelping the moment he hears or sees something worrisome, such as a thunderstorm.
Of course, thunderstorms can’t be avoided. While you might be able to shelter your dog from the onset of fireworks, thunderstorms are something that is going to happen throughout his lifetime, and he needs to be able to handle it the right way- without barking.
There are a couple of things you can do to help you poodle handle loud noises and flashes of light in a calmer manner:
- Expose your poodle to a lot of loud noises. Remember that this should be done slowly; don’t toss on a thunderstorm CD and turn it up to 100. Instead, get him familiar with loud noises from time to time in the comfort of your home.
- Gradually turn up the volume. You can’t dictate how loud a thunderstorm near you is going to be, and that is why it is best to get your poodle familiar with it beforehand. Start off slow, but also start off on a low setting. From there, slightly increase the noise level until he is completely comfortable with the booming noises.
- Reassure your poodle. Your poodle is not going to bark at loud noises and flashing lights because he thinks it’s fun; he is actually doing it because he is scared. When we are scared, we like to feel reassured by someone we love, and your poodle deserves the same. Give your dog some reassuring affirmations while listening to the tapes until he feels confident on his own.
The best way to handle the fear of thunderstorms and other loud noises is to get them acquainted with it early. The sooner you do it, the better the end result will be. Just always make sure to start off slow, steady, and at a low volume as to not freak your poodle out.
People are Walking by the Home, and he does not Know Them
Just like the majority of other dog breeds, when your poodle sees someone they do not know walking by, they want to alert their owner. They do not know if this person means any harm or not, so in their mind, saying something is better than being silent.
Sweet gesture, isn’t it? Of course, it is! But it’s not great if you live in a busy area and have lots of people walking by on a daily basis. This is grounds for a headache at the end of the day after all of that crazy yelping.
The best way to stop a poodle from barking at strangers walking by is to socialize your poodle often with people and other dogs. This is important in general for a poodle, not only because it will help him relax a bit more when he sees strangers, but he will also grow with a better temperament towards adults and children.
Begin socializing your poodle at a young age. Your poodle should be acclimated with other dog breeds of all shapes and sizes. Take him to a dog park and let him play with all of the other pets to increase his social skills.
Aside from socializing with other dogs, your poodle should also socialize with humans of all ages. Bring your little nieces and nephews over to play with your poodle, and don’t hide him away when you have guests over for a party. He needs to have plenty of social experience in his life to cut down on the barking and let him have a calmer demeanor.
He is Trying to Protect His Owner
One of the most admired qualities of a poodle is that they are extremely loyal to their owners. They are attached and will protect them to the bitter end. While this is a great quality for the poodle to have, it can also mean that your poodle will bark incessantly for the mere fact that they think you are in danger.
Handling an overprotective poodle is one of the simplest things you can do, though. And don’t worry, just because you train your poodle to calm down, that does not mean he will not protect you come a time when you really are in danger.
There are two things to do with the overprotective pup:
1) Let your poodle know that you are not in danger. Poodles are smart. If you talk to your dog and let him know that you are not in danger and there is nothing to worry about, they will get the idea. Always make sure your poodle knows when there is a danger, and when there is not.
2) Give your poodle lots of affirmation and love. He was only trying to protect you, right? He didn’t mean any harm by it, and it is certainly not something to punish your poodle for. Instead, let him know you are thankful for his protective nature with lots of love and affirmation. But again, let him know everything is a-okay.
He is Trying to Protect Himself
Much like the poodle loves to protect their owners, they also love to protect themselves. A poodle will make it known when he is unhappy about having his space invaded by another animal or person. This is especially true around feeding time.
Poodles tend to be extremely overprotective over their food and water bowls. If anyone- whether it be another cat or even a human- comes near their food and water, the poodle is going to have problems.
It makes complete sense to be overprotective over your necessities, but to make sure you aren’t listening to your poodle yelp like wild over his food and water, do the following:
- Make sure your poodle’s food and water are in their own special area. To put it simply, you never want to have your poodle’s food and water directly next to the other pets. Make each bowl has plenty of space in between each other, or your poodle may get feisty and start barking.
- Do not interrupt your poodle when he is eating. The best piece of advice to remember when it comes to your poodle and food is to never come in between the two. When he is eating, leave him alone. Attempting to come near him will likely trigger him to start barking.
Boredom Has Set in, and He Does Not Know What Else to Do
Any dog, poodle or not, will start to behave negatively when they are bored. For some, it’s becoming destructive and rambunctious. Your poodle’s vice is to start barking incessantly because he is bored and simply has nothing else to do.
It seems like the solution to this problem is cut and dry: keep them entertained. But a lot of people think that they can simply throw a toy at their poodle and walk away.
While your poodle needs plenty of toys to keep him engaged throughout the day, there is truly nothing like one-on-one time with their owner. Make sure you are playing with your poodle as much as possible. Some ideas are:
- Taking him on a walk
- Going to the dog park
- Playing fetch with his favorite toy.
Guests are Coming and Going
We mentioned earlier how poodles will bark at strangers when they are walking by the home, but it may be even worse when there are strangers actually coming and going from inside of the home.
The poodle is naturally territorial and loyal to his owner, and he wants to protect his owner (and himself). That being said, the most instinctual thing for the poodle to do is to start barking at the individuals coming and going from their territory.
Again, the solution is this: make sure your poodle has ample amounts of socialization, especially as a puppy. The more your poodle pup becomes acclimated with other dogs and individuals, the less likely he will be to start barking at individuals when they are coming and going.
Another thing to remember is that you should always praise your poodle when they do not bark at strangers entering or leaving the house. This type of positive reinforcement is essential for poodle behavior, so make sure you’re giving him praise when he is good and quiet.
Overall Excitement Leaves Him Out of Control
Think of a child on his birthday: excitement overload. This is exactly how your poodle feels when something excites him, such as his owner walking through the door after a long day. He will begin to bark frantically because he is so excited and doesn’t know how to calm himself down.
The three-step process for handling out of control excitement goes as follows:
- Ignore the barking.
- Give your poodle love and affection after he has quieted down.
- Repeat the process.
To put it simply, you never want to react when your poodle is acting crazy and barking because he is excited. He needs to learn that while being excited is perfectly okay, acting out and yelping is not. Ignore this behavior, and your poodle will quickly learn how to behave.
Should You Tell Your Poodle ‘No’?
The first thing that may come to mind when getting your poodle to stop barking is to yell, “No!’ when you want him to stop barking. But did you know that you are actually doing more harm than good with this statement?
To a poodle, if their owner yells ‘No!’, the poodle will assume that the owner is actually barking with them. This will make the poodle believe he is doing something good and that the owner agrees and wants to participate in the loudness and yelping.
That being said, you should never yell at your poodle to stop barking.
So if you can’t tell your poodle ‘no,’ then how can you make sure he knows that his behavior is not okay?
No matter what the situation is, the best rule of thumb is this: ignoring the barking from your poodle will always be an effective way of teaching him it is not okay. But that is only one part of the training process.
Once your dog has stopped barking, you can give him plenty of love and affection so he knows right from wrong. As he receives more and more love and praise from his owner when he is done barking, the poodle begins to realize that not barking is the right way to behave.
Always keep in mind, though, that barking is sometimes due to a trigger. Something like a loud noise may be frightening for your dog, and ‘ignoring’ him at this time will not help him learn to cope.
This is why it is so important to find the trigger of your poodle’s barking before trying to solve it. While most of the time it can be solved with ignoring, redirecting, and praising, sometimes there have to be more trigger-specific solutions that were mentioned above.
Teach Your Poodle to ‘Speak’ Instead
We can’t reinforce enough how smart a poodle is. This highly intelligent dog can learn quickly, especially when it comes to commands. If you want those incessant barks to end, you can always teach your poodle to ‘speak’ on command.
How does this work? Well, think of it this way: if you tell your poodle to ‘speak’ or ‘bark’ and he is immediately rewarded with a treat, then he will think the only time to bark is when he wants to get something special.
He will no longer think of barking as the go-to for trying to protect his owner in a time where it is unwarranted or when he is simply bored or excited and has nothing else to do.
The poodle may be infamous for his incessant barking, but he is also known for his intelligence and ability to learn. To get a poodle to stop barking, you must first identify the trigger associated with the barking. From there, you can decide which steps need to be taken. It may mean you ignore the barking altogether, or he may need more socialization or toys.