How to Stop My Dog From Barking At Squirrels 

By Coty Perry

To stop your dog from barking at squirrels, the key is to distract him. You can call your dog’s name, ask him to do a trick, or give him a command. When your dog shifts his focus to you, and away from the squirrel, you should reward him by giving him a treat or playing his favorite game. 

You can also use a long leash to help keep him away from the squirrel. While your pup’s behavior with squirrels still should be worked on, it can help to have more control over him. 

How to Stop My Dog From Barking At Squirrels?

There are many ways to stop your dog from barking at squirrels. However, it is essential to understand why your dog barks at them in the first place. Most dogs have a natural hunting instinct that they just cannot suppress. 

Their canine teeth are meant to wound their prey, and their eyes have thousands of movement receptors to track prey down. Your dog’s ears can hear the slightest sounds, like a squirrel running through a tree. 

The fact that squirrels are so small and move unpredictably makes your dog go crazy and freak out. Your pup may even try to chase one if he has the opportunity.

You can try a few things to keep your dog from barking at your neighborhood squirrels.

Give a Command

Giving commands is a great way to take the focus off the squirrel and onto you. Stay calm when issuing the command. For example, you can tell your dog “down.” If they ignore you, try giving the same order again. 

Getting your pup’s attention away from the squirrel is the primary goal. Once your dog listens to your instructions, you should reward him with a treat or a fun game, so they know you approve of the behavior.

Use a Leash

You can try using a long leash to ensure they do not get close to the squirrel outside. The leash also helps teach them that you do not want him to bark at the squirrel. When your pooch barks at a squirrel, give a gentle tug on his leash and say “no.” If your dog continues to bark, try it again. 

Your dog should quickly learn that barking at the squirrel gets them scolded and taken back inside. Eventually, they’ll catch on to your disapproval and hopefully stop barking. Reward your dog for his progress if he successfully stops barking at squirrels.

Block Your Dog’s View of the Squirrel

Blocking your dog’s view of a squirrel is especially helpful if your dog barks at squirrels from inside while looking out the window. Barking can become problematic when it is constantly happening throughout the day. 

When your dog begins to bark, close the curtains or blinds. Out of sight, out of mind works in some cases. If you notice that they stop barking, you can reward them. If they continue fighting to see through the curtains, reinforce that it’s bad behavior.

Give Your Dog a Calming Toy

Giving your dog a calming toy can help reduce their anxiety and frustrations regarding squirrels. A toy can work wonders. When your dog begins barking at a squirrel, give them this calming toy to distract him from the squirrel excitement. 

Calming toys will help reduce negative behaviors like barking and ease anxiety. This snuggle puppy has a pulsating heartbeat that lasts up to two weeks of 24/7 use. The heartbeat helps to recreate intimacy with physical warmth, distracting your dog from worrying about the squirrel. 

Final Thoughts

You have a few options to prevent your dog from barking at squirrels. Consider using a leash, giving a command, blocking the view of the squirrel, or giving your pup a calming toy. One or a combination of these options will aid you in helping your dog to stop barking at squirrels. 

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Coty Perry
Coty is a self-proclaimed cat whisperer and animal lover. Growing up his mom ran a dog training business out of his childhood home so you can say it was complete chaos 24/7. Today, when he comes home after a long day of writing about animals, he’s greeted by his two loving cats Marley and Cozmo.