Dogs bark when they are hungry, bored, anxious, excited, or happy. They also bark when they sense danger and, in some cases, when they want to attract attention. While barking is not exactly a problem, excessive barking definitely is. It can become a nuisance for guests coming to visit you and your neighbors. It can be very challenging to stop dogs from barking. Challenging? Definitely! Impossible? Not at all!
You need to put the battery-operated electric collar around the dog's neck. The collar keeps a track of the dog's vocal movements and when the dog is about to bark, it delivers a mild electric shock. This prevents the dog from barking. You must be thinking it is really cruel, but it is your best bet in case you have a dog who barks all the time without any reason. The practice though, is banned in some regions on the ground of animal cruelty. You will have to crosscheck for that.
Citronella is a type of grass that is known for its typical fragrance, which doesn't go down well with mosquitoes and dogs. It is generally used in anti-repellent creams and certain perfumes. When you tie the citronella collar around the dog's neck, it will automatically release the fragrance of citronella whenever the dog barks. After a couple of instances, the dog will start associating his act of barking with citronella smell and refrain from it to avoid the annoying smell.
Sound-emitting collars make an annoying high-pitch sound every time the dog barks. The sound is so irritating that the dog prefers to stay quiet. Not all dogs are affected by this though. At times, your dog may start barking even more loudly due to the irritation. So, first take a trial to see if it works in your case. Some sound-emitting collars produce ultrasonic sound that can be only heard by dogs and few other animals. This sound is very distressing for dogs and therefore, they are left with no option, but to avoid barking.
Muzzle is like a mouth cap that locks the dog's mouth. It allows the dog to open his mouth only up to a certain limit, thus preventing him from barking. You need to choose the right size and shape of the muzzle, so that it does not fit very tightly to the mouth. If it is too tight, the chances are that it will suffocate your dog.
Debarking surgery is performed on the dogs with chronic barking problem. In this surgery, vocal cords of the dog are cut. The surgeon may reach the vocal cord through mouth or may create an incision in the throat. If the dog tries to bark after this surgery, he will only be able to make a husky sound. In some cases, the vocal tissues can rebuild and the dog can start barking again. (Note: You should only use this method in case of dogs with chronic barking problems.)
Having said that, an easier way out is to train your dog to refrain from barking unnecessarily. Like humans, even dogs learn from positive or negative associations. So, avoid associating barking with rewards. Make your dog learn and practice basic commands, such as to sit, go, stop, come, etc. Once your dog learns these commands, it will be a lot easier for you to train him to refrain from barking.
More importantly, you should not keep a pet dog if you don't have enough time to play with it. Bored and inactive dogs are more prone to barking and aggression. So, make it a point to spend quality time with your dog and give him enough physical exercise.