How to Stop Dog Barking at Raccoons
Why can’t your dog quit getting into it with the neighborhood raccoons? Why do dogs bark at raccoons? Are raccoons afraid of dogs barking or will they ignore them? And are raccoons dangerous to dogs? How worried should you be about all of this?
Today, we’re going to answer all of the questions you have about this troubling problem. And we’ll obviously get to the information you’re really after: how to stop your dog from barking at raccoons. Soon, this will all be a thing of the past for you. Keep reading below for our article “How to Stop Dog Barking at Raccoons!”
Table of Contents
Why Do Dogs Bark at Raccoons?
Dogs bark at raccoons because they are territorial, and they see the raccoons as potentially dangerous intruders. Your dog feels the need to protect not just their territory, but also you and themselves. This is why your dog will bark at raccoons even away from the home.
Some dogs with friendlier temperaments may just be getting overexcited and see the raccoon as a potential playmate, though this is less likely. They’re not particularly large, so it makes sense that some could see them like this. Your dog doesn’t understand that raccoons aren’t exactly their typical play partners. Look for other signs of a desire to play like a wagging tail and doing play bows.
But if your dog is barking at raccoons and not listening to your commands to stop, then you have a clear problem of dominance issues on your hand. Your dog sees themselves in charge, even over you, so they don’t feel like they have to obey your commands or respect what you tell them to do.
You need to treat this problem right away or it’s only going to get worse, and they may even escalate into attacks on the raccoons or other animals. And your dog is probably also showing their disobedience towards other animals. I’d bet your dog also uncontrollably barks at possums, barks at skunks, barks at armadillos, barks at badgers, barks at a beaver, barks at foxes, barks at turkeys, and they likely even bark at your cat incessantly.
To stop your dog barking at raccoons and other animals on command, skip to the last section now where we’ll teach you exactly what to do.
Are Raccoons Afraid of Dogs Barking?
Raccoons are afraid of dogs barking. They see them as a potential predator, and that’s especially true for larger dogs. A barking dog should scare a raccoon away, and in most cases, they won’t return, possibly even for months.
Some raccoons can, however, learn to ignore barking dogs if they’ve been around them frequently and learned that those dogs won’t actually go after them. If they live in or near a residential area that often has dogs barking at all sorts of things, then the raccoons will likely be braver and won’t pay attention to barking as much.
Are Raccoons Dangerous to Dogs?
Raccoons are dangerous to dogs, though not in a significant way. Raccoons can be vicious and could do serious damage to a dog — even killing them — but are unlikely to actually try to fight a dog unless they are provoked and have no way of escaping.
Raccoons are not large animals and will see dogs as dangerous predators. They’re also great climbers and have a strong sense of smell, so unless they’re surprised and have no choice but to fight, the raccoon should flee to where a dog can’t get to them long before there’s an opportunity to engage them.
How to Stop Your Dog Barking at Raccoons
To stop dog your dog barking at raccoons, take your dog somewhere that you’ll know they’ll probably be barking (like the park) with plenty of small dog treats. When your dog begins barking, say “quiet” in a positive voice. If they look at you, immediately give them a treat along with praise.
But if your dog gets too excited and starts barking at you or something else, put a treat in your fist, and then place your fist right in front of your dog’s nose. They’ll be able to smell it even within your hand and should stop barking to check out the scent.
Once your dog’s quit barking and is giving you their full attention, again say “quiet,” and then open your hand and reward them with praise and a treat. If they keep quiet, continue to give the praise and treats. But if they start barking again, repeat the process of placing a treat in your fist, putting it next to their nose, and then waiting until your dog is quiet.
Be sure that you’re not opening your hand to give them their treat and praise until they’ve gotten quiet. This will form a positive connection for your dog with keeping their mouth closed whenever you say “quiet.” Reward them with the treats and praise immediately when they do, especially at first when they’re still learning.
With time, consistency, and repetition, your dog will learn to stop barking simply by you saying “quiet” but without you needing to place your hand by their mouth. When they’re responding well to just the verbal command, you can increase the length of time before you reward them. At first, wait just 2 seconds, then move to 5 seconds, and so on.
It won’t take long until the praise and food rewards won’t be needed and you can get your dog to stop barking at raccoons and for any other reason simply by giving the “quiet” command. But you’ll still need to address the underlying problem which was causing all of this disobedience to begin with, which is your dog’s feelings of dominance.
And for us to go over that, we first need to talk about what makes dogs function. I’m sure you’ve heard before that dogs are pack animals, and that in every pack there is a pack leader. But when your dog barks at raccoons and then ignores your commands to stop, they are definitively showing you that they don’t respect you in this role, and that they see themselves in it.
If they did view you as their pack leader, they would be quiet when told. They would not engage in dominance-related misbehavior or disrespect of any other kind. And they would obey your commands at all times — immediately — and they would do so happily.
You (and the raccoons) will be better off for obvious reasons. But your dog will be too because they’ll no longer have to carry around all the stress and confusion that pack leader and dominance issues are currently causing them to be burdened with 24/7.
Sounds great then, right?
“Yeah, absolutely, but how do I do this?”
You should watch an excellent free video series by a renowned trainer named Dan which is on this very subject: how to be your dog’s pack leader. In the series, Dan explains everything in ways that are very simple to understand and to teach to your own dog, and he gets right to the point so that you can start seeing these important changes in your dog before things get out of control.
Start watching Dan’s free training series now by clicking here. And don’t get worried, because no, you’re not going to have to yell or be mean to your four-legged friend. Dan never uses those types of methods. Not just because loving teaching techniques are the right thing to do, but also because they’re the fastest way to achieve permanent changes in your dog’s behavior.
I’m sure you’re looking forward to having a dog that behaves and stops barking when told, so I’ll let you get started on things now. Good luck, and thank you for reading our article “How to Stop Dog Barking at Raccoons.”