How to Stop Dog Barking at Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving can be a wonderful time of year to gather with family and enjoy delicious food. However, if you have a dog that won’t stop barking, it can be stressful and distracting.

In this article, “How to Stop Dog Barking at Thanksgiving,” we will explore why dogs bark on Thanksgiving Day and teach you exactly how to stop it. We will also look at why some dogs may be scared of this special November holiday and whether or not it’s safe for them to indulge in a bit of turkey.

By following the tips and tricks you’ll read below, you can help ensure that your furry friend is happy and well-behaved during the Thanksgiving festivities. Let’s get started below!

How to Stop Dog Barking at Thanksgiving

How to Stop Dog Barking at Thanksgiving

To stop your dog barking on Thanksgiving:

  1. Teach your dog the “quiet” command to use anytime they bark during Thanksgiving dinner or whenever you need them to give you their attention and be silent.
  2. To do so, take your dog to a place you know they’ll want to bark such as the park with lots of treats.
  3. As soon as your dog starts to bark, say “quiet” in a calm and positive voice. If they listen and get silent while also giving you their attention give them a treat and praise right away.
  4. But if your dog keeps barking or soon resumes, then hide a treat in your fist.
  5. Put your hand right next to your dog’s nose. They’ll still be able to pick up the scent even inside of your hand and should stop barking to sniff it.
  6. Once they’ve quit barking and are giving you all their attention, again say “quiet,” and then open your hand to give them a small treat and praise.
  7. If they continue to be silent and are paying you their focus, keep rewarding them with praise and treats.
  8. But if they again start to bark or are not paying attention, repeat the steps of hiding a treat within your fist, placing it near their nose, and pausing until they stop their barking and give you their focus.
  9. Always be sure to wait until they’ve quit their barking and are paying you all their attention, and then say “quiet” before you reward them with any treats or praise.
  10. This creates a positive connection for your dog with the “quiet” command, and with staying quiet and giving you their complete attention.
  11. With repetition, consistency, and patience, you will be able to get them to respond just with the “quiet” command, and you’ll no longer need to put your hand by their mouth.
  12. When your dog is responding well with only the command, then you can start increasing the amount of time you wait before you reward them.
  13. Start by pausing for 2 seconds, then as they do well move that up to 5 seconds, and so on.
  14. It won’t be long until you’ll no longer need to give your dog any praise and food, and they will be quiet and give you their focus just by you giving the command.

Still, to make real, long-lasting progress you need to ultimately address the problem at its root. Right now, your dog is basically doing whatever they want, losing control of their emotions, and most importantly: not listening to you or your commands to stop an unwanted behavior (interrupting Thanksgiving).

For us to go over that, we must first discuss what makes dogs function and has for thousands and thousands of years now. You’ve probably heard before that all dogs are pack animals, and that in every pack there is a pack leader.

But when your dog barks on Thanksgiving and won’t stop, they are without a doubt showing you that they have no respect for you as the head of the family pack.

If they did, they wouldn’t ignore your commands. They wouldn’t engage in any other types of demand, anxiety, or dominance-related misbehavior. And they would obey your commands at all times — happily — and they would do so right away.

Show your dog that you are not just their pack leader, but a capable one worthy of respect, and you’ll make all of these wonderful changes a reality.

You’ll win for obvious reasons. But your dog will be the real winner here because you’ll have freed them from all of the worry and confusion that their behavioral issues are currently burdening their little shoulders with every moment of every day.

Sounds like a great thing, does it not?

“Yeah, definitely, but how do I actually do this?”

You should watch a wonderful free video series which is on this very subject — how to be your dog’s pack leader — by a renowned trainer named Dan. In the series, he explains all you’ll need to know in ways that are very easy to understand and teach to your own dog, and he gets right to the point so that you can start seeing these critical changes in your dog in no time.

Start watching Dan’s free training series now by clicking here. And don’t stress, because no, you’re not going to have to be mean or yell at your dog. Dan uses only 100% humane and loving teaching methods at all times. Not just because they’re the right thing to do, but also because they’re the fastest way to achieve permanent changes in your dog’s behavior.

Why Do Dogs Bark on Thanksgiving Day?

Dogs bark on Thanksgiving day for a variety of reasons. All of the new sights, sounds, smells, and people can be both exciting and scary. This will cause many dogs to get anxious or to feel protective and dominant, and they will then respond by barking.

It’s also very possible that your dog is barking on Thanksgiving due to what is known as demand barking. This is when they’ve essentially learned that if they just bark long enough for something that they want, you’ll eventually relent and give it to them.

Considering all the turkey, stuffing, and new visitors around, it’s not unusual for your dog to be reacting like this regardless of the root reason why it’s occurring. The real issue arises when they’re doing so and then ignoring you when they’re told to stop.

This is a clear sign of disobedience and needs to be properly addressed right away or your problems with your dog are only going to get worse. Doing nothing gives them the idea that disobeying in this way is acceptable. They’ll soon get even worse.

You’ll find that your dog barks on Christmas, barks on New Year’s Eve, barks at your Halloween decorations, and barks at Halloween costumes and masks. This will make the holidays very frustrating for obvious reasons.

It’s actually fairly simple to take care of all of this, however, and if you’ll go back to the first section of this article now we’ll explain how to do that.

Why Is My Dog Scared of Thanksgiving?

Your dog is scared of Thanksgiving because of many possible reasons. One is the increased activity and noise in the home, which can be overwhelming and make them feel anxious. Additionally, the presence of new people or unfamiliar smells can be unsettling for dogs, who rely heavily on their sense of smell to understand the world around them.

Another reason why dogs may be scared of Thanksgiving is due to previous negative experiences. If a dog has been scared or traumatized in the past during the holiday season, they may develop a fear response to anything associated with Thanksgiving.

If your dog is scared of Thanksgiving or anything associated with it, you can help them feel more comfortable by providing a quiet, safe space like a crate with a blanket laid over it where they can retreat to if they become overwhelmed.

If that’s not enough and things are still a little too much for them, you can then try to minimize their exposure to all the new people and unfamiliar smells by keeping them in an entirely separate room while everyone is eating. This can help keep things pleasant for everyone.

You’ll still need to address the root issue(s) causing all of your dog’s distress as soon as possible, but if you go back to the first section now we go over exactly how you can do that.

Can Dogs Eat Turkey?

Dogs can eat turkey, but it’s important to be mindful of some potential issues. Turkey skin and dark meat are high in fat and can cause an upset stomach or even pancreatitis in some dogs. Also, too much turkey can lead to obesity, which can cause a range of health problems in dogs.

While plain, cooked turkey is generally safe for dogs, be sure to avoid giving them any bones, which can splinter and cause choking or damage to their digestive system. Additionally, avoid feeding your dog any turkey that has been seasoned with spices like garlic or onion, which can be toxic to dogs.

If you do decide to give your dog a bit of turkey, make sure to do so in moderation and always supervise them while they eat. By taking these precautions, you can help ensure that your dog enjoys a safe and happy holiday.

I appreciate you reading this article on “How to Stop Dog Barking at Thanksgiving.” Good luck with everything!

The Author



Hey there! I'm a dog behavior expert and lover of travel. Since 2016, I've been sharing my knowledge of dog training and behavior while exploring the Pacific Northwest with my two rescues.