If you live in Thailand, barking dogs are an annoyance you or your friends’ have likely experienced (the only exception being if you live in an apartment building, but even then Thai soi dogs can be a problem). Many long-time expats in Thailand have been bewildered at times how their neighbors allow their dogs to ceaselessly bark both day and night. This is why it is always essential to do some day and night surveillance of any house you are considering renting, to make sure that there is no dog barking problems.
So, how can you stop barking dogs in Thailand, if your formerly quiet neighbors bought some loud dogs? Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do but move. Talking with your neighbors about their dogs is not a solution that we have ever seen work, and it will (in many cases) anger your neighbor because it has caused them to lose face, and (as we have written about before) causing someone to lose face in Thailand is something always to be avoided.
What about those ultrasonic anti-barking devices, which you can find on sale at Lazada and Shopee? Everyone we know who has tried them says that they were only a limited and temporary solution at best — that the barking dogs eventually resumed their chorus after a few weeks. Sometimes bark control collars can work, but these barking dogs are not yours, and it is unlikely you’ll be able to get your Thai neighbor to use them on their dogs. In addition, many people have ethical concerns about using anti-barking collars.
The only real solution to “How to stop barking dogs in Thailand?” is to start a movement of proper puppy training. The degree to which a dog barks is always connected with its training as a puppy. We have had a number of dogs (large and small breeds) and all have been trained to be quiet, and bark only in serious situations. In fact, people often marvel at how quiet are Sakon Nakhon dogs are. So, if you would like to lead by example, here are our simple rules for training a happy and quiet dog.
1) Unless the puppy is barking in a situation when it is really important — that is, they are making you aware of potential danger, such as a Cobra entering the living area or a dodgy looking stranger sneaking around the house, they should always be corrected with a firm “No!” and if you are close to them, a tap on the nose at the same time.
2) Never immediately praise/reward your puppy when they have followed your command to stop barking. Such praise/reward will be associated with the barking situation and be repeated. When they stop barking, just give them a gentle pet and calm smile.
3) Never associate barking with play. If they start barking while you are playing with them (or when they are playing with another dog or a cat) stop the play immediately and correct them with the firm but not loud “No!” Play can resume when they are quiet. Be sure they do get lots of opportunity to play, so that excess energy gets directed into exercise and not barking.
4) Dogs mimic their owners’ behavior. The less excitable, more peaceful and calm, you are (the less prone you are to ever raise your voice), the more calm and quiet your dog will be.