Sorry to revive an old thread like that, but I've gone through so much with Ben back when I adopted him around 7 months ago when it came to excessive barking, and wanted to share a few tips I learned along the way.
Most importantly, I want to share what you should NEVER do if you want your dog to stop barking the proper way.
1 - NEVER start screaming at your dog or show your dog that you’re heated and angry thinking you’re going to get them to stop barking that way. You’re not. You’ll just make it worse because they might sense that you’re joining them in barking (let’s face it, human screaming is the equivalent to dog barking) or worse off, they will sense that you’re frustrated and might try to imitate you, and that’s a whole other dangerous story because that’s when them attacking you becomes a real possibility. If you’re going to make your dog stop barking the right way, you have to learn how to keep your cool. Speak and act in a calm yet firm way.
2 - Don’t be too sweet and wishy-washy with your dog when you want them to stop barking. You must be firm and assertive (but refer to #1 and don’t yell!) so they don’t mistake your affection with your approval of their barking.
3 - Not being consistent. I see this happen a lot of times so I had to include it here. When you’re training your dog when to bark and when not to bark, the last thing you want to do is confuse them. All your household members and everyone who interacts with your dog must follow the same methods you follow when your dog barks inappropriately. If you let your dog get away with inappropriate barking one time and punish them for it the other, you’re sending them mixed signals.
4 - Never EVER try to make your dog quiet by giving them a treat to make their mouth full and stop them from barking. This way, you’ll teach them that when they bark, they get a treat from you.