The most common reason I see excessive barking is lack of exercise. Build your relationship with your dog and build you and your dogs confidence by going on controlled walks, playing games with toys and treats, fetch, tug of war, obedience, and even exercises of the dog sitting quietly next to you, then in other rooms of the house, and in his crate. This will exercise his body and mind and he will be less likely to bark for no reason. But you must put in the time. Exercise the dog yourself or hire someone to do so, and spend 15 minutes a day on different exercises. Like, 5 minutes on learning not to bark, 5 minutes on a new obedience command, then play a new game for a while that incorporates exercise. For instance, put your dog on a stay where he can see you, hide a treat, and tell him to ‘find it’ or whatever release word you like. Eventually you can put him in another room on a stay and hide a treat where he can’t see, then have him find it. Soon, when he does bark, he will quiet down when told. I have a yapper on my hands and she barks at many things! But when I tell her to be quiet…she becomes quiet. It’s possible!
Now, when correcting your dog, make sure you follow through with it. MOST IMPORTANT.
Say you use a light physical correction, a look, or a noise distraction. Do not just go about your business after the correction because Fido is still alert. Follow through by waiting to break your body language until the dog completely relaxes and submits to a calm state of mind. You do not reward for this, because it is to be expected of him.
I never suggest ignoring the dog unless it is a very mild case. If it is mild, then your dog should stop quickly, but if it is because of a more serious reason then a little attention, like excess energy, you must address it. In my experience, 80% of the time ignoring it backfires. Like I said, barking can become fun for your dog, and if the reason is pent up energy, the dog will take quite some time to get rid of it by barking. If this is the reason, show your control by getting him to stop by the method listed above, with a light touch/poke in the side, or sometimes a hand gesture and your assertive stance will do it. Then, when he’s calm, put the leash on him and go for a walk. For an exact walk through of this, examples and more specifics, check out my DVD on basic obedience and behavior issues.