I would suggest the water bottle too. I also have this problem and it definatley worked for us but be consistant with it .Try having a water bottle in a few different places so they are easy to grab onto when the barking starts. My male justs sees the bottle now and stops the barking but my female is a litte more stuburn. But give it a try!! Good luck!
I hold their muzzle closed and says, "HUSH," in a low growling voice. I keep the muzzle closed for a couple seconds. It worked on my Lhasa Apso. They are notorious for being barkers. I have just started with my Dalmatian it has been a few days and when she hears the command she does quiet down for a bit. I have tried water spraying in the past to stop behavior, but I don't want to stop barking all together because I do like for them to bark when someone they don't know is near my property. When my dogs tell me some one is around I examine and praise them. When they see I am aware of the trouble they quiet down.
You can do the no bark and then treat that works some, i purchased a bark collar that sprays citronella. They hate the sound and the smell. I only have to show it to them now, or if i put it on the battery is not in. I got this one through PET EDGE. They have a lot of great stuff.
please do not use a flyswatter on your dog as suggested, or try and keep the dog's mussle closed with your hands. even for a few seconds can cause damage. if the dog fights back in any way and tries to open it's mouth anyways you can damage, even break the dog's jaw.
Instead of punishing the dog for barking which is probly just exciting the dog more and enforce the barking. The dog should be put in a sit stay with treats/ rewards for focusing on you. Put the dog in this position before a person comes along. Also ask strangers to give your dog treats when in a sit. But it sounds more like you need to get into a Obediance classes for you....and the dog. Is this fear? It could be, the dog may not be socialized properly, dogs are not born socialized. Owners are responsible for this training, but most don't recieve this very important training.
General principles for controlling undesirable barking
*If we want to control barking, we need a dog who can obey us and relax. The dog needs to look to her owner for behavior clues. If we can call her, have her lie down (dogs do not bark as much when lying down) and stay, we are well on the way to solving a nuisance barking problem. In addition, there are some common principles we can use in modifying barking behavior.
*First, in most cases shouting "No" is only going to make matters worse since the dog is thinking you are barking too (and is probably happy you joined in).
*Be consistent. Pick a one-word command e.g., "Enough" for the behavior you want and always use that word in the same tone of voice. Everyone in the household must use the same command and act identically.
*Be patient with your dog and yourself. Changing behavior takes a lot of time, and you need to take it slowly, one step at a time. If you become angry at your dog, the chance to correctly modify the behavior will be gone.
*Reward the dog for good behavior. Positive reinforcement is much more powerful than punishment. Physical punishment will do nothing but make your dog fearful of you and break down the bond you wish to have with her. Food treats are fine to use as a reward at first. Often, picking a very special treat like small pieces of cooked chicken or hot dog will make the reward seem even better. As time goes on, you will not give a treat every time, sometimes just rewarding with a "Good Dog" and a pat on the dog's chest.
*Do not hug your dog, talk soothingly, or otherwise play into your dog's barking. Your dog may then believe there really was something of which to be alarmed, afraid, or anxious. This reinforces her behavior and she will likely bark even more the next time.
*Control the situation. As much as possible, set up situations to use as training. Practice in short, frequent sessions, generally 5-10 minutes each.
*Do not be afraid to ask an expert. Animal trainers, behaviorists, and your veterinarian can give you valuable advice. Having them witness your dog's barking episodes may give them valuable clues on helping you solve the barking problem.