Barking dogs are often a nuisance but it helps to understand why your dog is barking. Remember, there are many different reasons why dogs bark excessively. Oftentimes some people use a dog barking collar to control the barking, but this is not necessary.
A dog will often bark to attract attention when they are lonely or bored, or sometimes they are simply overly sensitive to every movement or sound. It is possible that your dog has learned to bark as a means to get your attention. If he or she has been barking and you’re yelling “Stop Barking!”, he learns it’s an easy way to garner attention.
It is necessary to keep three objectives in mind when attempting to correct inappropriate or excessive barking. First, avoid the situations that tend to provoke the barking; secondly, reduce the number of barks when they do begin barking; and finally, increase the duration of the quiet times between barking sessions. It is usually very difficult to eliminate barking altogether. Remember, it is okay for a dog to briefly bark a happy greeting when you return home or ‘sound the alarm’ when he sees something out of the usual.
There are also some basic training techniques that can be done to reduce excessive barking. First of all, do yourself and your dog a favor by learning some basic dog training. You will be able to establish yourself as the leader, so that when you give the command “No Bark!” he will instantly obey. And please, do not physically punish your dog for barking. It is very hard for dogs to understand, after the fact, what they being rebuked for.
It is also a good idea to praise your dog when he is not barking. This might seem silly, but it usually works. As your dog is lying around quietly, say, “Good Dog!” After the third or fourth alarm bark, say, “NO BARK!” When he stops his barking, ask him to “Sit,” followed with praise and a “Good Dog!” You have then given a verbal reprimand for excessive barking and followed it up with a command and praise which indicates what you would like him to do after he barks an alarm. Try to use a quiet, soft voice which will force him to listen to you.
If your dog barks immediately after you leave your home, you might want to change the way you leave. Try to act unemotional, simply saying “Bye-bye, Rover” and then walking out. Practice this when you are not really leaving your house for good. Do so by leaving your house for a short while and then quietly returning. If he is not barking, go into the house and give him lots of praise. If he is barking, verbally reprimand him and leave again. Be consistent and persistent with your training and your dog will stop barking in no time.
Control Your Dog’s Barking.
Expecting your dog not to bark is unrealistic. Dogs bark as a means of communication, the same way humans talk. If you can’t handle noise, and would rather have a pet who’s deathly silent though out the day, you should probably get a cat. Dogs by their very nature, are noisy, exuberant and loud. Even the smallest dog can let loose a volley of yelps at a high pitch that can wake the neighbourhood. And therein lies the problem with your dog barking. It’s an extremely annoying thing to have to force your neighbours to tolerate.
If you have trouble getting your dog to quieten down, don’t underestimate the extent of the problem. The number of people who are willing to tolerate a dog that’s barking constantly in the neighbourhood, is rapidly shrinking. There are groups of frustrated citizens who post videos of their neighbour’s dog barking on the Internet to make a case against the owner. Other sites provide a platform for frustrated residents who refuse to tolerate barking dogs in their neighbourhood. Don’t ignore a barking dog’s nuisance factor. People have filed lawsuits against their neighbours over their pet’s constant barking.
Why Does your Dog Bark
A dog who barks constantly ignoring all commands to stop could be doing so out of boredom. If you’re in the habit of confining your pet to a kennel or chained in the yard for long periods of time, he feels frustrated and bored, and before long you have a cacophony of barks coming from the yard. Dogs need stimulation, and they need exercise. When they are robbed of either of these, they vent their pent up energy in barking. Make sure you give your pet plenty of exercise – at least two walks a day is ideal. Make use of toys and puzzles to help occupy your pet and prevent boredom. Remember, once a dog gets into the habit of barking out of boredom, he begins to enjoy it. It becomes harder to get him to stop.
Your dog could also be barking to get your attention because you unknowingly taught him that barking gets your attention. If you’re in the habit of rushing to your dog or turning your attention to him as soon as he barks, you’re establishing an action -reward relationship in his mind. He thinks all he has to do to get your attention is bark, and so he continues.
How to Stop Your Dog Barking
Dogs are social animals, unlike cats. They love being around people, and even other dogs. When you chain him in the yard, and allow him access only to your immediate surroundings, your dog runs out of things to do, and feels bored. Don’t take a dog bounding about your garden to be a happy dog – he could be fidgety and restless, waiting to get out. Make sure you take your dog for walks regularly. He needs to experience new sights and smells. If he has been house trained, allow him free rein in your house up to certain limits. If you’d rather he’s crated, keep the crate in a central place in the house like the family room or the kitchen where he’s never alone. Having the sound of people all around him calms him down.
Be consistent in your reactions to his barking. You may not be aware of it, but your dog could be completely confused by your reaction to his barking. As an owner, you might praise him barking when he’s excited to see you, and might encourage him to bark when someone’s at the door. If you scold him when he’s barking when you’re asleep, he’s confused about whether barking is good or bad. An effective way to get around this confusion is to use obedience training. Using obedience training for your dog is not only a great mental stimulant for the dog (which reduces the need to bark), but also a good way to help your dog recognize when you need him to stop barking. Use the “Stop barking” command in a loud voice when he begins, and if he stops immediately, give him a treat right then, and praise him and pet him. If he yelps even once after the command is given, scold him, but don’t whack him. Practice this constantly until he makes the connection between quieting down and the reward.
If your dog is trained to respond to ‘stop barking’ on cue, you’ll find it much easier to control his barking, making for a happier you and a quieter neighbourhood!