It’s no secret that owning a dog brings excitement and happiness to the homestead, but what happens when a family welcomes home a pup that suffers from incessant barking? As much as we love our pets, that’s one personality trait that could use some improving.
Dogs bark as a form of communication, and pet owners generally appreciate the protection and alert warnings that dogs provide. Yet for many breeds, barking is compulsion that’s difficult to resist. Understanding why dogs bark is helpful in reducing unwanted noise, and can be the key to creating a dog who still does it’s job without driving the owner to ear plugs.
Dogs are extremely territorial, and feel compelled to give their owners a warning that a stranger is approaching. They also use barking to get their owners attention, or as a joyful greeting. However, when barking crosses over into an act of compulsion, it results in suffering for both you and your pet. Compulsive barking is repetitive, and often accompanied by frantic behavior. Oftentimes a dog will bark when seeking attention. Another problem area is social barking, which occurs when dogs see another dog.
Your pet can be suffering from any combination of these triggers, but there are many techniques to help curb your pet’s barking habits. The most important aspect of any approach is consistency, so when implementing the tips below, remember that practice makes perfect.
Pinpoint the Trigger
When dogs bark, they’re reacting to something. While the trigger is usually obvious, be sure that you understand why your dog is barking before you move forward.
Don’t Reward The Barking
Even a glance in your pet’s direction is all the encouragement they need to continue barking. Even though it may initially be difficult, try and avoid giving your dog any type of attention when he begins barking. Which leads us to…
Human Barking Doesn’t Conquer Dog Barking
Even though many pet owners have the urge to yell at their dog when they start barking, this only encourages the animal to continue what they’re doing. STAY CALM. Try reassuring them in a soothing voice or removing them from the trigger. Do not fuss over them or yell at them.
Acclimate Your Pet
Create a plan that will help acclimate your pet to whatever their trigger is. If people set them off, enlist a friend who’s comfortable with animals and have them run through exercises that will help them adjust. For example, have your friend wait in another room, when your dog is quiet give him a treat. Step by step, have your friend come closer to the dog, feeding the dog treats whenever he’s quiet. Use the same approach for any situation, rewarding the dog when they’re not barking. These drills may take a while, but the results are worth the work.
A worn out pup is a happy pup, and the secret to a content dog is plenty of exercise. This will encourage rest and help your dog relax.
It’s A Dog’s World K-9 Academy has many approaches to help combat excessive barking. If you find yourself with a compulsive barker, don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected] for more information.