Excessive Barking Is A Controllable Behavior
How To Stop Your Dog’s Barking
So, your dog likes to bark a lot. However, you are not alone, as many other dog owners have experienced some barking problems from their dogs. In some cases, it’s just uncontrollable. You may even be getting complaints from your neighbors. You may be asking yourself what I can do to stop my dog from barking.
We hope that taking some time in reading this information may just be the antidote you need to help stop your dog from barking.
Remember, you’re dog’s barking was a way for him to communicate out in the wild. What you are trying to do here is to control his natural instinct and bark only when necessary and not at anything that moves around the house or walking up to your front door. There are times that your dog will bark because he is hungry and needs food or is thirsty and needs water.
Should you be concerned that your dog is barking excessively? The answer is yes you should. You will need to find out what the root cause of his barking is. Once you can identify the cause, you then can begin to change your dog’s behavior.
Watch this short video clip on tips to stop your dog from barking.
This article will cover some of the basic causes that owners can look out for and begin to take corrective action and stop your dog’s excessive barking.
To help you with excessive dog barking, check out the topics below:
- Loneliness Barking
- Separation Anxiety Barking
- Territorial Barking
- Other Barking Behaviors
One of the main causes of a dog’s excessive barking may be due to loneliness, this is where, you the owner, are away a lot. If loneliness is the cause of his barking, try giving your dog some attention and this just may solve the problem.
If you are in a family, encourage other family members to take turns playing with your dog and taking him out for walks. However, if you are by yourself, then you will have to make some adjustments to your daily routine and try to plan more time with your friend.
If he must be alone, provide him with some toys to play with to amuse him. Otherwise, you may see another dog instinct being aroused, his chewing. You may see some chewing marks on things you don’t want damaged around the house which was caused by his chewing.
There are times when giving him some attention may not solve the problem. If this should be the case for you, here are a couple of suggestions you should consider trying:
- Take some pennies and put them in a can and tape it shut. When your dog barks, shake the can near him and say the command “quiet” in a firm voice. The purpose here is to startle him. If the barking should continue, shake the can again and say “quiet“. Be sure to keep the can away from him so he does not consider it a toy. Eventually your dog will catch on; your verbal command “quiet” should eventually stop his barking. When he does stop barking, give him verbal praise and a treat until he does it without you having to use the can. Every time when he displays the proper behavior, give him a treat and verbal praise.
If the can approach does not work, try this:
- Use a squirt bottle to squirt your dog’s legs and back accompanied by a firm “quiet” command.
Remember, any action to correct your dog’s behavior of barking must be made while he is barking. After the fact corrective action will only confuse him. Be sure to use a strong firm voice and avoid yelling. Again, when the proper behavior is being displayed, give him praise and a treat. He will catch on that by being quiet he will get rewarded with a treat.
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Separation Anxiety Barking
Separation anxiety barking happens when dogs are housed inside and are left alone and may suffer from separation anxiety every time you, the owner, are leaving. This may lead to excessive barking. One way to prevent this problem is to train your dog to be left alone.
This can be done while you are crate training your puppy or dog. Teaching your puppy or dog to stay calm and relaxed while he is in his crate will teach him to stay calm when he is left alone later in life.
Tip: If you are getting a crate be sure that it will fit him. You don’t want to get a crate that is bigger because he just might use the extra space to soil. Most dogs do not soil their living spaces. If you should have a large crate be sure to section it off. As he grows, you can enlarge the space.
Adult dogs can also be crate trained, but will take and require some extra time on both the dog and the owner’s part. During his training sessions don’t forget to give him verbal praise and his favorite treat whenever he displays the proper behavior.
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Some dogs bark to protect their territory and a “bark/reward” cycle may be established. For example: A dog who barks at the mailman when the mail is delivered is “rewarded” when the mailman leaves. This bark/reward may lead him to bark at other service people, neighbors, and passersby. Try this as a possible solution: introduce your dog to the people that come to visit the house regularly. Short conversations with delivery or service people, with your dog present, may also help solve this issue.
If this does not work, try saying “no” or “quiet” when your dog begins to bark. If he responds by being quiet, praise him briefly and reinforce this good behavior by giving him a treat and verbal praise. Remember, you must be present when he is barking to give the “no” or “quiet” command and a treat and verbal praise.
You might be asking yourself what are some other behaviors that dogs might display? Check out the following:
- Dogs often will bark in an invitation to play. This is accompanied by body language, tail wagging or crouching with the head lowered and hindquarters raised. Barking usually stops when play begins or the invitation goes unanswered.
- Sometimes a pain or illness will trigger his barking. You will need to be observant to notice if this is the case. Call the vet to be safe.
If you’re well-behaved canine in his usual environment begins barking or creating other forms of vocalization, a trip to the veterinarian is in order.
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As with all aspects of behavior training, consistency is the key to success. Enlisting the cooperation of every family member is important in controlling your dog’s barking, and in all other aspects of his training. Verbal commands and expectations for your dog’s behavior must be consistent if you are to be effective.
Always reward your pet when he shows the proper behavior with a treat, verbal praise or both. Never reward him when he shows an incorrect behavior. You do not want your pet to get mixed signals during his training sessions. Share this with your entire household so that everyone is on the same page.
By following these simple dog tips, you are well on your way stopping your dog from barking and from any other form of behavior your dog is displaying.
Remember, if he dog shows signs of unusual behavior that you have not seen before, contact your veterinarian. It’s always better to be safe than sorry later.
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