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Here's a list of six techniques that can help stop your dog from barking. While all of them can be very successful, you shouldn't expect.
Table of contents
- How to Treat Excessive Barking
- Why Dogs Bark: Stop Excessive Barking
- Why Dogs Bark and Curbing Excessive Barking
If your dog barks inappropriately, it is important to start by setting yourself a realistic goal. Planning for your dog to stop barking completely is not realistic — barking is a natural dog behaviour and dogs will bark — more or less, and largely depending on the breed — whether we want it or not.
How to Treat Excessive Barking
You can reduce the amount of barking, but stopping it will never be possible. It is vital that you determine why your dog barks in the first place, and if barking mostly occurs when your dog is left alone, a behaviour consultation with a qualified pet behaviour counsellor will likely be necessary to address this problem. Some dogs bark a lot when they want to tell you about something specific they have seen or heard, for example a visitor at the door, a car pulling onto a driveway, or the phone or doorbell ringing.
If your dog likes to play fetching games, try teaching them to retrieve a toy or other item when the situation occurs that sets them off. Always reward good behaviour with a treat as this will encourage them to do the good thing again next time you ask. Another thing you can try is recording sounds that trigger the barking and playing these back to your dog — very quietly at first, and gradually increasing the volume — while rewarding them with food.
This is a process known as desensitising and counter conditioning. If your dog barks at cats or birds in the garden, teach your pet a reliable recall that rewards them for turning away from the thing that triggers their vocalisation and coming to you instead. If your dog is rewarded every time he or she chooses to come to you rather than woof, they will start paying much more attention to you than they do to cats or birds, and even if they do start barking at them, they will be much easier to recall.
You can solve this problem through management. If your dog likes to sit on the window sill and bark at everyone passing by, first block access to their vantage point and then offer them an alternative, more appropriate pastime.
If your dog is in the garden and barks at passersby, make use of recall and praise your pet for returning to you rather than woofing. Dogs are social animals who like to live in family groups and it is common for them to become upset when they are left on their own for longer than they feel comfortable with.
This is called 'separation anxiety' and we have lots of information about this here. If your dog barks a lot when left and you are unable to resolve this by following our tips, you are likely to need help from a qualified dog behaviourist to address the problem. You can find one by contacting your vet, or on the Animal Behaviour and Training Council website.
Why Dogs Bark: Stop Excessive Barking
Take a moment to think about how you react when your dog barks to get your attention. These can sometimes break a dog of barking in a given area, but they work best if you are home to reward your pet when he stops barking. That helps reinforce what you want your dog to do. It does not address the underlying cause of the barking.
Complications are common and can be life threatening, including breathing difficulties, higher incidents of choking, and ongoing pain. Dogs also have been known to regain their voices after the surgery. The procedure does not stop the barking, it only makes it sound different.
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Healthy Pets Healthy Dogs Guide. Continued Here are two methods: A tired dog is a quiet dog. If your dog barks when alone, tire him out before you go. Take a long walk or run, play ball or take a trip to the dog park before leaving. The longer a dog does something, the more ingrained it becomes. Barking can give dogs an adrenaline rush, which makes the barking pleasant.
And allowing a dog to bark in certain situations, such as when the mailman arrives, can eventually make a dog aggressive in those situations. What if your dog gets out one day as the mail is being delivered? Deal with barking problems as quickly as possible. Some medical problems can cause excessive barking, from bee stings to brain disease to ongoing pain. Older pets can develop a form of canine senility that causes excessive vocalizations. Here are some specific reasons why dogs bark, and how you can help lessen the noise: Should you use one?
Continued Shock collars, which deliver a painful jolt to your pet, can cause pets harm and may make dogs aggressive, especially if they associate the person or animal they are barking at with the pain. What not to do: It can be dangerous to your pet.
Your dog may pause and then go right back to what he was doing. His body relaxed, but his brain was still on alert.
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Wait until your dog completely submits before you go back to what you were doing. Why dogs bark 2. Stay calm when trying to stop dog barking. Constant barking can be irritating, but you won't be able to correct the dog behavior problem if you are frustrated.
Why Dogs Bark and Curbing Excessive Barking
Animals don't follow unbalanced leaders. In fact, your dog will mirror your energy. If you're frustrated, he will be, too! And barking is a great release for that frustrated energy. Take a moment to curb your own internal barking first. Is your dog barking over and over again at the same object, person, situation, or place? Then you need to step up and claim that stimulus as your own. Use your body, your mind, and your calm-assertive energy to create an invisible wall that your dog is not allowed to cross. Excessive barking is often the result of pent-up energy.
If this is the case, the solution is simple: Does your dog receive a daily walk? Can you make the walk more challenging with a bicycle, a backpack, or by walking on an incline?