We have all had those apartments or stayed in areas where the neighbor has a new dog, it is untrained, and barks all day and all night long, driving you mad. Rather than moving out, you decide to see how long you can last.
But then things change. Fast forward a few years and you’re the one who has just adopted a new pup. They’re adorable, cuddly, intelligent, and – well – just about perfect. The only problem is that they just won’t stop barking! So what can you do to quieten your pup down?
The Reason Behind It All
There are many reasons why dogs bark and it’s not just for the sake of hearing their own voices. But it can be irritating for you and the people around you. The main reason, naturally, is to get attention either from their owners or someone near to them, perhaps they have been alerted by something and this is their way to get you to take notice. These are the main options but others such as boredom and frustration also come into play so getting to the root of the cause is a must if you want to keep your sanity.
Stopping the Barking
Discovering what is causing your dog to bark and learning how to stop or prevent it is easier than you may think. You can learn all about doggie behavior, what’s normal, and how to stop it from sites like BarkingTalk.
You may not believe it but there are things you can do to keep your dog calmer and train them to do so only when is necessary. Here are some great tips:
- Avoid Punishing – it might be tempting, but don’t tell your dog off when they are barking. If they see they are getting your attention in any way they will continue.
- Fear – even dogs get scared. Things like fireworks or unfamiliar places can be really scary so try to avoid these. They won’t feel anxious and afraid which could cause them to bark out of fear.
- Exercise – this is one of the best ways to help reduce barking. When you give them an outlet to burn off excess energy they won’t have much left for barking. Tiring them out will help them to relax once they get home.
- Toys – toys, chew accessories, and puzzles are a good way to keep dogs mentally focused and engaged. When they’re busy with something else they’re less likely to bark for your attention!
- Don’t Reward – the last thing you should do is give them a treat when they are barking. You may get a moment’s peace while they are chewing, but they will be right back to it thinking they’ll be getting another treat.
- Quiet – as soon as your dog has stopped barking, open the gate to the garden, or open the door. This will reiterate the fact that barking keeps the door closed, and being quiet will open it. They will soon learn this if they want to go out to play.
Can You Train a Barking Dog?
While many people think this is impossible – it’s actually not. The main objective is to understand that you are in control, you are the alpha, and making the dog understand this is key. Talking to them in a firm, but calm, tone of voice when you want them to listen or obey a command, and then doing this each time will make them soon understand the concept.
Then when you are playing or not voicing a command you should use your normal voice and they can differentiate between the two. Creating a specific word to indicate they need to listen is also a great idea, such as ‘halt,’ or ‘quiet,’ this will help solidify what you need them to do.
Set up a routine so that you and your dog are on the same page about what needs to be done at specific times like walks, meal times, or playing in the garden.
Reinforcing good behavior and not reacting to bad behavior is most effective when done daily. Reducing unnecessary reprimanding will ensure the environment your pet is raised in is safe and comfortable and that they know they are loved.
Owning a pet is a big responsibility and taking all measures to do so effectively but humanely is a priority.