Excessive barking can be very irritating, especially to your neighbors. So what can you do if your dog barks too much?
Barking comes naturally to dogs and the police agree that a barking dog is a wonderful deterrent. Some dog owners just ignore the barking; this does not work for the neighbors, so another solution has to be found. It would be a horrible thing to have a dog’s vocal cords removed and we think this is cruel and way too drastic, yet have heard of people doing this.
Verbalizing is often connected with prompts or reactions to situations. Take a look at your situation and review the following potential causes.
- First thing,
- Make sure he is completely well.
- Is your dog barking because something is bothering him, hurting, or
- Is he aware of something in your environment that you aren’t?
- Check to see if he’s bored, because boredom may cause barking.
- Does he have enough toys with which to entertain himself if you’re not there, or if you are there and not ready for play time, can he keep himself amused?
- Third, use your keen powers of observation to determine just why he is barking. If you truly want to get to the bottom of the “why” of his barking, you might consider setting up a video camera to get to the real reason if you’re not there much of the time. You may discover his barking is caused by loud noises for his sensitive ears. Perhaps they can be muted in some way.
Discovering the reason for barking is the most important step in determining what you can do to remedy excessive barking.
- He might be afraid or lonely. Some dogs don’t do well left alone in a home or apartment.
- Does he simply want your attention? If your dog just wants attention, don’t give it. He will learn this kind of barking is a dead end street.
- Is he giving you a warning? If he’s giving you a warning, this behavior deserves rewarding.
- Is he anxious or excited? If he’s anxious or excited because you just said “Want to go to the Dog Park?” consider that it’s your excitement he’s bouncing off of and change your behavior.
If he barks when you simply go pick up the leash, drop it and sit down until he learns that his barking isn’t acceptable.
- If he barks on the way to the car, go back inside immediately, sit down and wait for him to calm down.
- If he barks when someone arrives at the house, ignore him for several minutes. He will calm down, and learn quickly that his barking isn’t acceptable.
Excessive Barking Prevention
- Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise on a regular basis. Extra daily walks might be just the thing to relieve his boredom and reduce the barking.
- You can also teach the silent command. If you have a chronic barker this tends to be an easy solution.
- When barking, say “speak” and reward the barking. It sounds counterproductive, however once they “connect” speak and start barking,
- Then teach the “silent” command – “Shh” repeat “Shhh and when the dog doesn’t bark, say good boy and reward/treat.
While this article offers some practical solutions to solve your dog’s barking problem, there may be even more out on the internet, so I’d recommend a little internet research. YouTube has many videos about barking dogs. And different breeds require different solutions.
All instances of barking can be changed through behavior change. Sometimes, it might be your behavior that needs changing. Sometimes, it might be your dog’s behavior. With consistency, patience, and kind attention, you can help your dog break this barking habit and won’t your neighbors heave a sigh of relief, too?
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