There are many reasons why dogs bark and remember that it is just natural. Dogs bark as their form of communication. If your dog barks, it can be simply a response to external stimulus. It can also be when they’re stressed or lonely. It can also be your dog’s way of asking for help and warning you from threat.
We know that you love your little fluffy of joy from bits to pieces, but it can be such a nuisance when your beloved dog barks way too much. This article aims to help dog owners to teach and train their dogs to stop barking. Here are just a few tips to help your dog to stop barking.
Know the reason behind the bark
First off, learn why your dog is prone to overly barking. Knowing what triggers your dog behavior can help you focus on technique that can help them in overcoming this. Some of these training techniques will require you to pinpoint why and when your dog barks.
Here are some causes to help you get an insight what is behind their bark:
- Territorial / protective: When a person or animal comes near their territory, dogs may bark excessively. As the threat grows closer, so does the barking, and more often your dog tends to become aggressive to protect you and their and property.
- Distress signal: Dogs usually undergo and experience excessive barking as their distress signal when they are alarmed or fearful. This can happen even outside the home and is usually triggered when a dog is taken by surprise.
- Compulsive barking: Dogs with separation anxiety often bark excessively when left alone. They usually exhibit destructiveness, depression and constant pacing.
With the help of these key insights, we would be able to effectively train our dogs to treat their excessive barking. Please note and remember to keep this in mind when training:
- Do not yell at your dogs to stop barking.
- Make your training positive and upbeat.
- Be consistent.
Tips on stopping the bark
Famous dog whisperer and trainer Cesar Millan dishes out some tips on how to control excessive barking. His words of wisdom to remember and the fulfillment formula states that “Exercise, Discipline and Affection” are what make the training effective in curbing their tendency to over bark.
Below are some effective tips to help you stop nuisance barking for good:
Remove the trigger
Observe your dog’s behavior. Look for key insights and behavioral pattern of your pet. Check if your dog is barking because he pines away from you or if he sees your neighbor and neighbor’s pet near your home.
Once you have pinpointed the trigger, remove it immediately. If your dog doesn’t like others near your home, bring your dog inside and close the curtains.
Correct the behavior
Tell your dog to stop barking by using a look or a sound once you have your dog’s attention. Wait until your dog totally submits your orders. One look or whistle may not stop them from behaving differently because their mind and body is still alert. Make sure they relax first before you go back to what you were doing.
Use bark collars
There are different kinds of bark collars in the market that can help your dog to curb their urge to bark. The most popular and humane bark collar is the Husher. It is a type of bark collar that is made of soft elastic material that loosely fits their muzzle to stop your dog from opening his mouth to breathe, pant, eat and drink.
In general, a bark collar is safe to use so you can use it while your dog is left alone at your home. It can also be a training aid by saying “hush” or “stop” while they are barking and show them the bark collar to expressly tell them to stop. If they don’t listen, put the bark collar on.
Please note that this method is frowned upon by veterinarians but it is a method way better than using citronella collars and shock collars.
It is vital for your dog to undergo some exercise. This general training will help keep their mind occupied and their bodies tired. Regular walks in the morning and evenings for 15 minutes at a time is better in removing pent up energy of your pets. Make it more fun by going to a doggy daycare, or by arranging playdates from their fellow four-legged friends.
Reward good behavior
Training can be exhausting to your dog so they need all the love, praise and reward for keeping up with the training. Reward them when they stop barking and celebrate minor successes. Over time, your dog will learn that being obedient can achieve greater results rather than acting out.
Try counter-conditioning your dog
If your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, counter-conditioning can be a common treatment. This involves training your dog to associate something fearful with a reward. In this case, you would need to train your dog to associate being left alone as something enjoyable by giving them some treats while you’re gone.
Recognize your dog’s needs
Know what your dogs need from you and meet those needs. Sometimes, dog start to bark when they are hungry and thirsty because they were left out in the yard the whole day. Make sure to fulfill their needs by giving them nutritious meals and cool cleaning water when they’re outside. Give them free access to the inside of your home so that they can come in when the heat is too much to bear outside.
Your canine is part of your family and it is more than just a pet for some people. The least that we can do is to give them all the love and affection they constantly give us. There are various reasons as to why your dog is barking, but it is important to know what makes them tick in order to find the resolution for their needs.
Barking is a natural thing for dogs to do since this how they communicate. Never reprimand them because their bark can be worse than their bite when push comes to shove. They might be able to help you in times of need so it would be better to control and manage their barking than prohibit them to do so.