You may describe your new pet as cute, sweet and cuddly-until the barking starts. Just to be fair, barking and dogs go together. It’s their way to communicate.If the barking becomes too much, however, this may annoy a lot of people (especially the ones living next door). It is then important to train your dog to eliminate excessive barking.
Barking can only be solved if the owner understands what the cause of the behavior is. Observe your dog when he starts to bark and ask: “What triggered him to act that way?” If done properly you might lead to one or some of these reasons:
Reason #1: Dogs Bark to Protect You
Dogs are territorial creatures, therefore it is a natural stimulus for your dog to bark whenever a new friend or a new dog is seen coming towards his zone. Your pooch will consider this as an instant threat and may express dominance. In short, barking may be your pet’s way to say: “Touch anything or anyone and I will cut you with my teeth!” to them.
Reason #2: Dogs Bark Because They Are Bored
Maybe you’ve forgotten to play with them and they got really lonely. Most dogs will resort to seeking your attention by barking excessively. They may want to tell you something: they might want to go outside and play or maybe they just want you to pick them up and give them a belly rub.
Reason #3: Your Dog Might be Happy to See You
Barking to dogs is like talking to us. So whenever we arrive home after a very long and tiring day, barking may be your dog’s way of saying: “Boy, I’m so glad to finally see you Master!” This may accompanied by tail wagging, jumping and licking you in the face.
Reason #4: Your Dog Might Be Scared
May it be a very loud noise or being left alone locked in the house, dogs will express their anxiety by barking loudly. It some extreme cases, it might lead to destruction to some things in the household. An anxious dog may also run in circles or pace around.
Reason #5: You Might Have Encouraged the Behavior Before
There might be instances that your dog may have barked (especially when you’ve just arrived home) and you’ve given rewards by petting and giving treats. This may make your canine friend to thing that barking is cool. When this might be a reason of the excessive behavior, then correcting it will be difficult.
How to Correct Excessive Barking
Teaching your dog to stop barking at certain times requires time and patience. The method might depend on what are the causes of the behavior. The following can be done to keep your dog quiet:
1. Keep your dog fit (or tired)
Bored dogs have a lot of pent-up energy waiting to be released, therefore it is important to play with them once in a while. Take time to walk your dog, give some chew toys or let the pup run around the park once in a while. When you get home, your little furry friend will be too tired to let out a single bark.
2. Introduce The Word “Stop” Through Positive Reinforcement
Teach your dog the rules of barking by introducing the word “Stop.” The word may not be used itself-it could be through different verbal or physical cues. This can either be done through acknowledging the bark by saying: “Good girl” and then introduce the stop command. When your dog stops barking, give him or her treats. Lengthen the time intervals as the training progresses: require your pup to stop barking for 10 seconds, then 15 seconds your dog stops barking after the command.
Another thing to do is to ignore your dog when he or she starts barking. This can work especially when your dog is begging for attention all the time. In time, he or she will learn that barking is not a good behavior and will stop. When your dog stops, turn around and give your dog some well-deserved love and affection-and some treats, too.
When the dog is barking because someone he or she doesn’t know is at the door, you can still enforce this method by desensitizing your dog to the stranger. Start the training by letting the stranger or the dog stand at the distance. Let them come closer, while feeding your dogs some treats. Continue doing this until the person or dog becomes out of sight.
3. Remove the Dog from the Situation
Whenever your dog starts barking, give him a time-out space that will muffle the sound from the neighbors. This will remove him from the motivation of barking.