A key component in training your dog to bark less is understanding the reasons for the barking. Barking is one way that your dog communicates with you and over time you will develop an understanding of why your dog is barking. Sometimes your dog will bark for the right reasons, when it needs to go to the toilet or when something is wrong. Remember, some barking is good!. Neighbours with barking dogs are annoying and it is up to you to train your dog about barking behaviour. You can stop your dog from barking because you are in charge and your dog will look to you for direction about what to do and when to do it.
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Is your dog feeling bored, anxious or lonely?
The number one cause of uncontrolled barking is a dog who is feeling scared and lonely. Perhaps your dog spends every day, all day alone while you are at work? Make sure you are providing your dog with plenty of exercise to compensate for that, 1 – 1.5 hours per day depending on size and breed. A walk before or after work is highly recommended. Look around for a hired dog walker, if this is too difficult. This attention will be welcomed by your dog. Try leaving your dog with toys when you are away. Have you ever know a dog that doesn’t like a ball or a bone to chew on?. If you have a few dog toys, try rotating them weekly to help your dog “rediscover” a toy.
A common cause of barking is a dog who spends too much time alone. Dogs are social beings in need of a lot of attention, interaction, and communication. Spend a lot of time with your dog playing and showing it affection. This is what dogs love. Dogs love to be included in family activities. Dogs who are loved are happy. A dog that has its other needs met is also less likely to display other problem behaviors and you won’t need to Stop Your Dog Chewing.
Is it playtime for your dog?
Giving in to barking so that you will stop what you are doing and play, is the worst thing you could do. Reinforcing a bad habit will be the result, if you do. Your dog does not respect you if it is harassing you in this way. You will need to ignore this behaviour if you don’t want your dog to demand your attention in this way. Moving away and turning your back towards your dog is a way to demonstrate this effectively. This is likely to confuse your dog to start with. Barking has worked before so if it keeps going for longer, it might work again. Do not give in! Be firm. Don’t be suprised if the baking gets worse before it gets better. Lots of praise is required to reinforce the correct behaviour. Let your dog know how pleased you are, with positive reinforcement. Re learning this barking behaviour will only take a short time, if you are consistent.
Effective dog training requires consistency. Dogs respond positively to knowing who the boss is. Your leadership is necessary for your dog to respect you and become well adjusted, well behaved and happy. Remember, quiet does not always mean good. It is your clear direction that will teach your dog when it is appropriate to bark.