↑ Return to Dog Behavior
To begin with, dog barking is a completely natural form of expression and communication for your dog. Some barking is necessary and can even save a life. Excessive barking however can be quite annoying and should be dealt with as soon as possible. Some dog owners encourage their pup to bark, intending to develop its guard dog capabilities. Others unknowingly reward their pup by showing it a lot of attention as soon as it begins to bark. When dog owners respond in this manner it sends a message to the pup that his barking is paying off. He will simply bark more often and even louder.
A good plan is to not leave your dog alone for a full day. If your dog is a barker and starts up every time you put him in the yard, or another room, then you must begin to deal with the problem. Begin by paying less attention to your pet for a 24 hour period. Plan to leave your dog alone for periods of five to fifteen minutes, to teach it that it can survive without being underfoot.
When the dog becomes aware of the fact that it is alone and is not going to be rewarded for barking, it will settle down. Reward the animal for its quiet time and do not respond toexcessive barking. Slowly increase the length of time your dog is alone or away from you. Remember, don’t reward barking, reward silence.
Most dogs really love the car and even enjoy taking long drives to the cottage, the mountains, or to the beach. Some dogs cannot restrain their excitement and bark continually while motoring. Needless to say, this can be aggravating for passengers and distracting for the driver. When your dog begins to bark, remain calm and speak firmly, saying no. Do not raise your voice. If the barking persists consider giving your pet a food filled toy.
This will work for some. Other remedies include the use of a water pistol, sparingly of course. You could also try a training disc. The latter is squirted near the dog’s head. It produces a fine mist which is bitter but harmless. Remember, nip the barking in the bud. Reward silence but do not reward barking. If you are in the car, have someone to help you. Consider getting a travelling cage.
If your dog barks when you begin to eat, it could be because it smells the food, wants attention, or wants to share your food by being finger fed. Don’t fall for any of this. Do your eating away from the dog. Feed your pet only in its own bowl. Do not reward the excitable behavior. Excitable dog barking can be a problem at other times too. When you go for your coat, your pet might begin to bark and jump in anticipation of a walk. Make a few false starts towards the door, then sit down. This will confuse the dog and quite often, it will stop its excitable behavior. Another good idea is the training disc. It is very effective when tossed near a barking dog. If silence ensues, reward it with a soft spoken “good dog”.