Along with a baby’s crying, the persistant barking of a dog is one of the most annoying sounds. But is there anything you can do as a dog owner to ‘persuade’ your pooch to stop barking? Here are a few suggestions from an experienced dog owner.
The bark. It can be annoying. But, in effect, it is the way the dog is communicating to you. For example, it can mean, ‘hello’ or it can mean ‘go away.’ It can mean that they want to play or that they are protecting their territory. You may think your dog is barking too much, or your neighbors may think so. But, before you can put an end to your trouble, it’s best to figure out why she is barking in the first place.
Some dogs have been breed to bark so it is instinctive that they bark endlessly. For example, the beagle is a hunting dog and was trained to bark when it spotted the prey. Another example are some toy dogs which were bred to be a warning signals of invasion. Even so, some dogs within these breeds bark more than they should, some more than others.
Did you encourage this behavior in your dog? If you give your dog a reward for barking then they are thinking it’s a good thing. Not necessarily a treat, the reward may have been attention. Even if you think it was a scolding you gave her, she saw it as attention. Are you trying to quiet her? Did you bend down and pet her, sooth her or just talk to her? Yes, this is attention. You are actually encouraging this behavior when the dog barks and you react like this.
There are several ways in which you can work with your dog to stop this behavior. One of those ways is to use a bark collar. These collars all work in different ways but they can disperse a citronella scent that the dog doesn’t like or they can even provide a small shock when the bad behavior occurs. But, this will not work in all cases and some do not like the idea of ‘hurting’ the animal even though the dog is not harmed at all. Another solution would be to use a professional trainer or to pick up a few books that are how to’s on training your animal and work one on one with the dog to stop the behavior.
When a dog barks, he is protecting you or just warning you. The dog is trained by ancestors to do just that; to warn people. It makes sense then that the dog would be a little upset at there is a man approaching the house even though he visits daily with the mail. The dog wants you to know that the man is there and that you should react to the mailman. Those dogs that do bark too much may need some help. You can find a lot of help on training your dog to stop barking in books or with professionals. Use training as well as patience to help your dog learn when its okay and when it is not.
Word count: 531