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home : columns : columns November 20, 2014


12/31/2013 11:45:00 AM
When barking becomes a nuisance
Sally communicating the way she knows how  barking. photo by Jodi Schneider McNamee
+ click to enlarge
Sally communicating the way she knows how barking. photo by Jodi Schneider McNamee

By Jodi Schneider McNamee


How many times have you gone on a pleasant walk by yourself or with your pooch only to hear rowdy barking through a fence or from across the street and have it continue until you're out of earshot?

Barking is natural; it's how dogs communicate with each other and with you. Sometimes we want our dogs to bark in order to warn us of potential danger or that someone is on the property. However, continuous barking is annoying, for you and your neighbors.

Nuisance barking is a habit which is correctable in most pets with proper training.

Try to determine why your dog is barking. Excessive barking can be the result of boredom, stress, loneliness, and a need for attention. Understanding the reason why your dog barks is the first step toward controlling the behavior. Shouting at your dog to stop barking does not help. It may actually cause him to bark more.

Your dog needs to understand when to bark and when to be quiet, and it's your job to teach this to your pooch. You'll need to work on your dog's barking issue right away. The longer you wait, the harder it is to curb the problem. Plus, it's one of the fastest ways to turn neighbors into enemies and get a visit from the local sheriff.

There are numerous techniques that can help stop your dog from barking. While all of them can be very successful, you shouldn't expect miraculous results overnight.

Before you try any training techniques, make sure your dog is well-exercised. A dog may be barking out of sheer boredom or because of pent-up energy. Avoid leaving a dog alone for long periods of time.

There are many possible techniques that would be right for your particular pet. Here is an example of a common one: Determine your command phrase for correcting your pooch when he barks. This can be "No Bark" or "Quiet." Whatever you feel comfortable with is fine. When your dog barks, correct him each and every time by using your catch phrase and giving Fido a favorite treat immediately after he stops barking, even for only a second. You must be consistent and correct him each time, as you do not want your dog to get confused as to when he can and cannot bark.

After you give your dog a treat, praise your furry friend for being a good dog and being quiet. Do this each time he barks. Each time you do this with your pooch, wait a few seconds longer after your catch-phrase before giving a treat, holding the treat in front of him. Each time the dog barks, extend the time that he will wait for the treat, while being quiet. Everyone in your family needs to be included in the training, including a pet-sitter.

Whatever technique you use, remember your dog will not be trained overnight. It takes time to break the habit of excessive barking. Keep your training sessions positive and upbeat. Remain calm and patient, and eventually he will bark only when appropriate.

Consult your veterinarian and/or trainer if you continue to face barking issues despite your best efforts.

How many times have you gone on a pleasant walk by yourself or with your pooch only to hear rowdy barking through a fence or from across the street and have it continue until you're out of earshot?

Barking is natural; it's how dogs communicate with each other and with you. Sometimes we want our dogs to bark in order to warn us of potential danger or that someone is on the property. However, continuous barking is annoying, for you and your neighbors.

Nuisance barking is a habit which is correctable in most pets with proper training.

Try to determine why your dog is barking. Excessive barking can be the result of boredom, stress, loneliness, and a need for attention. Understanding the reason why your dog barks is the first step toward controlling the behavior. Shouting at your dog to stop barking does not help. It may actually cause him to bark more.

Your dog needs to understand when to bark and when to be quiet, and it's your job to teach this to your pooch. You'll need to work on your dog's barking issue right away. The longer you wait, the harder it is to curb the problem. Plus, it's one of the fastest ways to turn neighbors into enemies and get a visit from the local sheriff.

There are numerous techniques that can help stop your dog from barking. While all of them can be very successful, you shouldn't expect miraculous results overnight.

Before you try any training techniques, make sure your dog is well-exercised. A dog may be barking out of sheer boredom or because of pent-up energy. Avoid leaving a dog alone for long periods of time.

There are many possible techniques that would be right for your particular pet. Here is an example of a common one: Determine your command phrase for correcting your pooch when he barks. This can be "No Bark" or "Quiet." Whatever you feel comfortable with is fine. When your dog barks, correct him each and every time by using your catch phrase and giving Fido a favorite treat immediately after he stops barking, even for only a second. You must be consistent and correct him each time, as you do not want your dog to get confused as to when he can and cannot bark.

After you give your dog a treat, praise your furry friend for being a good dog and being quiet. Do this each time he barks. Each time you do this with your pooch, wait a few seconds longer after your catch-phrase before giving a treat, holding the treat in front of him. Each time the dog barks, extend the time that he will wait for the treat, while being quiet. Everyone in your family needs to be included in the training, including a pet-sitter.

Whatever technique you use, remember your dog will not be trained overnight. It takes time to break the habit of excessive barking. Keep your training sessions positive and upbeat. Remain calm and patient, and eventually he will bark only when appropriate.

Consult your veterinarian and/or trainer if you continue to face barking issues despite your best efforts.





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