My dog barks: Barking is a normal behavior for dogs and an important means of communication. They may bark when calling or responding to other dogs, but also when communicating with their owners. Any noise, no matter how slight, can stimulate a barking response. Do you want a totally silent pet? The dog is not for you, because barking is communicating!
However, when dogs bark excessively, it usually indicates an underlying problem and they can become a nuisance to their owners and the entire neighborhood. Before you can successfully manage a barking problem, you must determine the cause of the problem.
Dogs bark for a variety of reasons. It is important to understand why your dog barks excessively. Once the underlying cause and “triggers” of the barking are identified, an effective work plan can be put in place.
Barking problems have very different origins. Likewise, the approaches to treating each one often need to be different. Take the time to characterize your dog’s barking habits:
– When does he bark?
– How often and for how long?
– Since when ?
– What does it bark at? Humans, dogs, cars?
– Does he do it while you are away or also when you are there?
Here are some tips to find out what is causing your dog’s excessive barking
Dogs that are left alone all day with nothing to do often resort to barking out of boredom. It’s more stimulating for them than waiting quietly for you to return. If you take your dog for a good walk in the morning, he will be more likely to rest until you get home. You should also make sure that your home and garden are sufficiently enriched with occupation toys to keep them entertained. Try putting some of your dog’s food ration into a kong or other stimulating toy.
Alternate the toys he has access to, so they don’t lose their value. Hide treats in the yard to encourage him to search. You can get him a sandbox to keep him busy digging. A dog should see other dogs on a regular basis to naturally tire himself out. So consider socializing him.
You may also want to consider having someone walk your dog during the day while you are at work. The more your dog’s needs are met, the less likely he will behave this way.
Your dog may simply have an urge to express a strong emotion such as excitement. This is a way of venting that is not always well controlled by the dog itself. So, the best way to avoid too much barking due to excitement is to teach the dog that “calm” is more rewarding. Yet this is one of the last things owners think to teach their dog. If every dog learned to be calm as the most rewarding attitude in the world from a young age, owners would have less to worry about.
By the way, our online LEARN TO QUIET YOUR DOG course is just perfect.
Having a calm dog or rather knowing how to calm your dog is an essential thing to live in harmony with your dog.
This training is for everyone, individuals and professionals. It will give you advice, exercises and will allow you to better understand the elements that will help your dog to calm down positively.
► Learn how to calm your dog
► Theoretical and practical training
► 31 videos of practical exercises
Dogs are social animals and it is normal for them to become anxious when left alone for the first time. Take care to teach your dog about solitude. Start small. Make sure your dog can feel safe when you are not around. He also needs to be able to occupy himself without you, so leave him toys that he doesn’t usually have.
Gradually increase the amount of time you leave your dog alone. Make sure your departure and return are calm and positive. Do not punish your dog when you return, no matter what he has done. This will do no good and, more importantly, will indicate to your dog that he is right to be anxious, since you are scolding him when you return. This often makes the situation worse.
Dogs can also bark out of fear. They may be afraid of people approaching their yard or fear noises. Nighttime can stimulate anxiety. Dogs can also be afraid of fireworks, thunderstorms, lawn mowers, etc.
It’s natural for your dog to want to warn you about potential intruders. Your dog may not be able to distinguish between welcome visitors, people walking by your house and intruders. Try using predictable passers-by such as the mailman to create a positive experience. Try to anticipate the mailman’s arrival and offer your dog a treat or favorite toy. Reward your dog only when he is calm and not barking. Over time, your dog may begin to associate a person walking by the house with something cool.
If your dog barks at your neighbors when they are in their yard, it’s probably also because they are protecting his space. Again, make sure you have tasty treats on hand so your dog associates your neighbors with food. Barking is also enhanced when owners yell or scold their own barking dog. Effective treatment of excessive barking relies on positive reinforcement, which means rewarding good “quiet” behaviors and avoiding reinforcing “undesirable” behaviors. Consider using sight breakers to help reduce this behavior. Finally, it may sound crazy, but sometimes you have to move your dog so that he stops barking for good. Indeed, the dog will be so reinforced to bark, that a change of environment will allow to make new associations.
Your dog may bark to get your attention or out of frustration. You can modify this behavior by ignoring the bad behaviors and rewarding the good ones. When your dog barks for attention, it should be completely ignored – avoid eye contact, even leave the room. Praise and pet your dog when he is calm and quiet so that he realizes that this is the behavior required to get your attention.
Be careful though, a dog that is not used to dealing with his emotions and that gets very frustrated very quickly should not be ignored, at the risk of being bitten. This is a completely different learning process. Learning to be calm can only help in this learning process.
Anti-bark collars are a form of punishment and are not reliable. They also do not address the underlying cause of the problem. Your dog will be punished for every bark, some of which will be appropriate. Plus, he won’t learn what he can do instead. Canidelite is opposed to the use of electric shock collars, such as anti-bark collars. They are inhumane because they inflict pain. It is unacceptable to inflict pain on an animal that uses its own way of communicating. Especially since a dog that barks excessively does so to adapt to the situation it is in. It is not fair to punish a dog that we ourselves have put into this situation.
I can only advise to call a dog behaviorist who is comfortable with behavioral analysis and modification, to help the dog find acceptable alternatives for his human. Finally, stay tolerant, a dog barks, it’s his way of communicating, so don’t scold him for that!