Dog Barking – Proven Strategies to Stop Your Dog Barking

by Sekar Ram

Nothing is more annoying and stressful than to deal with constant dog barking. It is a frustrating and futile experience to control this unwanted behavior without a basic understanding of why they bark.

Dogs bark for various reasons. It is their way of communicating to you their moods, excitement and to get your attention to their needs. It is not mere noise but in conjunction with their body language, tail movements and facial expressions they tend to convey their message across to you.

Here are some instances where they convey different meaning. High-pitched short tonal bark with swift tail wags when he is in a playful mood. Low gruff bark gradually increasing to howling when somebody is at the door or near the house. Loud bark with raised hackles when he sees another dog or cat. High pitched incessant bark when he is lonely or distressed and so on.

Once you know what triggers the barking then putting a fix is an easy task. Reasons for barking fall into two main categories – Basic behavior problem and situations and circumstances contributing to the barking. Barking on instinct is natural and should not be restrained.

Let’s see how to stop your dog’s relentless barking which sometimes has no apparent cause:

* Teaching your dog what is an acceptable behavior and what is not should be the first in your dog behavior training. Barking constantly in an attempt to get your attention and forcing you to submit to his needs is not good. Just to stop him from barking if you give a treat or play then you are encouraging him to bark even more in the future. Just walk away from him and don’t even look at him. He may be confused and bark harder at first but by consistently reinforcing this you will have better control over this behavior.

* When he barks, divert his attention by saying, “quiet” or “hush” in a strong yet calm tone. Use the same command every time for consistency and not to confuse him. When he obeys and stop barking praise him immediately. He will pair the command with the praise and learn to be quiet.

* Barking as a means to display dominant behavior: If the dog refuses to obey and continues to bark back to you with aggression, then he believes that he is the leader of the pack. It’s very important that your dog recognizes that you outrank him as the leader an Alpha dog and he is below you. They are well behaved under a leadership and form a strong bond with you based on trust and respect.

* Boredom is another reason for constant barking. Dogs need to be engaged constantly and exercised enough to get rid of their boredom. Take your dog for a long walk every day or spend time with interactive plays like fetching the ball.

* Separation anxiety can drive your dog to bark constantly. When left alone, they bark in an effort to get out of that situation. Exercise him enough before you leave so that he is tired and sleep when you are away and also provide enough chewy toys and items to engage him till you return.

Use of shock or citronella collars to control your dog barking is not recommended and can be used only as last resort for a stubborn dog. Understanding and retraining by reward is the most humane approach to dog barking problem.

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