So the QUESTION is… What’s the deal with all the BARKING doggies do anyway?
Well first of all to state the obvious, barking is a dogs main way of communicating. Now of course I knew that you knew this, DUH… but the key here is to understand how to differentiate between the specifics types of BARKING and why.
1. Territorial/Protective: When a person or an animal comes into an area your dog considers his territory, that often triggers excessive barking. As the threat gets closer, the barking often gets louder. Your dog will look alert and even aggressive during this type of barking.
2. Alarm/Fear: Some dogs bark at any noise or object that catches their attention or startles them. This can happen anywhere, not just in their home territory.
3. Boredom/Loneliness: Dogs are pack animals. Dogs left alone for long periods, whether in the house or in the yard, can become bored or sad and often will bark because they are unhappy
4. Greeting/Play: Dogs often bark when greeting people or other animals. It’s usually a happy bark, accompanied with tail wags and sometimes jumping.
5. Attention Seeking: Dogs often bark when they want something, such as going outside, playing, or getting a treat.
6. Separation Anxiety / Compulsive Barking: Dogs with separation anxiety often bark excessively when left alone. They also usually exhibit other symptoms as well, such as pacing, destructiveness, depression and inappropriate elimination. Compulsive barkers seem to bark just to hear the sound of their voices. They also often make repetitive movements as well, such as running in circles or along a fence.
Now having stated all the specifics of the types of barking a dog does it’s important to know and understand getting your dog to bark less will take Time, Work, Practice, and Consistency. It won’t happen overnight, but with proper techniques and time, you will see progress.
Here are a few tips to practice as you start your efforts to control your dog’s barking.
1. Shouting only stimulates your dog to bark more because he thinks you’re joining in. So the first rule is to speak calmly and firmly, but don’t yell. I go into this thoroughly with my ALPHA 101 training that is available to you upon request. It’s very efficient & helps the HUMAN owner understand and then learn how to communicate successfully with your dog… & it works BEAUTIFULLY every time.
2. Most dogs don’t know what you want when you’re yelling at them to “shut up.” So the next step is to teach & train your dog the command to understand the word “Quiet!” in the ALPHA tone with the proper body language (again ask me and I will show you how to do this successfully). 3. then praise him and give him a treat. Just be careful to never reward him while he’s barking. Eventually he will figure out that if he stops barking at the word “quiet” he gets a treat
3. then PRAISE him (using the correct PRAISE voice tone) and give him a treat. Just be careful to never reward him while he’s barking, because you will make the training confusing and eventually both of you will become frustrated. You must always be clear and consistent to get successful results. Eventually he will figure out that if he stops barking with the command “QUIET” he gets a treat… just make the treat a GOOD ONE. Something out of the ordinary of his usual treats. I use training chicken for this exercise. A tip here don’t give this particular treat unless you’re doing this exercise and it will make your communication even clearer to your dog.
4. After your dog has gotten pretty good with this exercise and the training chicken. Substitute the chicken for affection and praise only. Again be consistent here to get successful results.
5. Eventually, you can teach your dog to “speak; once he’s doing the QUIET command successfully. Then you can move into signaling him to stop barking with a different command, such as using your body language by holding your finger to your lips (dogs often pick up body signals faster than voice commands.) Of course it depends on the dog and the situation.
6. Always practice these commands when your dog is calm. I purposely exercise a dog first to make sure he has all the hyper energy out before I train with them. In time your dog should learn to stop barking at your command, even when he wants to bark at something.
Whatever the case may be with your dog’s barking, PLEASE Don’t allow the problems to go on and on. The longer a dog does something, the more ingrained it becomes. Barking can give dogs an adrenaline rush, which makes the barking pleasant to them. And allowing a dog to bark in certain situations, such as when the mailman arrives, can eventually make a dog aggressive in those situations.
Think about it… What if your dog gets out one day as the mail is being delivered? This could result in your dog biting someone and we wouldn’t want that so please be responsible & deal with barking challenges as quickly as possible.
If you would like a PERSONAL IN-HOME Assessment of your dog schedule your PET SESSION with me today and I will be glad to help.
Remember HELP is one phone call away (310) 743-9643