Barking is a natural phenomenon among dogs. It is innate and their means of communication. A dog’s barking can mean different things, may it be to play, express feelings of excitements or fear, mark a territory, or express a basic need, among other things. Some dogs bark for good reason, while some unfortunately bark for irrational reasons or even no reason at all. Excessive barking can sometimes be a problem and get annoying when it is appropriate. It can drive the dog owner and his family, and even his neighbors, crazy!
Getting your dog to bark less will definitely will not be achieved overnight. It will take time and patience. There are several solutions for excessive and inappropriate barking.
- Know the root of the problem; understand why your dog is barking. The first step is always knowing the cause first, in order to appropriately treat the problem. Get to know and understand the specific reasons why the dog is barking excessively. Observe and research. FInd out the triggers, if there are any.
- Establish a good and nurturing relationship with the dog. A foundation to successful training is having a solid owner/trainer-dog relationship before starting the training. Trust and confidence in each other is a key to having an effective training. When the dog is confident in and trusts the trainer, there is a much greater chance that it will positively respond and obediently follow.
- Be consistent. Set clear rules and strictly implement them. What is not allowed should always be not allowed. Consistency is crucial for dogs pay more attention to patterns. Inconsistent training can sometimes lead to dogs having confusion and a more undesirable behavior.
- Create distractions. Divert the attention of the dog every time it barks too much. Keep the dog busy with other activities. Let the dog get sufficient physical and mental activities every day. Busy dogs are those that are less likely to excessively and irrationally bark from boredom.
- Teach the dog commands. Teach your dog to bark (and to stop barking) on command. Train dogs to “speak,” bark on command, and then train it to be “quiet,” to stop barking. Do not reward barking and reward when the dog is quiet. It is important, however, to wait for a few seconds that the dog is quiet before rewarding. The dog must clearly associate the reward to being quiet and not to barking.
- Use safe dog bark collars. Busy dog owners who do have not much time use dog bark collars in training their dogs to control their barking. These dog bark collars are designed to regulate barking of dogs by ending a signal that would warn the dog or serve as a consequence of his barking. Dog bark collars of different variations can be purchased online. However, to ensure utmost safety and secure the well-being of the dog, certain characteristics must be taken into consideration. The size of the dog, its fur length, its learning styles, and its temperament are two important factors to be considered when choosing a bark collar.
Some solutions may work for others, some may not. Each dog is unique, and thus there is no one perfectly correct solution for excessive and appropriate barking. Get to know your dog well, and find out what solution works best. Also, put in mind that barking is natural among dogs; it is their way of communicating. This is why it is important not to totally deprive dogs from barking, but to know the appropriate time to bark and to control their barking.