Barking is the natural method of communication used by dogs. How much, and why a dog barks, will depend upon various factors. One of the main factors is genetics. A few breeds of dogs bark more than other breeds. Hunting dogs is the breed which barks the most.
Why Dogs Bark
The dog barks because they want to communicate their emotional and physical requirements. If the dog is uncomfortable, sick, hungry, thirsty, cold and hot, then they will bark. It is their procedure to convey “I need your help”. Apart from that if the dog is under stimulation, excited, anxious, and bored then they bark to get the attention. Sometimes, they might also develop the habit of barking. In certain cases, pain medication for dogs is also required.
It is one of the methods used by the dogs to release their frustration and energy. A dog may also bark if they are threatened, scared or try to warn you regarding danger. The reason for this is that they are threatened by some other dog, or when an intruder comes into your home. Most of the times, barking is conditional. This means it is the dog’s answer to a situation, and after changing of situation, they stop.
When barking is excessive, then it is the real issue. Here are five important tips, which stops your dog from barking. If you require some additional help then immediately consult an animal behaviorist or trainer.
1. Nurture A Lifestyle to Minimize Barking
The best method to stop or reduce barking is to take preventive measures. Manage an environment and lifestyle for your dog that will decrease the chances of becoming needy, scared, bored or anxious. Ensure that your dog do sufficient exercise. Those dogs who have excess energy or under stimulation can develop the habit of barking.
Provide your dog a comfortable and safe place for rest. If you leave your dog in a cold backyard or cramped crate then your dog becomes anxious and starts barking. Make sure that your dog gets fresh water every time. Even if you are out from home, then your dogs get enough water also. Consult your veterinarian to check that your dog gets the right food in right quantity.
Take care that your dog will socialize. A nicely socialized dog is comfortable with new environments, other animals, and people. A socialized dog not feel overexcited, threatened and anxious. They don’t bark in their response towards stimulant. If you are out of the house most of the time for longer duration, then consider purchasing few dog related DVDs, switch on the radio, and leave stimulating toys.
You might also get the services of a dog sitter or walker to provide your dog a break from the confinement, which induces barking. If your dogs bark when you leaving the house, then teach them that it is not a big issue. If dog is suffering from joint pain, then consult veterinary surgeon regarding pain medication for dogs.
2. Never Give Punishment To Dog For Barking
The barking of dog is basically their attention seeking attitude, and if you acknowledge your dog, then it displays that you like the dog to bark. When your dogs bark, then don’t pay attention to them. Walk out from the room, or turn your eyes. Praise and pay attention to dog when the dog stops barking. You need to be alert about deploying crate as a procedure to punish dog for the barking.
The crate must be a happy and safe place for your dog. It is not that place which the dog relates with punishment.
3. Train Your Dog the “Quiet” Command
To train your dog for the quiet command, greet the dog when he is not barking and calm. Say “quiet” to dog and provide a treat. Do this for 6 to 11 times a day. After that when your dog is barking, wait so that dog is stop, then say “quiet”. After that offer your dog a treat. Repeat it all the time, whenever your dog barks. After a month, you can start deploying the “quiet” command to teach your dog to stop barking.
4. Teach the “Speak” Command to Your Dog
After your dog learns the “quiet” command, teach “speak” command to dog also. That’s correct. We advices you to teach your dog to bark excessively. Well it sounds crazy. It provides you a different method to pick up the quiet command. When barking is appropriate, it teaches your dog. (when the command is enforced by you.)
To teach your dog, “speak” command, wait for some time. When your dogs bark, repeat “speak”, and then offer your dog a treat. Repeat this procedure as often as essential, till the time, your dog learns this command.
5. Speak to Your Veterinarian Doctor Regarding Different Methods
If your dog barks because of high anxiety, then your veterinary doctor may advise anti-anxiety medications. You can talk to your veterinary surgeon regarding citronella collars and anti-anxiety foods which release a bad odor when your dog barks. If your dog is in pain, then select the right pain medication for dogs after consulting the veterinary surgeon.
Kathreen Miller is a pet health expert. She lives in Chicago with her daughter and a dog named “Buddy”. She regularly contributes her write ups to pet health related websites and blogs. In her Free time, she loves listening to music, watching TV and traveling.