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Why does My Dog Bark so much?

The age old question about dogs who bark - for no aopparent reason...

Barking is natural, and a dog that barks only when strangers come around the house should be commended, not punished, espedally in an urban area where everyone lives with the threat of crime. Some dogs will bark to warn their owner and, once the owner acknowledges the dog’s message with an “Okay, I hear it,” they will stop barking.

Problem barking occurs when a dog barks nonstop and the neighbors complain. Some dogs bark incessantly because they are “hyper” and overreact to every little sound around them; others may bark because they are anxious that their owner left them. Some of the toy dogs are notorious barkers.

Remedies for Problem Barking

First you’ve got to figure out why the dog is barking, and that can be difficult. Ask a cooperative neighbor to help you try and pinpoint the cause. Does she notice that the dog is really howling, not barking, as though he’s miserable you are gone? Then the dog may need conditioning to your absence. Or is it only the trash collectors who set him off? Some trainers advise leaving on a tape recorder while you are out to try and figure out what makes the dog bark. And some trainers have found that, occasionally, the dog isn’t barking at all—the problem is a kooky neighbor complaining just to complain!

• Tell your dog “No!” if he barks wildly when you are home, and, if necessary, restrict him by keeping him with you and on his leash so you can issue “Noes.” Don’t then pet the dog to soothe him, which might give him a contradictory message, but if he starts to refrain from barking at certain sounds, praise and pet him for being quiet.

• Mask out sounds by leaving on the television set or the radio. If you live in one of those apartments with a big crack under the front door, cover it with a heavy towel so the dog is less likely to hear footsteps

• Eliminate visuals that might contribute to barking. If your dog barks when he’s looking out the window at the people going by, shut the shades so he can’t see out.

• Increase the exercise the dog gets and leave him with food in his tummy, especially before you go out, so that he’s more likely to sleep while you aren’t home.

• If you think the dog is barking because he’s anxious about you leaving him, condition him to your absences as outlined above under the remedies for chewing.

• If none of these tactics works, you’ll have to try conditioning the dog not to bark. Pretend you are going out, stay near the front door, and wait for the dog to bark. Then, as soon as he starts, come in quickly and tell him “No!” Do this over and over.

• Hire a carefully chosen trainer to help you condition your dog not to bark if you don’t have the time, although you’ll have to reinforce the lessons and work with the dog when you are home.

• Get a pet sitter or dog day care if you can’t make any of these other remedies work, until you can initiate some effective training and conditioning.

• Initiate obedience training and stick to it.

There you have it - These are the most common methods and the people that implement them have reported great success at using one - or a combination - of the techniques described.

Remember, all puppies are Great Puppy Dogs.

Date Posted:Sunday, February 8, 2015, 3 Yaers Ago
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