Dog Behavior (Barking)



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One of the most frequent reasons dogs are taken to an animal shelter is because of their barking.

Owners and/or neighbors cannot tolerate the noise barking creates.

When you are considering dog ownership, it is very important to check on the characteristics of the breed, you are considering, as some breeds are natural “barkers.”

If possible see the parents, ask questions of the breeder and talk to people that have the same breed and get their input.

Even if you are considering a mixed-breed dog look into the breeds that comprise the makeup of the dog.

Excessive barking can mean an end to a pet relationship before it even had a chance to begin. The Internet is a great source of information.

Why do dogs bark?

Well, truthfully it is fun. It is also a form of communication. A dog bark can be a warning, it can be a welcome sound or it can be a constantly annoying noise.

In case you did not know it, dogs have many varieties of "the bark" from a soft "woof" to a very loud growling type of bark. Each bark means something to the dog and if you develop a good "barking ear" you will be able to understand the differences.

Why do some dogs bark so much?

Believe it or not, some of it can be traced to our own behavior toward our dogs or it can be a natural genetic trait. In many ways we condition them to bark.

Think of this, "a barking dog gets attention" and that is what most dogs want. The fact that it might be a reprimand, matters not, as long as the dog is getting what it wants.

Sometimes dogs bark because they are uncomfortable. Make certain your dog has shelter from the heat and /or rain.

Do not tie up a dog and expect it to be quiet all day. A tied up dog can get hung up on so many things and possibly hurt itself, besides being in one place all day is "BORING."

An outside dog has many things to make it bark, other dogs barking, noise from trucks and cars, people walking by, boredom and loneliness.

To relieve the stress and anxiety your dog is feeling, if you are not available to do it on a daily basis, hire a neighborhood teen to walk your dog every day and possibly play with it for a while. Exercise is a great stress reliever and a tired dog will bark less.

Some dogs feel very needy and will bark constantly in order to get your attention.

To remedy a needy barking dog it will TAKE A GREAT DEAL OF PATIENCE on your part.

Why?

Simply because you are going to have to IGNORE the barking and the dog. Easily said, but very hard to do.

A needy dog is looking for any kind of attention and that is why you must NOT speak to the dog, look at the dog or go near it while it is barking.

Yelling loudly or for that matter screaming to the dog to "be quiet" will not help at all. The yelling once again is giving the dog the attention it wants, plus it will think you are playing a game with it.

Hitting, spanking or beating the dog will not have a good result either. You will create fear in the dog and when it sees you, it will stop, but turn your back and it will be back at it again.

Once the dog stops barking, praise, pets and treats are in order.

This will not be a quick fix, but in order for it to work you must be consistent and ignore the dog, even though you might be tempted to tape his/her mouth shut.

Reconditioning the behavior pattern can also be done by having the dog do something different when it starts barking, like going to find a toy and getting a treat when he/she finds it. Giving the dog a "job" that takes its mind off of barking is the thought behind this idea.

Once you start the training process it is very important you do not deviate from it for any reason until the dog has the "no barking" thought firmly implanted in its head.

Granted there are times when you do want the dog to bark, so choose the barking behavior that is bugging you the most and work solely on that.

If you are living in an apartment and your dog is barking while you are away, there are several reasons for that and each one is handled differently.

Separation anxiety will cause a dog to bark constantly. Many times you, the owner, are the cause of it.

If you find yourself worrying about leaving the dog while you are getting ready and you find yourself going through all that wonderful "baby dog talk" we have been known to go through. STOP IT!

What you are doing is creating nervous anxiety and upsetting your dog.

Instead, do not look, talk or pet your dog while you are getting ready to leave. Ignore your pet completely, don't even think about him/her during the process of getting ready. Concentrate on work or whatever you are going to do.

Just before you are ready to walk out the door, get your pet's favorite toy and several treats, put them in a room away from the door and without a goodbye, leave. Nine chances out of ten, your dog will accept the fact you are gone and will be quiet.

Whether you believe it or not pets pick up on our anxiety and respond to it.

If outside noises are the trigger for your pet’s barking, try keeping him/her in a room that is not near the street. Play a radio with soft classical music or keep the TV on low while you are gone.

The idea here is to distract the dog with familiar sounds.

Now if you have a dog that for the most part is kept outside and its barking is annoying your neighbors. That is a wee bit more tricky, as you are not home to take control of the situation. .

I am not a firm believer in using things "mechanical" to stop a dog from misbehaving, however I know that sometimes, it is the only way to control an annoying habit, when you are not there to take control.

In researching the Internet I found several interesting items that might help in controlling a barking dog when you are not available. There are "ultrasonic outdoor electronic systems” that operate either with an adapter or batteries, they emit a high pitched sound that can only be heard by the dog and they stop when the dog stops barking. They are available for large yards and small yards. >For inside the house or apartment there is another gadget similar to the yard one, that even allows you to use your voice commands to talk to the dog .

I would advise looking into these items, only if all else fails and you are at your wits end. They can be found at
Smarthome, Inc.




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