What if I told you that you may be causing problem barking in your dog? Many dog owners don’t realize how their actions affect their dogs’ behavior. Find out if you’re inadvertently causing nuisance barking, and if you are, how to stop a barking dog.
Are You Causing Barking Problems Without Realizing It?
Do you give your dog attention every time he barks? When he barks, you let him out. Then he barks at the door, so you let him in. He barks when he wants you to pet him. He barks when he wants you to feed him. This is a very easy trap to fall into.
The problem is that you’ve never trained your dog not to bark. He doesn’t realize there’s a problem, because this is how dogs communicate in the pack. Consistency is the key in companion dog training. If you ignore him sometimes when he barks, and yell at him to stop at other times, he doesn’t understand. It’s up to you to teach him the rules of the house.
You Must Be The Alpha Dog
Many people have the idea that they can treat their dogs as equals. This is a mistaken notion, and only leads to dog behavior problems. Dogs are pack animals, and within the pack, there is a well-established hierarchy. The leader of the pack is known as the alpha dog. Dogs instinctively know not to cross the alpha dog.
In order to have a happy, well-behaved dog, he (and you) must accept that you’re in charge. There’s no getting around this basic rule.
In the pack, dogs bark to let the leader know there’s a problem. It’s the leader’s job to deal with the situation. You need to teach your dog that he barks to let you know there is something you need to check out, and then he should be quiet. It’s your job as the leader to take care of the problem while he sits quietly and defers to your judgment.
Some people have the idea that a dog who barks at everything is a good watchdog. This is not true. Nuisance barking is just that–a nuisance. You don’t know if he’s barking at an intruder or at a tree in the yard, so his value as a watchdog is zero.
End Excessive Barking By Determining Why Your Dog Is Barking
A dog usually barks for two reasons: to get attention, or to protect its territory.
Give your dog plenty of love and attention when he’s not barking. If he does bark to get your attention, make a point of turning away from him and withdrawing it. Take your dog with you on errands. Most dogs love to ride in cars, and they enjoy the change of scenery. Lots of exercise is essential too, to use up energy otherwise expended on loud barking.
If your pet is barking at people passing by the house, try closing the curtains so he can’t see out. Confine him to his crate or to a room in the back of your house when you’re gone. When you’re there, teach your dog that once he’s alerted you to a threat, his job is done, and he’s to be quiet now.