Is your dog constantly barking? Your neighbors may proceed a legal complaint …..
Barking is very common behavior for a dog, and every dog owner has had to deal with this at some stage. Though some dogs will bark more than others and their is the belief that smaller breeds have a tendency to bark more. It is important that you do not expect a dog to stop barking altogether or believe that you can train him or her out of this permanently as this is normal behavior for a dog. However, if your dog is excessively barking that is a problem, and you can take certain steps to prevent this.
Firstly, I have been a dog owner for many years and have encountered this issue with numerous dogs I have owned. To put an end to this behavior, I initially had to determine why my dog was constantly barking. From extensive online research, I discovered that barking is a dog’s way to communicate and like us they may be angry, sad or happy when they are barking. In my case, I realized that my dog was barking out of protectiveness. I first noticed that she would bark whenever a car she did not recognize would pull up or if she encountered strangers near the house, she would howl and bark.
However, this is not the only instance I have found where she excessively barks. I am also informed regularly by my neighbors that she will consistently bark when I leave her on her own. Though this is unavoidable with work and she is surrounded by her toys and chews to keep her interested, she is still bored when she has no other pet or person to keep her company. She barks because she has nothing else to do and she is unhappy.
To train her out of this I also had to research and learn how to react to the situation correctly. Shouting at a dog that is barking excessively will only exacerbate the situation and rile them even more as your dog believes that you are joining in with them, resulting in even more barking. You should speak calmly but firmly to them. Shouting is never an option.
To train her out of this behavior I first had to teach her to recognize the word ‘quiet’. To do this, I would say ‘quiet’ whenever she started to bark. When she would stop barking even for a few seconds, I would praise her and give her a treat. Eventually, she began to understand that if she stopped barking when I said the word she would be rewarded. This process did take time and patience on my end, but it was well worth the effort.
I also found that If I brought her for a walk before I had to leave her alone that she would be too tired to bark and would sleep instead. This combined with teaching her to understand the word “quiet” drastically helped with her excessive barking. If these steps do not help with your dogs barking it is wise to take them to a vets for a checkup as the barking may be their way of communicating that they are in pain and a regular vets checkup is always a good idea anyway.