Are your pet dogs constantly barking? Are your neighbors complaining about the noise they make? If that is the case, you have to do something.
Barking is a completely normal behaviour for dogs and there is no definite solution on how to stop them from barking. They bark whenever an intruder enters the house. They bark when they beg for attention. They bark when they need something. It’s basically their way to communicate.
Although you can’t tell your dog to shut his mouth and don’t bark, you can identify the reasons why he is barking. After that, you can figure out solutions to restore the peace and quiet in your homes.
Vets and experts thought of ways to help dog owners with dog barking problems. Below are a few possible solutions to at least prevent dog barking:
1. Introduce your dog to behaviour therapy.
If your dog is a barker, it is best that you set an appointment with the vet. Most vets already know what to do. Therefore, try to ask him about it.
Though vets usually diagnose dog barkers with problems, such as pain, dementia, or hearing problems, there are instances when they find out that the reason why dogs are barking is anxiety. Depending on the cause of the problem, the solutions vary.
In most cases, vets will recommend working with dog trainers. If you think that is the best option for you, be extra cautious in making a choice. Each dog trainer has his own unique skill sets and techniques. Seek recommendations from the vet for you to have peace of mind.
2. Monitor your dog’s barking.
If you do not have any idea why your pet dog is barking, try to keep a diary. Whenever he barks at something, jot it down in a notebook. Include important details, such as the time, date, and the object he is barking at. If you see a pattern, for instance, he barks every 5PM when kids are scheduled to arrive from school.
It would also be a great idea to get your neighbors involved in this, but only if this is not too much to ask from them. That way, you will also know if he continues barking at things when you are not at home.
If you are not a fan of writing, you can try using voice activated recorders. You may also set up web cams around your house, so you can continue monitoring your pet’s barking.
3. Identify the type of barking.
A dog often barks when he is trying to warn you about something. Though it’s useful, it can become a problem if he does it regularly, such as when he sees people walking by the street or cats passing by the window.
There are instances when he barks when he is stressed or playing. Don’t worry because you can distinguish these barks. A playful bark is often characterized by a loose sound and a relaxed body. A stressful bark, on the other hand, is accompanied with ears at the back and a deep sound.
For stressed dogs, vets usually recommend temporarily housing them in dog cages. That way, they can rest and regain the energy they lost.
4. Ditch the behaviour.
Believe it or not, there are times when you unintentionally teach your dog to bark. For example, your dog is barking while playing in the yard. And then, you get out and shout at him. For your fur buddy, he thinks he has successfully won your attention. Once you shout, he will want to join in with his own cute bark.
To ditch that barking behaviour, just ignore him. When he is barking at you for no reason, ignore him or walk away. Avoid giving eye contact.
5. Encourage him to exercise.
Regardless of the reason why your pet dog is barking, a bit of exercise will keep him occupied and eventually wear him out. Remember that an exhausted dog is a happy dog.
If you are not sure about exercises ideal for your pet dog, you can begin with regular walks in the morning. Even if it’s just a 15-minute walk, it should go a long way.
6. Train your dog to speak.
Of course, you cannot literally teach your dog to speak, but you can train him that whenever you tell him speak, he will bark. Relax. It’s going to be easy as pie.
As you say your command word like ‘speak’ or ‘talk’, ask him to bark. If he constantly barks whenever you say the word, give him a treat. After that, ask him to stay ‘quiet’. If he complies, give him another treat.
Yes, barking can be a completely annoying behaviour, but you can always do something about it. Just make sure you seek help from experts first, especially if you are not sure about what you are doing. Do not punish him or use anti-barking collars. The tips we have above are the most humane way to deal with dog barking problems.