Don't Let Your Dog Drive You Barking Mad!
You love your dog, but he barks! It can be really annoying to you and your neighbors if it becomes incessant barking. You need to understand why your dog barks if you hope to be able to control it.So what can you do to control or reduce your dog's barking and make him the most loved dog on the block?
Understanding Why Your Dog Barks
Dogs bark for many reasons, even though they appear to be barking for no reason. They are trying to communicate something to you or anyone else who is willing to pay attention. Dogs have sensitive hearing the volume or pitch of a siren/alarm may aggravate your dog and start him barking. Your dog will bark habitually if he is bored, uncomfortable, untrained or anxious for any reason. You'll find that if your dog gets cold during the night, he will often bark in protest. Dogs must have a warm, draught free dog house and should be fed in the evening to ensure that they sleep while we sleep. Barking at the normal movements or usual noise from your neighbors should be considered unacceptable behaviour. So how do you train your dog to minimize his barking?
Training Your Dog to Bark Less Often
First off, there are the traditional methods. Dog training and dog obedience schools help train the dog and also teach you how to handle your pet too, so that you can grow a lasting bond with your dog. Of course if you take your dog out and give him lots of exercise, he'll be a lot less inclined to bark. A tired dog has less energy to bark and a tired sleeping dog can't bark at all! Barking problems are unique among dog behavior problems. You don't want to eliminate your dogs barking, just control it so that your dog lets out one bark to warn you and then he stops barking.
Sometimes barking is good, it's your dogs main way of communicating with you. He may have heard or smelled something and wants to let you know. Just acknowledging him may well stop the barking, if not try a NO, or Quiet command. If he stops barking reward him so that following your commands becomes pleasurable to him. One of the lesser known ways of stopping a dog from barking is by countering his noise with another noise. The noise you make will startle your dog and make him stop barking. Giving your dog something to chew on is also a good deterrent to barking. How many dogs have you heard barking with their mouths full?
Barking Control Collars
If the traditional methods don't seem to be working it may be time to try a barking control collar. Many of these work by using sound so that the desired behavior can be associated with the sound. Some of the more sophisticated, (and of course expensive), models also use electric shocks to deter the dog from barking. In a survey of British dog owners it was found that they are overwhelmingly against using the electric shock no bark collars. The most humane bark collar available today is the citronella collar. These bark collars work by spraying harmless citronella in your dog's face whenever he barks.
Bark control collars use two types of bark detection, either sound or vibrations from the dogs throat. Neither type is totally infallible; the vibration type can be set off by motion, and the sound type by external sounds. However both have proved to be effective in helping control your dog's barking humanely. The best collars employ both methods at the same time to reduce the false readings and help bring barking under control.
Whichever method you use, barking can be brought under control in a reasonably short space of time, so persevere and enjoy your dog for years to come.