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Managing barking that is excessive

Managing barking that is excessive

Some dog breeds have the tendency to bark more than some other breeds, actually that’s because they were bred pacifically to be barkers. And believe it or not some dogs were bred not to bark full stop. One breed that finds it hard to bark is the Basenji, however they do love to make sounds in various different ways. Now there are lots of different reasons that a dog might bark, they don’t however bark out of malice or for any sort of pay back, and they don’t just bark to annoy you and your neighbours. That is just your notion.

You can even learn a dog's different types of barks if you listen closely. Understanding why a dog barks and their reason for it, is a step in the right direction towards managing the behaviour. What is your dog actually trying to say?

It is natural for a dog to bark when someone is at a door or is arriving at the shelter. This is a warning or signal bark letting you know somebody or something is there. Dogs also bark if they sense some type of threat. This lets the threat know the dog is there and he's aware of the threat's presence.

Dogs who are feeling anxious will also bark. Barking of this type can occasionally become an act of self-soothing to help reduce their anxiety and it can become quite persistent for some dogs. The barking is often high pitched and on some occasions its followed by whining. This type of barking is typical for dogs who have separation anxiety.

Both young dogs and puppies repeatedly bark from excitement and with playfulness. Puppies and adult dogs will bark when playing with both people and other dogs. This bark tends to be cheerful sounding. In contrast, some dogs will bark and/or whine when they are asking for attention. This, at times, can almost be like the tone of a whining child.

Dogs who are feeling bored will also bark. They tend to do this to release energy that’s been suppressed, and they will sometimes bark when feeling lonely. Dogs like this usually need a job and in some cases even a friend. Dogs will also bark to one another in acknowledgement. A dog might bark if the neighbours dog or the dog across the road starts to bark. with this specific case, you can always try playing some calming background music to drown out the noise of dogs barking.

It becomes an issue when a dog won’t stop barking or is barking uncontrollably. This can soon become a really bad habit and can lead to a dog behaving in an a way that is undesirable. The barking generates extreme amounts of energy which keeps it going. This is why it can be very important to control this behaviour as soon as it becomes an issue.

The questions below will help you to decide accurately which type of barking your dog is doing. So you can deal with your dog’s barking correctly, read through the information written below, and think about the answers to these below questions, on the different types of barking and their treatments.

1) When does and where does the barking happen?

2) Who is or what is the target of the barking?

3) What are the things causing the barking? (objects, sounds, animals or people)

Solutions for Barking

A common cause for barking can be territorial behaviour which can be and is often encouraged by both anticipation and fear of a perceived threat. Defending territory is a really high priority for dogs, they are extremely motivated to bark when they detect someone or something approaching.

To deal with territorial barking, you will need to decrease your dog’s motivation and their opportunities to protect their territory. To deal with the dog’s territorial behaviour, it can help to block your dog from being able to see people, animals, or any other objects when you can’t be there to keep an eye in them. This can help to reduce the amount of barking at anything they see when outside in the garden or when looking through any windows therefore making the habit a lot less.

Do not allow these dogs to meet people at the front door or at your front garden gate. Alternatively, train your dog that if somebody arrives at your home, will mean a reward, like going for a walk. When somebody comes to your door, have a lead ready. Before you open the front door to greet them, put the lead on your dog. When you open your front door, briefly tell to your guest that your going out for a quick lead walk with your dog.

With this scenario, if you practice often enough, your dog will gradually start to link somebody at the door with the lead and a walk. This is a team building exercise that involves your guest rather than the start of any territorial behaviour at the front door.

This exercise can also include a way to change the greeting behaviour. Have your guest offer some treats to your dog whilst out on the walk, The experience at the door is made as positive as its possibly can be. At other times, ask your guest to come in, and ask them to totally ignore your dog. Ask your visitor to come in and sit down.

Have a friend come over and help you with a pretend visit, repeat the scenario over and over again, at least 10 to 20 times. Practice will make perfect! Have your friend come in for 5 to 10 minutes or even have them pretend to deliver you something, then leave for 5 to 10 minutes, then have them come back for a second visit, then a third and so on. Your dog should encounter at least 20 visits in a row with the same person. Each repetition, will become easier for your dog to do what you want because they will become less excited by the whole routine, particularly when it’s the same person stood at the door, over and over again. Continue to get different people to help you with this situation.

Barking that is down to attention seeking, the best technique is to just ignore your dog. You want to be sure not to accidentally reward the behaviour by giving attention to it. This also means disagreeing verbally with the behaviour. On some occasions, even attention that is negative is enough to encourage this barking behaviour.

Dogs who are bored that bark are usually lacking some form of structure and exercise during their day. These dogs need at least the minimum of two 45 minute walks each day along with some sort of mental stimulation. This will help to drain the dog’s energy and stimulates their minds, making the dog more relaxed.

Anxious barking is commonly related to separation anxiety. For dogs who have this type of behaviour, it is recommend you seek help from a qualified behaviourist who can help with separation anxiety.

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