How to stop your dog from barking

If you own a dog then you know that Dogs will be Dogs and they Bark!! This is the natural instant of dogs. This is how they vocalise to communicate with humans and other dogs. Most of us would agree that we want our dogs to bark when they need help, when we are in danger and to protect us or themselves from harm. However excess barking can be considered a nuisance and a behavioural problem.

How do we fix this problem? First we need to work out why dogs bark?
There are various reasons why dogs bark and no they don’t just do it to annoy you or the neighbours, understanding why your dog is barking is the first step to getting a solution to your problem.
Genetics: Some breeds are more prone to barking. eg terriers.
Attention: This come down to three layers

  •  Boredom: Bored dogs like to hear the sound of their own voice, they may need mental stimulation and this gives it to them.
  •  Anxiety : Dogs love company and some dogs use barking to self sooth. This type of barking is typical for dogs with separation anxiety.
  •  Attention seeking : You will get this sort of barking when your dog want your attention. Hey you have left me outside, come and play with me. I need you!

Playfulness /Physical need : This is more common in puppies and young dogs and usually only happens while in play.
Responding to dogs/or noise : This is a natural behaviour and not one that you are going to be able stop. (They are dogs of course)

Solutions:

  • They best way to prevent excessive barking is to determine why your dog is barking once you do this you can get down to controlling the behaviour.
  • Exercise, exercise, exercise… this is the most important job that we have when we own a dog, making sure that their physical needs are met.
  • Avoid leaving a dog alone for long periods of time, dogs love company!
  • Ensure your dog has toys to play with.
  • Consider getting a companion.
  • Do not shout at your dog it can stimulate the barking
  • Turn on a radio, music can help with the boredom
  • Avoid punishments they can only hurt your dog
  • Get your dogs attention make a loud noise to scare them. Practice basic commands to shift the attention. Reward with a treat.
  • Consider a training course or a visit to the Vet if the excessive barking continues.