Many dog owners are looking for the perfect solution for excessive barking. Especially true with new pet owners, how to stop a dog from barking is the number one goal to be achieved from obedience training. Unfortunately, it just is not that easy!
Dogs bark for a variety of reasons, ranging from boredom to letting you know is time to go outside for a potty break. Some barking is welcome. If your dog barks to warn you there is an intruder trying to break in to your house you will most certainly be grateful for the warning. That potty break signal is also a nice time for a bark! Some dogs are like that unwelcome relative that seems to talk just to hear themselves talk! Fido barks for the same reason. Barking is a dog's voice, after all, and they do need to express themselves at times. It is the persistent expression we want to stop!
Here is one solution for excessive barking that will require some real patience on your part. Let's say you are stretched out in your favorite recliner reading a great book. Fido is curled up by the fireplace, snoring away. When she wakes up, she decides it is play time. She picks up her favorite ball or toy and drops it in your lap. You want to finish your book, so you ignore her. She nudges your hand, but you continue reading. About to explode with anticipation, Fido now barks a couple of times to get your attention. You look at her and her tail begins to wag rapidly. Thinking she understands every word you utter you say, “Just let me finish this chapter. " Now, as if she knows play time is getting closer, her barking becomes louder and more constant. You finally give in, put down your book and grab the ball. Guess what? You lose! You have just showed your dog that she is in charge and can manipulate you to do anything with her constant barking.
The very best way to end this type of behavior is to ignore your dog when she begins her constant barking. No eye contact, no verbal scolding. . . not even a ‘NO!’. In fact, you should turn your back on her and walk away. This will require some level of patience because it will not make her stop barking immediately. It has to be learned. As with any part of obedience training, your dog has to understand that you are the boss. In the example above the dog became boss because she did not invite her owner to play, she harassed them into it.
A quicker, more hands on method to stop a dog from barking works like this. When your dog begins a barking rampage, simply clasp your hand around her muzzle. No dog can bark with it's mouth shut. You may need to grasp her collar to keep her from wiggling around. Firmly hold her muzzle until she stops her fidgeting, and then praise her with phrases like, “Good girl. . . Quiet". Don't grasp her muzzle in a strong, violent way. You are not punishing her, you are training her.
If your dog continues her excessive barking there may be another cause. Is your dog bored? Dogs need attention from their owners. An extra thirty minutes of exercise together may stop her barking spells. Try to wake up thirty minutes earlier and take your dog for a half hour walk or jog each morning. Not only will she be getting the needed attention, you both will get some much needed exercise!
There is no one surefire solution for excessive barking. Keeping your dog active with regular exercise will go along way towards making sure her barking is not excessive.
For more information on stopping excessive barking as well as many other nuisance habits like chewing, digging, jumping on visitors and that annoying whining visit PawsPawsPaws . It is the perfect website for all pet owners.
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