All dogs bark, some more than others! Contrary to popular belief, dogs that are very vocal tend to be insecure and needy rather than confident.
Here are Dee’s Top 5 tips to help you understand WHY your dog is barking and how to decrease it!
1. Take a close look at your dog’s overall lifestyle and routine. Is he getting enough exercise? Does he have opportunities to sniff and explore safely on walks? Is he receiving enough mental as well as physical exercise? Barking can stem from boredom so its important that all aspects of your dog’s life are assessed.
2. What is the dog getting from the behaviour? For a behaviour like unwanted barking to become a habit, there must be some positive reward for the dog which occurs immediately after or during the barking. For a bored dog, yelling at him to be quiet might be the attention he craves, or he might think you are joining in!
3. Try to find the reason for the barking. Is it being triggered by something in the house, such as movement upstairs, or is there a cat sitting on the fence outside? Limiting access to or blocking windows can decrease barking triggered by outdoor activity.
4. Train your dog to ‘Be Quiet’. It’s an easy command to teach and means you can interrupt the cycle and then be able to reward the quiet, calm behaviour.
5. If your dog insists on continuing to bark in the same room as you, simply remove him. He needs to learn if he wants to hang out with you, there needs to be calm. Only let him back in after he has been quiet for at least 2 minutes. Give him a tasty, long lasting chew to help entertain him and help him to settle.
Lastly, try to avoid using quick fixes like painful collars and try instead to figure out why your barking and then you can fix it!