But, since dogs bark for various reasons, the first thing to do is to figure out why your dog barks, at what you might consider to be the most inappropriate times. Once you know the reason behind the uncontrollable barking, you can start to treat the problem.
Pat Miller, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, is Whole Dog Journal’s Training Editor. Miller lives in Hagerstown, Maryland, site of her Peaceable Paws training center. She is also the author of, The Power of Positive Dog Training and Positive Perspectives: Love Your Dog, Train Your Dog.
my tip is to keep him on a leash. I have seen a . Why would any little dog need to be off leash in a field is beyond me. Sorry just sayin’ As for having him behave on the lead, I will have to leave that advise to the experts. I just can’t say enough how important it is to keep your dog on a leash. Even a well trained dog can run off if its prey drive kicks in……like seeing a cat, a bird, or another dog to greet (though this one would not be prey drive) But I think that you understand. I learned this lesson the hard way. I thought that my well behaved highly trained dog would always listen to me off leash (I mean really, he ALWAYS did for years) Then, one day, I decided to let him swim in the dammed up part of the river where the water is calm. He wasn’t wearing a leash or a life vest. A duck flew by low and over the river……….then off went Yogi. He is a Labrador Retriever……..he went for the duck and inevitably got caught in the swift current in the middle of the wide river. He didn’t hear me when I called him to come back because of the river’s loud noise and cars driving over the overpass. He couldn’t see my hand signals either because he was out of view due to the concrete walls holding the overpass up. Plus he was chasing the duck. So, I watched on in agony as he struggled to get out of the current. Then, he went under, he came up, he went under…..I was frantically trying to get him to see me down stream because his only chance of getting out was to see my hand signal and come to me with the current while swimming diagonally. He went under again, and then again. When I had successfully maneuvered into his line of sight; he saw me. I waved the signal that I had for him to come to me. He finally started to ride the current toward me and swam diagonal when he got closer WHEW!!!! he made it out. He was exhausted and scared. shaky. I was relieved and wiser. Now, I NEVER leave him off leash unless he is in a dog park with friendly dogs or in an enclosed space or on my friends 500 acre secluded ranch (which has no river) I hope that these 2 examples help people understand that leashes are important. I also hope that you find some help with your dog issues. There are many utube videos of positive solutions. Seek and ye shall find. Happy trails and tails.
If your dog only barks to let you know he has to go potty, you need to change the behavior. Train him to ring a bell hung on the back door, or install a dog door which allows him to go when he pleases. However you go about it, changing behavior is much tougher than preventing it in the first place. With a puppy, start off on the right foot and don’t encourage or reward barking behaviors.
You’ve probably never had a dog that has a penchant for barking. It is indescribably miserable, and it makes everyone around the dog miserable. We tried everything at first. Our dog is a terrier. He wants to chase and bark at every dog, squirrel, cat, or shadow that walks by our house. He sits in the window. Waits by the glass door. Goes outside and barks and chases. It’s clearly in his DNA. I can’t cover up every window or door in my house. He would be super miserable if we did.
Don’t bark back. Talk to your puppy with your tone of voice and body language — not just the words—to make sure he doesn’t misunderstand. Barking is also a joyful expression. Use a calm voice, or else yelling can make him think you’re joining the chorus, and he barks even louder.
Doglover, totally agree with you and do what you have to. Our quality of life has been ruined for 10 years by our dogs barking. We had one dog and he barked incesently whenever I went out so we got him a companion dog, didn’t work, they both bark! The dogs are walked away from home every day and we have 7 acres of land at home they can go on, I only go out for about 4 hours a day (I have a right to a life!) and when we come home, bark bark bark, and when people visit bark bark bark, and when there is anything outside or a noise. Yep, bark bark bark etc etc etc. I’ve tried professional training – not effective if we’re out obviously, ultra sonic collars. Rubbish, spray collars. Ok but only about 50% and not when we come back home, barks right through the citronella spraying! Bark bark bark and very loud! So now, at my wits end, I’ve just ordered 2 static shock collars. We have lived in this stressful situation for too long so as not to put the dogs under stress! But enough is bloody enough now. Lets hope it works. You must do what is right for you and your situation Doglover and accept that there will always be people expressing opinions about everything, both good and bad, but they are not living your life and dealing with the stuff you are. So find what works for you and your dog, don’t make the mistake of discussing it with other people as that just elicits opinions which may not be nice or productive and good luck.
When your dog automatically turns his attention to you in response to your cue when confronted with major real-life distractions, you have a valuable tool for interrupting his barking. Be sure you practice occasionally with mild distractions to keep the cue “tuned up”, and remember to thank him and tell him what a wonderful dog he is when he stops barking on your request.
A tired dog, is a quiet dog. Nearly every dog can do from a little extra exercise, both mentally and physically. A dog that has had a good workout will be less likely to react to barking triggers. Take the time to exercise your dog daily by going for a run or playing fetch. Mind-teaser games like “find the toy” or hide-and-seek will also tire your dog out.
Please note that there there are instances of excessive barking for which it is a good idea to seek the advice of a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, a Veterinary Behaviorist, or a Certified Professional Dog Trainer first.
Discontinue reinforcement. Also called “attention-seeking barking,” request barking is a common problem for dog owners. The first step to breaking a dog’s request barking is to stop giving your dog what she wants whenever she barks. This will, of course, take some time to train out of your dog, especially if she has been “rewarded” for her barking over many years.
Consider building a fence around your yard to keep your dog safe–or letting your dog out in your backyard instead. You can also approach your neighbor to discuss the two dogs’ behavior and relationship. Your neighbor might be willing to come up with a solution with you, as this also considers his dog’s safety.
Your dog probably has separation anxiety, as you must have noticed by now. When you have time, try training your dog by leaving the house for short periods of time (e.g., 2-4 min) and then gradually increasing the time. Eventually your dog will realize that every time you leave, you will always return.
It may sound nonsensical, but the first step of this technique is to teach your dog to bark on command. Give your dog the command to “speak,” wait for him to bark two or three times, and then stick a tasty treat in front of his nose. When he stops barking to sniff the treat, praise him and give him the treat. Repeat until he starts barking as soon as you say “speak.”
If things like other dogs or people are your pet’s trigger, you need to expose them to these stressors. Again, reward them with treats when they are behaving, and let them know that barking means no attention or tasty food.
Dogs also bark if they are anxious, so medications can be used in the short-term to help your dog learn some coping skills. They need not be permanent. While there are some excellent dog trainers, there is little regulation in the industry, so skills and methods can vary. Ask your veterinarian to recommend someone if they can’t help.
Pay attention to the circumstances. Barking at the mailman teaches pups to repeat the behavior when your two-pound terror thinks, “My ferocious bark chased him away — I’m an awesome guard dog, beware!” You may want to enlist your mail carrier’s help — ask him/her to feed your pup a treat once he quiet and praise him for being silent.
This is the dog who saves his family from a fire, tells us that Timmy’s in the well, scares off the rapist, barks at the dogs on Animal Planet – and goes bonkers every time someone walks past on the sidewalk outside the picture window. Alarm barkers can save lives – but sometimes their judgment about what constitutes an alarm-appropriate situation can be a little faulty.
You want some control over your dog’s voice, but don’t lose sight of the value of his vocal communications; he may be trying to tell you something important. If you ignore him you might find your horses on the highway, the house burned to the ground, or Timmy in the well.
Why am I telling you this? Well, barking has to be the most annoying behaviour problem that is suffered by dog owners and neighbours alike. However, Karina in Copenhagen will be the first to tell you that she is glad that her dogs bark. Of course, it helps that she knows what to do to get them to stop barking so they do not become a neighbourhood nuisance. Here’s what she does… Are you ready?
Many dogs bark when they get excited or when they are frustrated by an inability to get at or do something. For example, the dog who runs through the backyard barking and whining when he hears his buddy out in the yard next door, or the dog who barks at the ball that rolled under the sofa a bit too far for him to get.
Some dogs end up being distracted in just a few seconds. It is so common to see them look outside the window and then stop barking. That is because they saw something that made them enthusiastic. Such a situation is really common with the large or medium sized breeds that have a strong hunting instinct. They will see a sparrow out the window and will want to chase it. Since they cannot do that, they start barking at the sparrow.
Anxiety or Fear: Dogs also bark when they are unsure or scared. They may use barking as they run away the same way a human would scream. They may also use sound as a defense mechanism to keep their attacker at a distance. Dogs learn early that the best defense is often a good offense.