Can I stop My Dog Barking?
Barking is a normal dog behaviour but it can very easily become a nuisance. There can be a variety of reasons why dogs bark excessively and it is important to understand these before trying to resolve the problem. Punishing your dog will make the problem worse.
Barking when greeting you:
You may feel this proves your dog's love for you, unfortunately it actually means that at some stage he was praised for barking - such as fussing him when he is barking and this has given him the wrong message. Until your dog stops barking, he should be ignored and praised as soon as he stops barking.
Barking when visitors come into your home:
Initial barking when there is a knock at the door is quite normal but this should stop as soon as you give the command to stop.To achieve this, you will need some practise with friends to ring your doorbell, and then move your dog away from the front door. Stand between him and the front door and walking towards him until he is giving you enough room to open the door (this exercise should be enough to stop him barking) and then ask him calmly to sit. Open the door and your friends will have to ignore your dog if he starts barking again and only fuss him once he stops - that way your Fab Pooch is getting 2 powerful messages: the first one is that you are the pack leader and secondly that barking is never rewarded.
Barking when getting ready for going for a walk:
Again this will take time. When you start to get ready for the your walk (such as getting the lead out etc.) and your dog starts barking, just go and sit down and ignore him. When he stops, start again and eventually he will get the message that barking slows down the process of going out and when he stops barking long enough, he is rewarded by being taken out!
Barking when left alone:
I have always found it is better to start by leaving the dog in a room and stepping out of the house for maybe just 2 or 3 minutes to check on your dog's behaviour when left alone. . If your dog starts barking, when you return to the room you must ignore him and only fuss him when he is quiet and calm. This should be repeated on a regular basis and gradually he should be left longer. When you leave the house, do not fuss the dog, try and use a word or expression every time you go out that will make him understand you are going out but you will be back! Leaving a radio on, leaving an item of clothing and favourite toys will all help to stop your dog becoming anxious.
Barking due to boredom:
Some dogs have more energy than others or need more stimulation than others. Exercise and interactive play with your pet are the key solutions. Remember it is recommended a dog should be walked for a minimum of 30 minutes twice a day to use up any excess energy.
CONSISTENCY AND PERSEVERANCE are the 2 keywords to your success