How To Teach A Dog To Stop Barking

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Teach A Dog To Stop Barking

It’s the time of the year when barking increases and this can cause headaches for you and your neighbours. There are many reasons dogs bark. Some of the most common reasons are:

  • Attention Seeking
  • Excitement
  • Boredom
  • Territorial or predatory behaviour
  • Fear
  • Separation Related Behaviour
  • The dog has not received enough socialisation
  • The dog has been rewarded for barking in the past

Barking can become an ingrained habit because many dogs enjoy it. For this reason it is important to reduce the opportunities for the dog to bark. Meanwhile you can work on alternative behaviours for your dog.

Like all behaviour problems, treatment will depend on the cause of the barking. Most success will be achieved if the cause is addressed appropriately. This may take some time. Meanwhile, we can aim to treat the symptoms. Treatment options for barking may include but are not limited to:

  • Mask the noise/s that are causing the dog to bark. Leave the radio or TV on.
  • Remove the dog from the environment – keep the dog inside, in the garage at night, or fence off an area
  • Habituation and desensitisation program to get the dog used to whatever is causing it to bark.
  • Put the barking on cue and a quiet command on cue. This way your dog can learn to bark when told and be quiet when told.
  • Suitable punishments depend on the cause of the barking. Remember that to be effective, any punishment or reward must occur immediately after the act.

Other strategies include addressing attention seeking, providing environmental enrichment, and addressing any leadership issues.

 

 

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