Dogs are our most favorite companions. Their unconditional love and everlasting excitement at our smallest gestures give us tremendous joy. However, we may never get used to their barking. Dogs who bark excessively may appear to pose a threat to your guests and neighbors since they seem distressed.
Reasons Behind Barking
Barking is the primary form of vocal communication for dogs and there are many reasons why dogs bark. Believe it or not, dogs often simply bark to greet you and your guests.
Excessive barking can also be territorial in nature and may occur in response to other animals and people invading their space. Dogs may also bark when they hear other dogs barking or when they are frustrated. Barking is sometimes used as an attempt to seek attention for playtime or food.
Barking is often accompanied by certain body language cues that can reveal the physiological state of your dog. If your dog barks as it paces back and forth, it means that the barking is compulsive in nature. While barking with the sole purpose of greeting accompanies a wagging tail and relaxed body. In order to recognize the cause of your dogs barking, it is crucial to pick up on their body language and respective circumstances.
Ways to Discourage Barking
Effectively training your dog is important to reduce their barking episodes. Keep in mind to never yell while correcting your dog. They do not understand our language and yelling enforces barking since it sounds similar. Training methods must be consistently applied by all residents of the house to avoid confusing your pet and special training sessions must be kept positive and upbeat.
Eliminate Positive Outcomes
Chances are, your dog has paired barking with a favorable outcome. When training your dog, eliminate all types of positive results your dog may have attained in the past as a result of barking. This may include food, treats or attention.
Ignore the Barking
Ignorance is truly bliss in this case. You must completely avoid your dog throughout his barking fit and refrain from giving him any type of attention since it will only encourage him to bark more and for longer periods of time. Once your dog quiets down, give him a treat.
If your dog barks in response to a particular sight or noise, getting them used to the stimulus is the only solution. Begin with introducing the visual or sound from a distance and feed him treats, eventually moving the stimulus closer and continuing the delivery of treats. Once the stimulus is removed, hold off on the treats. This pattern will result in your dog pairing the stimulus with positive outcomes.
Quite on Command
If trained efficiently, dogs are excellent at learning and following special commands. In order to train your dog to pick up on a cue to be silent, you will first have to teach them to bark on command. Command your dog to bark by asking them to “speak.” Once they bark, take out a treat and give it to them once they quite down to smell the treat. Once your dog has gotten accustomed to the “speak” command, teach them “quite” command. Ask them to “speak” and when they begin to bark, say “quite” if they quite down give them a treat.
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