Barking : Have a Happy Dog, Not a Yappy Dog
as birds will sing, and cats meow, barking comes perfectly naturally
to dogs. If you have a dog, it’s normal that you should expect some
barking, whining, or even howling. This being said, there is such
thing as excessive barking. Though it is unrealistic to believe
that you can train your dog to stop barking, it is possible to control
the barking to give yourself – and your neighbors – some peace and
first step to turning down the volume on your dog is to understand
what is causing the barking in the first place.
who are socially isolated or left in a confined space for long periods
of time will often use barking to release some of their pent-up
energy. In fact, barking will actually become an enjoyable habit
for your dog when s/he discovers it as an effective outlet. Once
s/he starts barking, s/he will usually continue doing so just for
the simple fun of it.
you may not have realized it, you may also have played a role in
encouraging your dog to bark. Whenever your dog gives a “woof” and
you obey, you’re unintentionally training him or her to bark. This
can include seemingly harmless actions such as barking to be let
in or out of the house, or giving a little yip for a tummy rub.
As long as you are complying, you’re reinforcing the barking behavior.
In essence, your dog has learned that barking will get your attention;
and since the very nature of barking will get your attention, this
habit is extremely easy to develop.
being said, with patience and effort it’s not impossible to break
your pooch of his or her excessive barking habit.
your dog has been barking because s/he is bored, lonely, frustrated,
or even frightened, you can ease the barking by alleviating your
dog’s woes. If you give your dog lots of exercise and attention
while you’re home, s/he will be more likely to sleep all day while
you’re away. Spend lots of time with your dog for training, playing,
and exercising. Make sure that this includes walks around the neighborhood.
This is not only physical, but social exercise for your doggy, since
s/he will be able to spend time with you, see other people, dogs,
and animals, and investigate all of those sounds and smells that
are so tantalizing to our canine friends. You should also make certain
that your dog has lots of fun things to play with while you’re gone,
so s/he can occupy him or herself. These can include chew toys,
squeaky toys, balls, or even a digging pit (if your dog spends his
or her days in the yard).
for actual anti-barking training, there are certain things that
can help. For one thing, you should begin to think of “stop barking”
as a command that you use consistently every time your dog barks.
time your dog barks, let him or her get two or three woofs out,
and praise him or her for sounding the alarm. Now you need to tell
him or her to “stop barking.” At the same time, wave a special food
treat in front of his or her nose; s/he will stop barking to sniff
or lick the treat. Use this time to praise your dog continuously,
saying “good dog, stop barking, what a good quiet dog, good dog”,
and after your dog has stopped barking for 3 seconds, give him or
her the treat. Next time, increase the “stop barking” to 5 seconds.
Each time your dog stops barking successfully, s/he must be rewarded.
s/he lets out even the teeniest yip after you’ve given the command,
scold him or her immediately. Make it memorable; don’t just say
“no” in a soft voice. If s/he makes a mistake, the first “stop barking”
should be serious, and for every subsequent bark should lead to
an earth shattering, booming “STOP BARKING.” Gradually increase
the timed silence with each new effort. In one training session,
you may be able to teach your dog to stop barking for up to 1 or
2 minutes. Many repetitions will allow your dog to learn exactly
what you mean when you say “stop barking.”
should be considered great progress, because now whatever has been
setting off the barking is becoming a thing of the past, and your
pooch is more likely to remain quiet until the next disturbance.
Don’t expect the entire problem to go away overnight. It will take
weeks of repetition to replace the old barking habit, with a new
quieter lifestyle. Don’t give up – You can do it!