Barking Mad...

 

It's natural for dogs to bark, just as it is for birds to sing. But if your dog barks all the time it can drive you - and your neighbours – 'barking' mad!

Having a dog is a bonus for home security, but dogs that bark constantly are not effective watchdogs because everyone just ignores them.

Some dogs by nature may bark more than others but as with any canine behaviour, obedience training can make a difference - the earlier the better.

It's important to train puppies that unnecessary barking is not allowed. Do this by saying "Aaaah – quiet." When the puppy quietens it should be praised. The "Aaaah" should be given as a harsh, guttural sound that will distract the puppy from barking and gain its attention. The command "Quiet" should be given in a firm, clear, definite tone. This way the dog will quickly learn to stop barking on the command "Quiet".

It's important to praise dogs when they bark at the right time. When a dog barks at someone at the front door, for example, he or she should be praised for raising the alarm. Then when you go to the door, give the dog the command to stop barking.

Often dogs that are left alone for long periods of time without an outlet for their energy will take up barking as a hobby - and keep barking for the fun of it. Make sure dogs have plenty of exercise - play with them, take them for walks and let them interact with other dogs. A dog that is tired out and satisfied is more likely to rest - rather than bark - when you're not around.

Bored, active dogs are usually the ones that run up and down fences, barking at passers-by. It's a good idea to restrict these dogs' access to the boundary fence or make sure they don't have a view of the street.

If your dog barks in the night, it may be cold or not comfortable. Make sure your dog has somewhere warm and draught-free to sleep. Feed dogs at night so they sleep at the same time as you do. With their keen senses and natural alertness, dogs don't need to be running around the yard all night to be good watchdogs.

Some dogs will bark because they resent being put outside and excluded from the household. Train your dog so it associates being put outside with pleasure. Give the dog a treat it loves when you put it outside and never give the dog this treat at any other time. Your dog will learn that going outside is a good thing - not a punishment.

Some dogs bark up a storm the minute their owners leave the home. These dogs may be suffering from separation anxiety. Make the dog unsure of how long you are going to be away from home by leaving and coming back at intervals - ranging from a few minutes to several hours. Soon the dog will be unable to guess how long you're going to be away. When dogs believe it may only be a few minutes until they're reunited with you, they will be less stressed.

    by Lucy Hine - Article Taken From NineMsn.com.au

 

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