Barking is a normal behavior for dogs, and dogs will bark for several reasons. If barking is inappropriate or excessive you must determine why your dog is barking. When does the barking occur? What context or circumstances does the barking occur?
Watch "The Language of Dogs" to understand the differing barks.
Response to noises
Response to loud noises
Response to people
Boredom / Isolation / Frustration
Active dog without outlets for his energy
Response to other dogs barking
To invite play
Is barking worst when owners are home?
Owners will often shape the barking to be more intense and frequent. Dogs often learn that they only get attention or let into the house with frequent and intense barking.
If you have a breed that is genetically predisposed with behavioral characteristics such as excitability or watchdog barking, you will not be completely successful in changing the dog's behavior. If you started with this type of dog at 7-weeks of age you would have influence in the form of control on its behavior as an adult.
If excessive barking is the result of boredom, fear, attention seeking or a learned behavior, you can affect change in the dog's behavior.
We do not recommend any type of bark collars. These collars to not distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate barking, therefore we do not recommend their use. In our view it is never appropriate to punish a dog for appropriate behavior. Dogs have enough challenges learning to live with us without us adding confusion.
De-barking should never be considered.
You may need to:
- Provide your dog with more exercise.
- Give your dog more attention.
- Get out and take more walks together.
- Make your dogs life more interesting and stimulating.
- Keep your dog inside when you are not able to supervise his outdoor time.
- Limit your dogs view of the things that cause him to bark; close curtains/blinds, screen off areas, and limit access to areas.
- Get your dog used to events that trigger the barking. Check with a professional on how to properly desensitize your dog without overwhelming them.
- Mask noises with the use of a radio or television.
- Teach your dog to spend time alone, or away from you.
- Teach your dog a quiet command. Put the barking under your control. "The Dog Vinci Code" (Chapter 25, page 158)