Because it is in their dogs’ natures, pet owners may find it unnecessary to have their pets undergo dog barking control. Dogs bark to alert or warn their owners, especially when they sense the presence of suspicious strangers. The problem arises when they bark even when unnecessary. In order for one to learn to control their dog’s barking habits, one must first know exactly why dogs bark.
Reasons for barking
The most common reason why dogs bark is for the purpose of alerting or warning about perceived threats. When these canines sense danger or hear someone at the door, barking is a way for them to warn off potential intruders.
Some dogs use barking to gain the attention of their owner, especially when they want to play around. It will be easy to distinguish the type of barking when they get excited, which are often sharp and short, when compared to the barks they make when sending a warning, which are low-pitched and often come with a growl.
Dogs also start barking nonstop when they feel lonely and anxious. This type of barking often comes in a high pitch, often accompanied by whining. It appears to be an act of self-soothing in dogs, most often because of separation anxiety.
Young dogs and puppies often bark because they are happy and excited, playing or looking forward to a walk or a treat. This type of barking is exuberant and upbeat.
Sometimes dogs will bark because they are bored or sad. Dogs usually need to release excess energy, and they do this by barking. Such a dog needs something to do or somebody to play or sit with.
Dogs will also often bark as a response to other dogs’ barking.
Dog barking control
The first step is to determine the underlying cause of your dog’s barking, so you can address it. Give your dog something else to focus on, other than barking. Also, make sure you avoid encouraging the behavior. It is best to avoid hugging or talking to the dog in a soothing manner when they start barking nonstop as this reinforces the belief that you approve of it.
Make sure your dog gets enough exercise so as to release pent-up energy. Do not shout at the dog when he is barking, as this may make it even worse. Avoid leaving your dog alone for long periods of time. If your dog is barking, try to get his attention by clapping or whistling, and then redirect his attention to something more productive, like a walk, toy or treat.
Training your dog to control their barking can be a very tough undertaking and needs constant and consistent practice. Enormous patience is needed. Rewarding the dog with food treats when the command to be quiet is being responded to correctly is also recommended. Eventually, you can do away with that and a simple pat or a “Good dog!” will be enough reward.
If dog barking control is still an issue despite all the efforts you have made to train your dog, then it may be best to turn to an expert for help. You might consider calling an animal trainer or a dog behavior specialist – they will know the best approach to take in this situation and could help solve the dog barking control problems eventually.