» Animal HQ » Expert Advice » How to deal with a dog barking problem

How to deal with a dog barking problem

Posted by: Tim Berrisford  Date: 11/11/2014   Category: Expert Advice

Many owners have issues with dog barking but never try to combat the problem, dealing with a nuisance dog bark can be very simple.  Owners must remember that barking is a natural instinct for dogs and that not all barking is nuisance barking. Barking is how dogs communicate and owners must learn to know when barking is acceptable and when it is not and then teach their dogs this. If you think your dog is excessively barking or barking for no reason at all then follow the next few tips to retrain your dog.

Firstly, chose a corrective word, this is the one single word you must use when training your dog to stop barking. This word must also be used by anyone who has contact with your dog as it must be consistent for it to work. Begin training at the start of the day and when your dog first barks for no reason saying your corrective word, such as ‘no’ or ‘hush’ Look at your dog when you say this word. What this does is interrupt his trail of thought, the barking has stopped and you have his full attention. Continue to look at your dog until he begins to walk away, play or do anything else. You gave successfully interrupted his thought process and prevented any further barks.

Secondly, stay calm and relaxed at all times. Whilst contact barking is doing to be annoying, try not to get frustrated in the process of training your dog. Dogs pick up on this and will often copy how you are feeling. If you make your dog feel unsettled, or frustrated they are most likely to bark.

Excessive barking could be a sign of built of energy and this is very simply to rectify. Make sure you dog is being walked and exercised enough each day, for some breeds they may need smaller walks but more often. Make your dog stimulated by including some running, cycling or agility training. Smaller dogs or less active dogs might enjoy some obedience games. Whilst these games are great for using up their energy, they are also a great way for you and your dog to bond too.

If you have tried all of the above consistently for a couple of weeks with no change then look to seek professional advice. You may want your dog to be trained by a professional, or look to purchase an antibark collar such as a spray collar. Your dog will want you to help solve this as there is often a cause behind the problem and as the owner you need to find the right solution.