You love your dog, but he barks! It can be really annoying for you and your neighbors if it turns into incessant barking. You need to understand why your pet is barking if you hope to be able to control it.
Understand why your dog barks
Dogs bark for many reasons, even if they seem to bark for no reason. They are trying to communicate something to you or anyone else who is willing to pay attention. Your pet has sensitive hearing, the volume or tone of a siren / alarm can aggravate your dog and cause him to bark. Your dog will routinely bark if he is bored, uncomfortable, out of training, or anxious for any reason. You will find that if your dog gets cold during the night, he will often bark in protest. Dogs should have a warm, drought-free doghouse and should be fed at night to ensure they sleep while we sleep. Barking at normal movements or the usual noise of your neighbors should be considered unacceptable behavior. So how do you train your dog to minimize his barking?
Training your dog to bark less often
First, there are the traditional methods. Canine obedience and training schools help train you and also teach you how to handle your pet, so you can develop a lasting bond with your dog. Of course, if you take your dog out and give him plenty of exercise, he will be much less prone to barking. A tired dog has less energy to bark and a tired sleeping dog cannot bark at all! Barking problems are unique among dog behavior problems. You don’t want to eliminate your dogs barking, just control it so your dog lets out a bark to warn you and then stops barking.
Sometimes barking is good, it’s the main way your dog communicates with you. You may have heard or smelled something and want to let you know. Simply acknowledging it may well stop the barking, if you don’t try a NO, or a Silence command. If he stops barking, reward him to make following your orders enjoyable for him. One of the lesser known ways to stop a dog from barking is to counteract his noise with another noise. The noise you make will startle your dog and stop him from barking. Giving your dog something to chew on is also a good deterrent to barking. How many dogs have you heard barking with their mouths full?
Bark Control Collars
If traditional methods don’t seem to work, it may be time to try a bark control collar. Many of these work by using sound so that the desired behavior can be associated with sound. Some of the more sophisticated (and of course expensive) models also use electric shocks to deter the dog from barking. In a survey of British dog owners, it was found that they are overwhelmingly against the use of no-bark electric shock collars. The most humane anti-bark collar available today is the citronella collar. These anti-bark collars work by spraying harmless citronella on your dog’s face every time he barks.
Bark control collars use two types of bark detection, either sound or vibrations from the dog’s throat. Neither is totally infallible; the vibration type can be activated by movement and the sound type by external sounds. However, both have been shown to be effective in helping to control your dog’s barking in a humane way. The best collars use both methods at the same time to reduce “false” readings and help control barking.
Regardless of which method you use, the barking can be controlled in a reasonably short period of time, so persevere and enjoy your dog for years to come.