Identifying the reason your dog is barking is the first step to eliminating the problem of excessive barking. Ami Moore, a Chicago Dog Trainer, helps us to identify the reason your dog is barking, and how to control it in a safe manner.
Humans have a variety of words available to express a thought. Dogs have only a bark. Sure, that is part of their charm, but what happens when your dog is a real talker and all that barking is disrupting your household or (gulp!) the neighborhood? Ami Moore, a Chicago Dog Trainer, answers the question.
Identify the Cause
There are a few primary reasons dogs bark. The first is to alert you that something is amiss. We will call that the Lassie Bark (“What was that, girl? Timmy’s in the well? Let’s go!). Sometimes it is as simple as boredom or loneliness. At least barking is giving your dog something to do. The third predominant type of bark is “joining the pack” when another dog pipes up, your dog immediately feels the need to chime in.
Identifying if your dog is responding to a threat, is bored, or is responding to another dog’s bark is important to correct the behavior you don’t want.
The Lassie Bark
When your dog springs into action, often with ears cocked and a very intent expression when barking, it is likely he is guarding his territory. Some breeds are more diligent than others about keeping their perimeter secured and their people safe. You might appreciate this feature, but your neighbor and the mailman most likely do not. This bark needs to be addressed a little differently from the random and “joining in” bark. Instead of a firm “NO BARK!” command, engage your dog in a game. “Who’s there?” you may say as you head for the door. Once you’ve acknowledged the dog’s concern and cleared the perimeter, you can tell him he’s a good dog and tell him you are ready for quiet. Consistency will help him to stand down faster upon receiving the “quiet” command from you.
The Boredom Bark
If your neighbors are upset with you because the dog is barking all day, your dog may be lonely or bored. A boredom bark often is a little less clipped than the Lassie Bark, and may even have a touch of mournfulness. The key is to give yourself something to do while you are away. A favorite treat in one of those kong toys that will take him hours to finish is a great start. Giving him a ball loaded with dry food that he has to turn over to get the food out is a great way to distract him, too. Leave the radio on, too, for some variety and background noise. If your dog is crate trained, a blanket over it may soothe him, too. Also, tucker your dog out. A sleeping dog is one not too prone to barking. A lengthy morning walk or vigorous fetch session before work may do the trick.
Published in: Pets