Stop unnecessary barking from your dog

Unnecessary barking is the second most frustrating cause for dog owners, after housebreaking, and this has led to many dogs being sent for obedience training. What most dog owners do not know is that getting the dogs to stop barking is relatively simple and they can do it themselves. The first step is of course to understand a few facts about the barking and the subsequent training is a piece of cake.

Firstly, understand that barking is a normal response of dogs and you cannot expect them to stop barking altogether. Having said that, we can however teach the dog when it is alright to bark and when it is not. Most experienced trainers teach trigger words such as “Rover, speak!” to tell them when they should bark. When successfully done, the dogs resist the urge to randomly bark at every moving thing they see and mostly bark only on command. Of course when they sense danger, barking will resume alerting you of any impending danger.

The next step is to understand that dogs usually bark for a reason, although most of the time it may not be evident to you. Take the time to investigate why your dog is barking and address the underlying problem. Is it hungry? Is it thirsty? Does it want to go for a walk? Is it experiencing the urge to go ‘potty’?

Most times, we find that they are trying to alert you of danger or simply trying to direct your attention to something. What you should do in these circumstances is to acknowledge the cause for the barking and assure your dog that it is alright. You may say something like, “Thank you Rover, I see the squirrel (pointing to it). Now that’s enough barking”. Speak firmly but in a calming and polite manner that your dog is not alarmed. If you begin to shout or scream, your dog may misinterpret this and get more agitated while barking even louder.

Happy training!

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