Barking is one of the most common problems owners have with their dogs. But is it really your dog’s fault?
We are quickly annoyed if our dogs bark constantly or at everything in sight. We get angry at them, we yell at them but what we don’t do is try to find out why they are barking.
Dogs bark for many reasons and it’s natural to a certain degree but if your dog is barking continually it needs to be addressed properly. There are many quick fix solutions to barking such as barking collars but these collars are a lazy way of correcting the problem.
In most problem barking cases I’ve worked with, the dogs that had barking collars on started displaying other stressed based behavioural problems. You see, the cause of the barking is still there but your dog knows that if it does bark it receives a shock or spray in the face.
If your dog is barking all day when you leave the house then quite possibly he is suffering with separation anxiety. So if your dog is suffering with separation anxiety and you use a barking collar, your dog’s anxiety will get worse.
Another thing I see a lot of is we yell at our dogs for barking. The problem with that is that your dog actually believes you’re joining in and you are in fact rewarding that behaviour. You may be told to use a spray bottle to stop your dog barking, this is a crazy and confusing way to try stopping barking or bad behaviour. Using a spray bottle filled with water and/or vinegar is no way to correct bad behaviour. What you will do it create possible fear and certainly disrespect.
So how do we fix barking problems?
We firstly ensure that your dog has good quality leadership in place at home, there are rules and boundaries in place and your dog is exercised on a daily basis.
Lack of leadership and guidance will create all sorts of behavioural problems, so even if you don’t have a barking problem but your dog is displaying other behavioural problems it’s important to create a good stable environment for your dog.
Remember, leadership is not about dominating your dog. The last thing you want to do is intimidate or scare your dog. You need to build a trusting and respectful relationship. If your dog doesn’t trust you it cannot respect you.
Once your dog understands what you want you can then teach your dog limitations to its barking. You may allow your dog to bark a few times before you let her know that’s enough. It’s natural for dogs to alert you that someone is on or around your territory but it’s important that they understand to stop once done.
Bark’n Mad app
If you are unsure if your dog is barking or if you just want to know for how long, there is an App you can download call “Bark’n Mad”.
Call Kartina Boyd at Kat’s 4 Dogs on 0488 908 048 for help with your barking dog.