Is your dog’s incessant barking and howling driving you crazy? Actually, it may not be something that is wrong with your pet – the reason they bark could have more to do with you. Take some tips from the experts and quiet down your dog with ease.
Three ways to stop dog barking – and regain your sanity- are:
Become the Leader of Your Pack
Are you the leader of your pack? This boils-down to your mentality and the fact that you exhibit a calm, confident energy around your pet. Generally speaking, incessant barking is nuisance barking and has more to do with the humans in the home than the dog. Your dog could be barking to let you know that something is wrong and that their needs are not being met- and this includes when they are looking for their pack-leader. Barking is the only way that your four-legged friend can let you in on the fact that something is simply not right. Be the calm, reassuring, and assertive leader that they are looking for.
Another reason your dog may be barking and howling incessantly is sheer excitement; do you exhibit a nervous or anxious demeanor? Your dog could be picking-up on this. Always try to be calm, yet in control, when around your dog- especially when coming and going from the home. When you act overly-excited, sad, or emotional to leave or return to your pet, you could be unwittingly reinforcing nuisance barking and poor behavior. Be relaxed and don’t make eye contact when you leave or return home; this will convey to your dog that your exit and entrance does not warrant excited barking or howling. It will take consistency, but it works! Control your excitement and so will your dog.
Don’t Forget to Exercise
A tired and well-exercised dog will likely bark less for the sake of barking. Bored dogs can often resemble those that need training and discipline; they are simply letting out some of their pent up energy. Make sure that your dog, regardless of size, is getting a daily walk at the very-least, and 30-60 minutes of brisk exercise each day. Use a non-retractable leash anytime you take your dog outside the confines of the home. Furthermore, begin to teach your dog various commands and teach them tricks to end boredom. Reward them when they try with treats, affection, and positive reinforcement, but never reward or reinforce unwanted or unruly behavior, like barking. Do not give treats to get them to leave you alone; it will never end.
Remember that the barking may be to tell you something, from a stranger in the yard to hunger pangs. Learn to identify the type of bark or howl to ascertain when it is nuisance barking and when something could be awry or need your attention.
If your dog’s barking is worrying you and keeping you up, bring your pet to CVETS to see our veterinarian and rule out any underlying medical condition. Call today to learn more. For nuisance barking and howling, use these three training tips to prevent this problematic behavior in the first place.