Dogs bark by nature, but incessant barking can be a nuisance to pet owners and irritate the neighbors. The key to curbing excessive barking is to understand why your dog is barking. Is your dog barking for attention? Does your dog have separation anxiety? Is your dog protecting his territory? Here are reasons why dogs barks and how to remedy the situation.
1. Attention bark. You must show your dog that barking for attention doesn’t work. If your dog whines or barks for attention, completely ignore him. Don’t acknowledge him, make eye contact, or speak to him until he calms down. Once he calms down, you can tell him he is a good dog.
2. Territorial bark. The key to this type of bark is to acknowledge it. Your dog is trying to tell you that someone is close to your property. On the first bark, tell your dog “good job.” On the second bark tell your dog “that’s enough.” If your dog continues to bark, send him to a designated place, “that’s enough Rover, get in your bed.”
3. Separation anxiety bark. With this type of bark, you have to teach your dog it’s not a big deal to be alone. When you leave the house, don’t make a big production. Don’t say good-bye, give him treats or anything that signals that you leaving an “event.” When you come home, don’t make a big deal. When you dog gets excited, don’t look at him or acknowledge him until he calms down. When he does this, you can tell him “good dog.”
Tip. Teach your dog a no bark command. Train your dog to go to a place upon command. For example, “go to your bed.” So when your dog barks, you can send him to the designated place to distract him from barking.
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