A barking dog can be a real nuisance, especially if you notice barking at night or constantly throughout the day. This can disrupt work, family time, and even sleep. However, it is more than possible to train your dog to stop barking. Whenever you notice that your dog is a more vocal dog, it’s important to first understand why dogs bark.
Dogs bark for many reasons. Since dogs do not have a vocabulary and words like we do as humans, dogs use a mixture of both verbal and non verbal cues to communicate. Whenever a dog barks, it can mean that they are trying to get your attention. It can also mean boredom, aggression, happiness, and excitement. Understanding the root cause of your dog’s barking can help you to get to the bottom of what needs to be done.
If your dog is barking out of boredom, you will most likely see them barking out of a window at passing cars, people, or other animals. You may notice them sitting and barking at nothing. Dogs love to bark, and it is a backbone of their communication. So if your dog is bored, they may just bark to have something to do. If this is the case, avoid negative reinforcement. Stick to positive reinforcement, and also make sure that you’ve got plenty of boredom busters for your dog. Filling a kong toy with things like sweet potato, meat, and dog treats and freezing it in the freezer is a great boredom buster for dogs that will keep them busy for a long time and satisfy them. Having plenty of toys around and making sure that your pup also has plenty of time outdoors going on walks, to the dog park, and doing things they enjoy can also curve this.
If your dog is barking to get your attention, it is most likely necessary to train your dog to stop barking as a method of communication with you. Again, avoiding negative reinforcement and sticking to positive reinforcement is a great method for this. Is the little guy hungry and he is trying to tell you? Maybe his water bowl is empty and you haven’t realized it. Whatever reason that they are trying to get your attention, training to sit and heel instead of bark as a way of communication can be a great alternative. In addition, anti dog bark devices such as Bark Be Gone are great ways to get your dog to use more desirable methods of communication with you.
Whatever the reason is that your dog won’t stop barking, it’s incredibly important to use humane and positive reinforcement and training. Shock collars, spanking, and other inhumane forms of negative reinforcement are going to cause more harm than good. You never want to cause pain or discomfort to your dog, and instead want to figure out the root cause of why your dog is barking and train them accordingly. Your dog will thank you for going about training in a way that is positive and brings you closer together.