How to Control Dog Barking Quickly and Easily
Dogs Don’t Bark Just for Fun: How to Control Dog Barking
Most dogs whine, howl, and bark at times, but some dogs take it too far and become extreme barkers. It’s important to learn how to control dog barking because dogs that bark excessively for no apparent reason can become a huge annoyance to their owners and neighbors. In order to learn how to control dog barking, it’s important to understand why dogs bark and how to address those issues.
Why Dogs Bark
Dogs bark for a variety of reasons, and not just because they can or because they think it’s fun. To understand how to control dog barking, it’s extremely important to understand why the dog is barking in the first place.
Dogs can bark as a warning or alert to their owners, when they’re anxious, when they’re feeling playful or excited, when they’re bored, when they’re seeking attention, and in response to other dogs.
However, if a dog barks inappropriately, the ultimate explanation is that its owner has placed it in a situation or environment where it’s more rewarding for the dog to bark than to be quiet. In order for dog owners to change the situation and attitudes of their dogs, they must make it more rewarding for the dog to be quiet than to bark.
How to Control Dog Barking
Learning how to control dog barking is easiest once the owner learns the source of the problem. Dogs who don’t get enough exercise experience a lot of pent-up energy that they try to diminish by barking. Therefore, the first thing to try is to increase the dog’s physical activity.
If this does not solve the problem, more investigation is needed to control the barking. Most importantly, owners should make it a priority to not reward the dog in any way when it’s barking. Because some dogs bark for attention, one should never pet, hug, comfort, or feed an incessantly barking dog.
Attention reinforces the dog’s behavior, which only encourages it to keep barking. The owner should try to get its attention by clapping or whistling. Once the owner has the dog’s attention, try to shift the dog’s focus by practicing basic commands.
Once the dog is completely quiet, the owner should redirect the dog’s attention towards something pleasing, like a treat or toy. The practice of redirecting the dogs attention, quieting it, and then rewarding it is something that owners may have to perform many times before the dog fully understands that it is being rewarded for being quiet.
Most dogs can learn to control their barking with some basic training from their owners. However, certain uncontrollable dogs may need formal training . The concerned dog owner should consult a veterinarian to find an appropriate dog obedience training program that can teach the owner how to control dog barking.