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Why Do Dogs Bark?

(December 8, 2010)

When considering dog ownership, it is very important to check on the characteristics of the breed you are considering, as some breeds are natural "barkers." Barking is an example of a natural behavior that is encouraged in terms of guarding behavior, but becomes a problem when the behavior is produced in excess. Remember that barking is a form of communication and each bark means something to the dog.

Exercise and socialization are a very important part of a dog's life. Understanding why a dog barks will take time and effort, along with patience and understanding. It takes weeks of repetition to replace an old habit with a new one. Basic dog obedience training is crucial to keep the animal away from unwanted barking.

Causes of Problem Barking
• Certain breeds belonging to the terrier family are prone to more frequent barking than breeds such as Greyhounds or Basenjis
• Improper confinement; leaving a dog alone in a locked room, or in a dog crate causes frustration in a dog and causes it to bark excessively.
• Environmental sounds like the barking of other dogs, the sound of passing cars, strange voices, and thunder can also trigger barking.
• Other causes of problem barking can include separation anxiety, boredom, apprehension, territorial behavior or the temperament of the dog.
Dogs should be taught from an early age to stop barking on command. Good barking habits are easy to train into your dog. There are many successful ways to train dogs not to bark. Here are few dog barking training tips which might be helpful:
• You need to use the standard commands and tones to praise as well as reprimand your dog.
• If you see your dog barking, you must first go to the dog and check why it is barking rather than reprimanding it. Monitor the barking and only reprimand your dog for those things that do not constitute a good watchdog.
• If your dog barks at everything that moves, discipline it by reprimanding it at the precise moment it starts and you must also praise it by patting or rewarding as soon as it responds.
• While reprimanding you must use the constant commands or words every time your dog does something wrong, it will soon catch on.
• A well-exercised, happy dog is more likely to sleep all day while you are not home. Spend time playing with, training and exercising your dog.
• You must stop dog barking if your dog barks at things that are not a threat to your safety, such as pedestrians and birds.
• You must praise and reward your dog when it barks at the right things, or stops barking on command.
• Check your pet's basic needs: hunger, thirst or comfort. Your pup may be trying to tell you something.
• Mentally stimulate your dog. Spend some time playing obedience games with your dog.
• Avoid leaving a lonely dog alone for long periods of time.

Obedience training for dogs can help prevent a lot of unacceptable behavior. A bark control aid such as electronic bark control collars and spray collars can also be useful to stop chronic barking. Correcting behavior in young puppies is much simpler than in adult dogs, so, dog barking training should start as early as possible. As a dog owner, reinforcing negative behavior is one of the worse mistakes that you can make.  Affection and play-times are necessary, however, they must be given according to your terms.

Submitted by M A on December 8, 2010 at 11:14


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