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Dog bark control is about respect

A dog has to respect your leadership to be a happy, well-adjusted, and well-behaved pet. If your dog barks to get you to play. She is not inviting you to play. she is harassing her owner to play. In fact, I’d even say bullying. And even worse, the behavior was being reinforced by the owner’s capitulation – effectively, giving in to this behavior taught her that to get what she wants, she has to make a noise – and she has to keep it up until her goal is achieved.

Play-time, rewards and affection are all important parts of a dogs life, but you must be in control of when and where they are given. If your dog learns barking is the way to get the things it wants, you are going to have a very noisy house. Your neighbors may not like it much either.

To prevent this bullying behavior in your dog from assuming a familiar role in her repertoire of communications, you have to prove to her that you’re not the kind of person that can be manipulated so easily. It’s simple to do this: all you have to do is ignore her. I’m not talking about passive ignorance, where you pay her no attention and simply continue with whatever it was you were doing – you need to take more of an active role. This means conveying to her through your body language that she is not worthy of your attention when she acts in such an undesirable manner.

The absolute best and most effective thing for you to do in this case is to give her the cold shoulder. When she starts trying to ‘bark you’ into doing something for her, turn your back on her straight away. Get up, avert your eyes and face, and turn around so your back is towards her. Don’t look at her, and don’t talk to her – not even a “no”. She’ll probably be confused by this, and will likely bark harder. This is particularly true if you’ve given in to her bully-barking in the past – the more times you’ve reinforced the behavior, the more persistent she’s going to be. In fact, the barking will almost certainly get a lot worse before it gets better – after all, it’s worked for her the past, so it’s understandable that she’ll expect it to work again.

Consistency is the key when it comes to all aspects of good dog training. When it comes to teaching your dog that you will not be manipulated by their barking ways, you must not change your mind mid way through the lesson. By doing so, you will be effectively teaching your dog to be more persistent in their barking in order to get what they want. (“It used to take me five barks to get master of the sofa, now it takes me ten barks. Okay, I can do that.”) Situations where your dog is not trying to manipulate you and you just what him/her to be quiet right now, use your hands. I don’t mean hitting or beating your dog into submission! This is a pain free, humane way of getting your point across that barking is not aloud that this time.

Here is what you do:

First, give your dog a chance to say what he/she wants to say(it’s much more effective if you let your dog speak its mind-briefly- before silencing them.) If your dog does not calm down in a reasonable amount of time, by them selves, reach out and clasp their muzzle gently, but firmly, in your hand. He/she may try to shake you off of back away, so it helps to place your other hand on their collar to give you better control. This works for two reasons: First, it stops the barking right away(no dog can bark if they can’t open their mouth.) Second, you reinforce your authority: you are showing your dog through direct contact that you are the leader and will not hesitate to enforce your guidance.

Hold onto your dogs muzzle and collar until they stop trying to break free: only when your dog stops trying to break free does it mean that they have accepted your authority. When your dog has become still, hold for one or two seconds longer then let go and praise them. In addition to this short term method, lets take a look that some things we can do to reduce the amount of barking altogether.

Unwarranted or excessive unwanted barking(repetitive barking directed at nothing) can usually be calmed by more attention and exercise. Most dogs respond best to at lease 90 minutes of exercise a day. This can very depending on the dog, it’s breed, age and health. If you feel you exercise your dog as much as you possibly can, but your dog still barks too much and shows signs of an agitated demeanor(fidgeting, acting more aggressively than you’d like, restless or destructive) chances are your dog needs more exercise to burn up that energy.

Fortunately, the fix for this problem is pretty simple: you’ll just have to exercise her more. Try getting up a half-hour earlier in the morning – it’ll make a big difference. If this is absolutely impossible, consider hiring someone to walk her in the mornings and/or evenings. And if this is impossible too, then you’ll just have to resign yourself to having a loud, frustrated, and agitated dog (although whether you can resign her to this state remains to be seen).

The second leading cause of excessive barking can be traced back to, too much ‘alone time’. Dogs by nature, love to be social: they need a great deal of attention, interaction and communication. A dog that lacks these social activity can become anxious and restless. Just because you are at home does not mean you are giving your dog enough attention. If you find that your dog is spending a lot of time barking at nothing it might be time for some love and attention.


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