Control your dog's barking
Even if barking shouldn't be stopped-after all, it's handy when your dog uses it for proper reasons like warning you, warding off trespassers, or telling you something of importance-it must be controlled. If you want to keep peace in the neighborhood and between your neighbors, controlling your dog's barking habits is important.
A lot of people-even dog owners-aren't too aware that there are many ways to try and stop your dog from barking at whim.
A lot of dog owners would basically just run to an anti-barking collar. Why? They're very convenient and they don't require much time from the owner. The great thing about collars is that they can supervise a dog's barking habits even when the owner is not around. As of late, there are basically three different kinds of anti-barking collars available in the market.
One is the sonar collar. Sonar collars are discreet things. Whenever the dog barks, it releases a sound with a certain frequency inaudible to humans but irritable to dogs. The idea is that they will associate the irritable sound as punishment to their incessant barking.
Another one is the citronella collar. The citronella collar sprays a scent that's pungent for dogs. When the dog barks, they spray so that, just like the sonar collar, the dog would assume they're being punished for their non-stop barking. Although the device sounds promising, anecdotal reports state that a lot of dogs have already found a way to get around this collar.
Some would just keep on barking until the citronella in the collar runs out. Then he'll just go on barking for the rest of the day. Other dogs would bark and then sort of hold their breaths to avoid the smell and then bark again.
The third one is called the shock collar. This collar is very controversial. It stops dog barking with electric shock. Intensity of the current can usually be changed.
A lot of people say this is inhuman and are against it. After all, no sane person would do that to another person so why even think of doing it to their own pet? As much as possible, this kind of collar is avoided-and for good reason.
Though collars seem very convenient, they're merely supplements to help you control your dog's barking habit.
The best thing is still training-find out first why your dog barks the way it does. Take your dog to a veterinarian behaviorist. Their role is to generally observe a dog's environment and circumstances to figure out what exactly triggers their socially unacceptable behavior. And then they use their findings to give training solutions to curb the annoying behavior.
Some reasons as to why a dog would bark are things like boredom (meaning they have so much energy with nothing to use it with) or frustration (perhaps they're being bullied by another dog in the family or by the people around them) to name two.
If you can't pinpoint what exactly triggers their undesirable behavior, call a vet behaviorist near you to help you find out what's bothering your dog. A vet behaviorist will also teach you what to do. In extreme cases, they might suggest an anti-barking collar but that should be used side by side with proper training techniques.
If you find out that your dog is just plain bored and has no other way to release pent-up energy, then work on giving your dog something to do. If you think your dog might just be bored, then it's time to spend time with him playing-take him for walks, play catch with him, and let him socialize with other dogs. If you don't have time, then hire a dog walker or take it to a doggie day care. Especially when you're alone in the house, when you're out, like humans, your dog feels lonely and bored and he will do anything to use all his energy.
You can also implement the "QUIET" command whenever he barks out of control. If you've already established yourself as the alpha of your "pack", then it won't take much trouble to teach this. If the barking is much of a nuisance and is already getting in the way of your chances with the neighborhood hottie, then using an anti-bark collar might be acceptable, but only temporarily or only as a training supplement.
If you're seriously considering a collar, get the sonar collar as it is more efficient and humane. Never forget to tackle the problem with hands-on solutions and obedience training as well. Training your dog to respond to obedience signals is still the best and lasting way to eliminate dog barking behavior but still maintain his freedom to do what he naturally does.