Barking is natural and dogs bark to communicate with each other. One of the good reasons that dogs bark is because they see a stranger and want to alert their owners. However, sometimes excessive barking of dogs can be troublesome, and that should be prevented. Some dogs bark without any reason, and that too excessively. If your dog barks a lot, you should first find out the causes which lead to its barking, and then find ways to prevent it. The longer a dog has been permitted its barking behavior, the longer it will take to overcome it. Some of the techniques discussed in this post will help you overcome the barking behavior of a dog, and will also prevent this behavior in the future.
Dogs bark for many reasons and the main reason is that they want attention. Dogs bark when they are stressed, lonely, aggressive, want to play, or when they see a stranger. A dog barks more loudly when it wants to play, but a dog who is lonely or bored will bark slowly with intervals. A dog who wants to convey a threat will bark continuously, even for an hour without a pause. So it all depends upon the intensity and the way your dog barks, and it's your duty to figure out what is making him bark. The following are some effective ways to overcome barking behavior in dogs:
Your dog barks because he gets some motivation or reward after doing so. Otherwise, he won't do it. Your job is to analyze and figure out what motivates him to bark. If you ignore this behavior, you will make your dog used to it. This lack of response will be taken by them as an opportunity to continue barking. If they bark at strangers or other people who pass by your house, keep your dog inside your house and close the curtains. Never leave your dog unsupervised at any time of the day.
Desensitizing is also an effective technique and can be used in situations when you can't remove the cause or motivations for which the dog is barking. In such situations, you have to make your dog used to what is causing it to bark. The stimulus should be introduced gradually and from a distance to make sure the dog doesn't bark at it. Give him his favorite things such as treats and food that he loves to eat, and then move the stimulus closer. This way the dog will learn that the stimulus is not harmful and its presence will make him get treats. This method can be very helpful when your dog feels threatened by a member of the house or someone from your relatives or friends who often come to visit your place.
Creating distraction is another good technique for overcoming your dog's barking behavior. Some dogs will stop barking the minute they feel distracted while others will take some more time to take their mind off barking. You can use distractions or interruptions such as a loud noise, usually a verbal command or use an object that creates loud sound. It isn't necessary that you have to make a big distraction, in fact, you can use any object near you to distract your dog. The thing to remember is that you shouldn't let your dog know that you are the one creating interruption, but it should feel that it happened because of his barking. So, if you want to throw an object, make sure that it doesn't hit the dog and if you are creating noise, do it from another room or some place where you are out of his sight.
Training your dog properly can also reduce his habit of excessive barking. A good technique to teach him discipline is to make him listen to your commands. Command your dog to speak and then wait for him to bark for three or four times and then bring a yummy treat in front of him. When your dog will stop barking and starts sniffing the treat, appreciate him and offer him the treat. Then again ask him to speak and when he barks for some time, offer him a treat again. Now that your dog has learned how to bark on command make him learn to keep quiet when you order too. You can make him practice this buy asking him to speak and then interrupt and say ‘quiet' and then offer the treat.
Bark collars are a smart way to interrupt your dogs from barking. These collars automatically set off a distraction as soon as your dog starts barking. Some bark collars create noise while others create electric simulation between the points where the dog is wearing them. The electronic bark collars work the best. However, we recommend that you ask a professional before you use it.
If your dog is a disciplined one and listens to your commands, you should make sure that he remains like that and doesn’t develop any bad barking behavior in the future. Following are some tips to prevent barking behavior in future:
Teaching your dog good behavior and discipline from the start is very important, and this can play a key role in your dog's behavior and upbringing. Barking is a behavior that can be corrected, and thus it should be done at an early stage. If you feel helpless, you can also consult a professional or make your dog join dog training programs and classes where trainers help the dog overcome their bad behaviors such as barking, humping, or being violent. Make your dog learn to communicate in other pleasant ways such as gentle barking for two three times, or wagging his tail. Always make sure that you don't get angry or aggressive while correcting your dog's barking behavior.