Archive for the ‘Barking’ Category

Why Do Dogs Become Excessive Barkers?

Gemma | June 29th, 2006
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Dogs are not born as problem dogs. Instead, they become problem dogs as a result of human dog owner inadequacies. The shortcomings of dog owners are to blame as the real culprit for bad behaving dogs. And although most serious canine problems tend to develop during the most critical period of a dog’s life, which is during the first 8 weeks of puppyhood, many issues can develop at any time as the dog grows into an adult.

One of the most common dog behavior problems that many of you can relate to is excessive barking. This is the dog that makes all of your neighbors regret having you live nearby! This annoying barking habit will keep people awake at night, severely get on people’s nerves that are within hearing distance, and floods police lines with neighborhood complaints of noise.

The scary part about having a dog that barks excessively, especially if he is kept outside during the daytime, is that they can be the target of abuse or poisoning by sick-minded individuals living in your neighborhood. I’m not trying to scare you or anything but the truth is that every day dogs are reported to have been poisoned from an unknown substance which usually results from a disgruntled neighbor.

Is Your Dog Lonely?

Most dogs that are guilty of excessive barking have developed this behavioral issue for no better reason than that of loneliness. Of course there are other reasons, and to be certain we will discuss them later, but canine loneliness has been proven to be the number one culprit for excessive barking behavior.

Dogs are just like children when it comes to the need for companionship. And when these animals have nobody around for long periods of time, sheer loneliness will cause them to invent games and make toys out of whatever is available. From the start of these invented games comes habits that progress and create a problematic dog.

Inside Your Dog’s Mind

What goes on inside your dog’s mind as he is barking excessively? What does he do when he is lonely? What is it about being alone that gets dogs all excited and noisy?

Your dog’s world consists of everything within his reach. For those of you that keep your pet at home during the day while you’re at work, the entire house is his domain. If you keep your dog out on a rope that is securely tied to your backyard, everything within the circumference of his paws are fair game. And when he reaches the end of that rope, loneliness can set in, and quick!

Your dog may spot a bird or a cat outside the window or on top of the backyard fence. All of a sudden he is in a frenzy as he sees a potential playmate. He starts to cry, then scratch at the door, window, or the fence. Then the barking sets in, becoming louder and louder as he wants to play with any moving object he sees outside, but cannot seem to get to it.

Woof! Woof! Woof! – as he attempts over and over to see what is going on and to find somebody or something to play with him. Woof! Woof! Woof! – louder and louder the barking becomes, matched with frustration and eventually barking at anything he sees. A plane flying over, a bird swooping too close, the bushes that are moving in the wind all of which your dog begins to bark excessively at, trying to get its attention. Nothing seems to help and your dog only knows one thing: BARK! BARK! BARK!

If he barks long enough, he figures that something will happen, somebody will play with him, or one of those neighborhood animals will join in a game of chase. As you can imagine, this is the type of experience that no house dog should have to go through, and then be punished because of its barking problems.

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Common Puppy Behavior Problems: Barking & Digging

Gemma | February 26th, 2006
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Barking is completely normal for any dog but it should be considered a problem if it becomes excessive. Most dogs will bark at strangers passing by, and this is to be expected. However, you need to teach your puppy that although some barking is OK, too much barking is not.

Allow your puppy to bark two or three times when someone rings the doorbell, approaches your house or walks past your yard. Don’t let your puppy bark frantically until the person eventually leaves the area.

A Simple Anti-Barking Routine

To train your puppy not to bark excessively, be consistent and plan ahead. Ask a friend to come to your home and ring the doorbell. When the bell rings, your puppy probably will run toward the door and bark.

Take hold of your puppy’s collar at that moment, and say his name and then the cue be quiet. When he listens to you and ceases his barking, praise him heartily. After several practice sessions, your puppy should start to catch on.

Once your puppy has learned to respond reliably to the quiet cue while inside your house, you can begin the training session outdoors in your yard. Ask friends and neighbors to help you with the training by walking past your property or doing whatever else it is that sets your puppy off on a barking spree.

Remember, too, that bored dogs will bark more than those who are getting enough stimulation. If your puppy is barking like crazy at everyone who passes the house, he may need more exercise and stimulation. That way he won’t feel compelled to come up with his own distractions.

Digging

The instinct to dig is strong in most dogs and often starts in puppyhood. If your puppy is starting to dig up the yard, you need to intervene before your garden begins to look like a mine field.

The best way to control your puppy’s urge to dig is to give him a spot in the yard where he can dig to his heart’s content. This might be a place where you’ve already seen him digging if you don’t really mind that he digs there. Or, you may want to entice him to dig in an area that is out of the way and not visible from most parts of your yard.

If you catch him digging in a place that is not allowed, correct him by saying NO DIG! and take him to his allowed spot. If he digs in this designated digging area, praise him to let him know he’s got the right idea.

Even though he has his own digging spot, you may find that your puppy still likes to dig in places he shouldn’t. Protect these areas with temporary fencing (like chicken wire) until your puppy gets in the habit of digging only in his designated spot. Eventually, you should be able to take down the fencing and give him the run of the yard.