Do you have a dog who seems perfect enough except for his excessive barking, which keeps you awake all night?
Not only does he keep you awake, but he could also make it unpleasant for your neighbors!
You would not want it to get to the point where you will hear complaints from your neighbors, or worse when you and your dog will be reported to the dog pound.
Excessive barking is just one of the bad behaviors that good dog training can help you correct.
Why Your Dog Barking Excessively
Identify the cause of the barking
Dogs bark for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they bark to alert their owners of something, and others bark out of excitement or fear.
And sometimes, they just bark because they’re bored. If your dog is barking excessively, it’s important to try to figure out why they’re doing it. Only then can you take the necessary steps to stop the behavior.
One of the most common reasons dogs bark is because they’re bored. If your dog is left alone for long periods of time with nothing to do, it may start barking out of sheer boredom.
This is often the case with dogs that are left outside all day. To prevent this, make sure your dog has plenty of toys, chew bones to keep them occupied, and take them for walks or runs regularly.
Another common reason for excessive barking is fear or anxiety. If your dog is afraid of something, it may bark excessively in an attempt to warn you.
This is often the case with dogs that are afraid of fireworks or thunderstorms. If your dog is barking out of fear, it’s important to try to calm them down and make them feel safe.
You can do this by providing them with a safe haven, such as a crate or room, where they can go to feel safe. You may also want to consider desensitization training, which can help your dog slowly get used to the things that scare them.
If your dog is barking excessively, it’s important to try to figure out the reason why. Only then can you take the necessary steps to stop the behavior.
Develop communication with your dog
Dogs are social animals and need companionship to be happy. If you work long hours or are away from home for extended periods, your dog may bark excessively out of boredom or loneliness.
Dogs also bark to protect their territory and may become aggressive if they feel threatened. Proper communication with your dog is essential to develop a bond and reduce problem behavior.
Here are some tips for communicating with your dog:
1. Establish trust and respect. Dogs are more likely to respond to commands if they trust and respect their owner. Take the time to get to know your dog and build a relationship based on mutual respect.
2. Use positive reinforcement. Dogs respond better to positive reinforcement than negative punishment. When your dog obeys a command, reward him with a treat, petting, or verbal praise.
3. Be consistent. Dogs thrive on routine and consistent rules. Your dog will be more likely to respond if you are consistent in your commands and expectations.
4. Be patient. Dogs learn at their own pace. Be patient and keep training sessions short and fun.
5. Use body language. Dogs are highly attuned to nonverbal cues. Use your body language to communicate your expectations and commands.
6. Be aware of your tone of voice. Dogs can sense the tone of your voice. Use a firm yet kind voice when giving commands. Avoid yelling, as this will only scare your dog and make him less likely to respond.
7. Reward good behavior. Dogs are more likely to repeat behavior that is rewarded. When your dog displays desired behavior, be sure to praise and reward him.
Is the dog suffering from anxiety?
Sometimes, a dog barks a lot because he suffers from separation anxiety.
If he received training while he was still a pup on dealing with separation anxiety, you would have a dog who would have learned to overcome his fear of being left alone.
If your dog is exhibiting any of the following behaviors, it may be suffering from anxiety:
- Excessive barking
- Shivering or whimpering
- Ears pulled back
- Tail between legs
- Avoiding eye contact
- Destructive behavior
Suppose your dog displays any of these behaviors. In that case, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian or canine behavior specialist to rule out any underlying medical conditions and develop a treatment plan.
Need a change in behavior
There are different ways to change your dog’s behavior for the better; however, changes in his behavior will not happen overnight.
The behavior modification process must be reinforced daily before your dog shows signs of better behavior.
Dog owners may seek to change their dog’s behavior for many reasons. Excess barking can be a nuisance to the dog’s owner and the neighbors.
It can also indicate underlying behavioral problems, such as anxiety or fearfulness. Dog behavior can also be a safety issue. Dogs that are aggressive or that bite are a danger to both themselves and to others.
Finally, some dog behaviors simply become annoying over time, such as incessant barking or digging. Whatever the reason, several ways to change a dog’s behavior exist.
One of the most important things to remember when changing a dog’s behavior is that patience is key. Dogs learn at their own pace, forcing them to change too quickly can worsen the problem.
It is also important to be consistent in any training or behavior modification efforts. Inconsistent messaging will only confuse the dog and make it more difficult to change the behavior.
Several different techniques can be used to change a dog’s behavior. Training classes are often helpful, as they provide a structured environment to work on specific behaviors. One-on-one training with a professional trainer can also be effective.
For some behavior issues, such as excessive barking, behavior modification devices such as ultrasonic emitters may be used. In more severe cases, medication may be necessary to help the dog deal with underlying issues such as anxiety or fearfulness.
Ultimately, the best way to change a dog’s behavior is to work with a professional who can help assess the situation and develop a tailored plan for the individual dog.
Proper Training Needed
If your dog is excessively barking, it’s important to consult a veterinarian or certified animal behaviorist to find the underlying cause.
Once the cause is determined, you can work on addressing the problem behavior.
If your dog is barking excessively due to boredom or frustration, you can try providing more exercise, mental stimulation, and attention.
If your dog is barking out of fear or anxiety, you’ll need to work on building their confidence and helping them feel safe.
Proper training can also help teach your dog when and how to bark appropriately.
You need good guidance on how to train your dog to overcome his bad habits. Many professional dog trainers can guide you or can conduct the training themselves.
A good self-help ebook on dog behavior training can even be an effective guide in training your dog to be obedient and more fun to live with.
Whichever way you decide to go – either train your dog yourself or hire a professional dog trainer, you’ll reap the benefits of a happier and more obedient dog who will no longer give you sleepless nights.
So start with a program to bring out the best in your dog.