3 Ways to Stop Excessive Barking
A dog’s bark is his main form of communication. A bark can warn you of unexpected visitors or strange noises in your home. But if you (like up to one third of dog owners) have had to deal with excessive barking, you know a bark-attack can happen at inopportune times-such as when relatives come to dinner.
“Excessive barking is a symptom of a greater problem,” says Jeff Cooke, president of the dog-training company Bark Busters Canada. If your pooch is barking excessively, it’s likely he thinks there’s a threat to your safety.
So show your pooch that you’re a great pack leader and that he can trust you to take care of any perceived threats to the pack’s safety, advises Cooke. You’ll also need to teach him to distinguish real from imagined threats.
Try one of these three training techniques to put your dog’s constant barking to an end:
1. Take the Lead When Walking with Your Dog
Show leadership by always walking in front of your pup and letting him follow you, whether at home or out.
2. Keep Your Dog Away from the Front Entrance
To avoid a barking frenzy, make sure Fido is two or three metres away from the front door before you open it to visitors. This demonstrates to your dog that you, the leader, decide who comes in the house. Plus, it takes the responsibility to protect off his shoulders.
3. Don’t Comfort Your Dog When He’s Barking
Instead, get his attention with a clap and a growly tone in your voice. “As soon as his focus returns to you, give him lots of praise,” Cooke explains. “You’re teaching him that those passing by aren’t a threat. And he’ll be rewarded when he focuses on you.” With persistence, he’ll ignore the other dogs-or people-altogether.