Barking is a dog's natural behavior. However, if it becomes excessive or uncontrollably loud and uncalled for, it can be quite annoying. I have seen people complain about the disturbance created by the German Shepherds of their neighbor. It can really be frustrating to lose hours of sleep just because some dogs including your own are busy making so much noise.
If you own a dog, you don't have to expect total silence. But you have to do your best to prevent it from developing compulsive barking behavior for the sake of everyone involve, including your dog's. It only takes a bit of patience to make your dog learn to bark at the right time.
Here are some practical tips that might be of help to you in controlling your pet's barking behavior.
1. Remove the motivation
Your dog barks because he can get an incentive from it in one way or another. If you can identify the triggering factor that compels him to bark, you should remove it. You should not give your dog the chance to go on with its undesirable barking behavior.
If he barks at people or animals that pass by your house, you should stop him from seeing these things by drawing the blinds or curtains. If your dog can't resist barking at passers-by when he's in the yard, you should take him into the house to remove him from the sight.
2. Ignore the barking
Don't give your dog any attention for as long as he barks. This will only make him feel rewarded for being so noisy. When he has silenced, it's time for you to pat or praise him for good behavior and reward him with a treat.
3. Desensitize your dog to the stimulus
Make your dog accustomed to the elements that cause him to bark. This means making him see more often the things that make him bark. You can start by introducing him to the stimulus of his behavior such as other dogs. You can do this by asking a friend to walk her dog by your place multiple times.
Upon your friend's and her dog's arrival, you should give your dog a lot of treats. Let your friend bring her dog closer to your pet while you continue to give him treats. By the time she has passed by and totally out of sight, you must stop feeding your dog. Repeating this process multiple times makes your dog associate the treats to the arrival of the stimulus. This will remove his incessant barking behavior when he sees other dogs.
These are just a few of the techniques for minimizing the undesirable behavior of barking dogs. No matter how desperate you are to make your pet learn quickly, you should bear in mind that patience is your best friend to make this happen. Remember, no amount of yelling can stop your pet's bad barking habit. You also need to be consistent with your technique to succeed. Dogs can easily get confused. The entire family should work together to be able to give the same commands, training techniques, and rewards in order to make the dog learn what it should to make your house and the entire neighborhood regain its lost silence.
Teaching your barking dogs to keep silent is giving everyone a chance to rest.
You May Also Like:
UnderstandingAnimal Behavior & Communication (4hpetpals.osu.edu)
Stop Dog Barking (learndogtraining.net)