Banish the Bark, Not the Dog!
It’s normal and healthy for dogs to bark. But, like people, there are times and places where our pooches need to put a lid on it. Like when we leave for work and Fido lets the entire apartment complex know he’s not happy about being home alone. Or when we stay at a hotel and every little bump in the night sets him into a barking frenzy. This behavior can be extremely frustrating for pet parents. Excessive barking is actually one of the top reasons dogs are returned to rescue shelters. Follow these tips to treat excessive barking.
The Bored Barker
Idle paws get this doggie in trouble so keep them busy. Invest in an interactive toy that you can fill with treats to keep them entertained. Another option is to fill a KONG with peanut butter and freeze it for long-lasting fun. Long walks can also help tire them out and promote relaxation.
The Lonely Barker
Some dogs have a hard time being alone and suffer from separation anxiety. Signs of separation anxiety include improper urination or defecation in the house that’s not associated with puppy or kitten training. The second would be excessive barking or howling. The third that we often see is excessive chewing or destructive behavior at home. To help this dog relax, give them lots of exercise. Try going for a long walk before you leave to run an errand or go to work. Turn on a familiar radio station or TV program.
The Alarm Barker
Whether it’s the doorbell, the handyman, or that pesky bird in the cuckoo clock, this dog doesn’t like any of them and lets you know it. One way to help this pooch chill out is to expose them to more sights and sounds. Take them for more walks around the neighborhood and town so they get used to unusual sounds. If this doesn’t help, try removing the trigger. Is your dog barking at people it sees outside? Close the blinds.
The Attention Barker
Look at me! Pet me! Play with me! This dog craves attention and will do anything to get it including barking. As a result, the worst thing you could do would be to shout at them as this would give them exactly what they want. Instead, ignore them. Don’t talk to them, touch them, or look at them until they’ve stopped barking completely. Once they’ve quieted down, give them a treat to reward them for the desired behavior.
If you’re considering adopting a dog, be sure to research the various breeds as some are more prone to excessive barking than others. Take this information and your lifestyle into consideration when picking your new furry family member.
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