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Dog Barking-Dog Barking-Training Dog

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Dog Barking-Dog Barking-Training Dog Books Barking dogs, Understanding it and Dealing With It!



Some owners seem to want their dogs to stop barking,
period: a good dog is a quiet dog, and the only time that barking’s allowed is when there’s a man in a black balaclava and stripy prison
outfit, clutching a haversack marked ‘Swag’, jumping in through your
bedroom window. Dogs don’t see barking in quite the same way. To Your
dog there barking has a voice, just like you do, and he or she uses it just how you do too:
to communicate something to the people she cares about. I personally don’t think
that barking is necessarily a bad thing – in stead, I think it’s
encouraging and great to know that my dog wants to “speak” to me, enough so that I can
overlook the stentorian qualities of his voice (which, in enclosed small
spaces, is positively overpowering) in favor of his desire to
communicate with me. It’s the thought that counts (even though I feel
better-equipped to stand by this belief when my ears are
sheltered safely behind industrial-quality ear-plugs). Unfortunately,
the language barrier between dogs and humans is pretty well
impermeable, which means it’s up to us to use the context, the body
language of our dogs, and the circumstances of the vocalization to
parse meaning from a volley of barks. So why do dogs bark? It’s not
easy to say (it’s like trying to answer the question, “Why do humans
talk?” in so many words). Let’s start off by saying that dogs bark for
many different reasons. A lot of it depends on the breed: some dogs
were bred to bark only when a threat is perceived (this is true of
guarding breeds in particular, like Rottweilers, Dobermans, and German
Shepherds); some were bred to use their voices as a tool of sorts, to
assist their owners in pursuit of a common goal (sporting breeds such
as Beagles and Bloodhounds, trained to ‘bay’ when they scent the
quarry), and some dogs just like to hear themselves talk (take just
about any of the toy breeds as an example of a readily-articulate
dog!). However, all breed specificities cast aside, there are some
circumstances where just about any dog will give voice: * He or She’s bored *
He or She’s lonely * He or She’s hungry, or knows it’s time for dinner * Something
is wrong/someone is near the house * He or She is inviting you to come out and play * She
sees another animal *He or She needs to use the bathroom. If your dog is barking for
any of these reasons, it’s not really realistic for you to try to stop
him or her: after all, There a dog, and it’s in the nature of all dogs to bark at
certain times and in certain situations. Presumably you were well aware of
this when you brought home your friend (and, if total silence was high on
your list of priorities, you’d have bought a pet rock, right?). Of
course, there are times when barking isn’t only unnecessary, it’s
downright undesirable, and annoying. Some dogs can use their voices as a means of
manipulation. Take this situation as an example: You’re lying on the sofa reading your favorite book. Your dog suddenly awakes from a nap and decides it’s time
for a game. He or She picks up her favorite ball, comes over, and drops it in your
lap. You ignore her and keep on reading. After a second of dead
silence, he or she nudges your hand with their nose and barks once, loudly. You
look over at her – she assumes the ‘play-bow’ position (elbows near the
floor, bottom in the air, tail wagging) and pants enticingly at you. You
return back to your favorite book. Your Dog starts barking again, more loudly – and, when no response is
elicited, your dog starts barking again. And this time, she keeps on barking. After a few minutes of this, sighing, you put down your favorite book (peace and quiet is
evidently not going to be a part of your day, after all), your dog picks
up the ball, and you take your dog outside for a game of fetch. Your dog stops
barking immediately. I’m sure you know that respect for one another is an essential
part of your relationship with your dog. You respect your dog, which you
demonstrate by taking good care of her regardless of the convenience of
doing so, feeding her nutritious and tasty high priced food, and showing your
affection for her in ways that they understands and enjoys. In order for
your dog to be worthy of your respect, your dog has to respect you, too.
Something that many kind-hearted souls struggle to come to terms with
is that owning a dog is not about equality: it’s about you being the
boss, and her being the pet. Dogs are not children; they are most
comfortable and best-behaved when they know that you are
in charge. A dog has to respect your leadership to be a happy,
well-adjusted, and well-behaved canine. In the situation stated above, there was
no respect being shown by the dog. He or She wasn’t inviting her owner to
play; he or she was harassing her owner to play. In fact, I’d even say
bullying. And even worse, the behavior was being reinforced by the
owner’s capitulation – effectively, giving in to this bad behavior taught
her that to get what he or she wants, she has to make a noise a loud noise – and he or she has
to keep it up until her goal is achieved. Affection and play-times are
obviously necessary aspects of life with a dog, but they have to be dished out on your own terms. If he or she learns that she can get what she
wants by barking, then your house is going to become a barking Noise Pollution
Zone (and this is not going to make your next door neighbors happy,either).
To prevent or stop this bullying behavior in your dog from assuming a familiar
role in her repertoire of communications, you have to prove to him or her that
you’re not the kind of person that can be manipulated so easily. It’s
simple to do this: all you have to do is ignore her. I’m not talking
about passive ignorance, where you pay her no attention and simply
continue with whatever it was you were doing – you need to take more of
an active role. This means conveying to her through your body language
that she is not worthy of your attention when she acts in such an
undesirable manner. The absolute best and most effective thing for you
to do in this case is to give her the cold shoulder. When she starts
trying to ‘bark you’ into doing something for her, turn your back on
her straight away. Get up, avert your eyes and face, and turn around so
your back is towards her. Don’t look at her, and don’t talk to her –
not even a “no”. He or She’ll probably be confused by this, and will likely
bark harder. This is particularly true if you’ve given in to her
bully-barking in the past – the more times you’ve reinforced the
behavior, the more persistent she’s going to be. In fact, the barking
will almost certainly get a lot worse before it gets better – after
all, it’s worked for her the past, so it’s understandable that she’ll
expect it to work again. As in all aspects of dog training, consistency
is very important. You must ensure that you don’t change your mind
halfway through and give in to what she wants – because by doing so,
you’re teaching her to be really, really persistent (“OK, so I just
need to bark for ten minutes instead of five to get a walk,” is the
message she’ll get). But what can you do in other situations where
bullying isn’t an issue and you just want her to stop the racket? If
you want to get the message across that you’d like her to cease fire
and be quiet, the most effective thing you can do is to use your hands.
No, I’m not talking about hitting her: this is a perfectly humane,
impact- and pain-free method of conveying that what you require right
now is peace and quiet. Here’s what you do: when she’s barking, give
her a second to ‘get it out of her system’ (it’s a lot kinder, and a
lot more effective, to give her a chance - however brief – to express
herself before asking her to be quiet). If she doesn’t calm down under
her own steam, reach out and clasp her muzzle gently, but firmly, in
your hand. She’ll try to shake you off, or back away, so you can place
your other hand on her collar to give you greater control. This method
is useful for two reasons: firstly, it effectively silences the barking
(since no dog, no matter how loud, can bark with her mouth shut!).
Secondly, it reinforces your authority: you’re showing her through
direct physical action that you’re a benevolent but firm leader who
will brook no nonsense, and who won’t balk when it comes to enforcing
your guidance. Hold onto her muzzle and collar until she’s stopped
trying to break free: only when she calms down and stops wriggling does
it mean that she’s accepted your authority. When she’s still, hold on
for one or two more seconds, then let her go and praise her. In
addition to this short-term fix, there are also a few things you can to
do to reduce your dog’s need to bark in the first place. The number-one
cause for unwanted barking (as in, the kind of barking that’s
repetitive and is directed at nothing) is nervous, agitated energy –
the kind she gets from not getting enough exercise. Most dogs function
best with one and a half hours’ exercise every day, which is a
considerable time commitment for you. Of course, this varies from dog
to dog, depending on factors like breed, age, and general level of
health. You may think that your dog is getting as much exercise as she
needs, or at least as much as you can possibly afford to give her – but
if her barking is coupled with an agitated demeanor (fidgeting, perhaps
acting more aggressively than you’d expect or want, restlessness,
destructive behavior) then she almost definitely needs more.
Fortunately, the fix for this problem is pretty simple: you’ll just
have to exercise her more. Try getting up a half-hour earlier in the
morning – it’ll make a big difference. If this is absolutely
impossible, consider hiring someone to walk her in the mornings and/or
evenings. And if this is impossible too, then you’ll just have to
resign yourself to having a loud, frustrated, and agitated dog
(although whether you can resign her to this state remains to be seen).
The second most common cause of excessive vocalization in dogs is too
much ‘alone time’. Dogs are social animals: they need lots of
attention, lots of interaction, and lots of communication. Without
these things, they become anxious and on edge. If you’re at home with
your dog, you’re not paying attention to her, and she’s spending a lot
of time barking at what appears to be nothing, she’s probably bored and
lonely and would benefit from a healthy dose of affection and
attention. Recommended reading If you’d like more information on
unwanted behaviors that your dog’s exhibiting, you’ll probably be
interested in taking a look at Secrets to Dog Training. It’s a
complete, A-Z manual for the responsible dog owner, and deals with
recognizing, preventing, and dealing with just about every problem dog
behavior under the sun. You can check out Secrets to Dog Training by
clicking on the link below:
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4/19/2014 11:30:10 AM UTC