As a natural and completely normal part of a dog’s behavior, they bark. While this may be for a number of different reasons, it doesn’t always mean that danger is imminent. Some dogs bark excessively, which can become quite annoying. It can be controlled, but you must first understand some of the reasons they bark – and why YOU might be at the root of the problem.
Barking seems to be more dominant in certain breeds of dogs than others. Huskies are very vocal dogs, Yorkies tend to bark a lot. Barking by a dog can be a signal that he’s defending his territory, alerting others that they are in his space. Barking dogs will also use it to seek attention. Barking is also part of the play routine.
However, most if not all nuisance barking is due to boredom and loneliness. We tend to forget that dogs are pack animals. They have a social structure in their pack and they belong to a PACK. They are generally NOT solitary creatures. But we, as dog owners, more times than not, do not think about what our dogs need to be balanced. And being isolated and alone does not make your dog balanced- it makes your dog anxious, lonely and bored.
As an example, it you have relegated your dog to the backyard that is a sure fire recipe for behavior problems. The reasons are:
- There is no one outside to interrupt inappropriate behavior with a NO, OFF and redirect to appropriate behavior so the dog is allowed to practice unacceptable behavior all day long or all night long.
- The dog has no intellectual stimulation. They are intelligent creatures and their brains need to be active
- The dog is terribly lonely, even if there is another dog outside with them, YOU are inside
- The dog is storing up energy and will release that energy by digging up your yard or flower beds, chewing up your lawn furniture, digging out of the backyard and escaping to the wonderful outside world!
If your dog barks constantly and is an inside dog, some of the reasons can be;
- Demanding your attention. The dog barks, you pet or pay attention, the dog figures out barking gets him what he wants
- Territoriality. Dogs that are allowed to bark at a window at passersby are rehearsing territorial dominance. They bark, the THING goes away, the message to the dog – barking works.
So how do you fix an inside dog that barks. Use your leadership role and training. When the barking starts, immediately interrupt the behavior with a NO OFF then give the dog something to do that is appropriate and praise. If your dog is barking to demand your attention, do not give him attention. If the barking continues, use your leadership and training skills and have him go to his place. Remember, things must by on your terms, not your dog’s terms.
So how do you fix an outside dog that barks—easy. Bring it inside and begin teaching your dog how to be a great member of your family.
Be as comfortable with the trainer of your dog as you are the teacher of your children. And remember, Opportunity Barks!