Here is the right way to solve your problem with a dog barking
DOG BARKING – Know the right way to stop your dog from barking without yelling and exerting too much effort.
When your dog barks, it can be annoying for you and even for other people. However, there is a right way to train your pet to bark less. First, all you need to understand are the reasons why dogs bark.
According to the article from Reader’s Digest, these are the possible reasons why dogs bark: to alert, to show they’re happy and ready to play and to ask for something. “We often assume a dog is barking for no reason, but that isn’t true,” she says. “Dogs always have a reason,” Lisa Bernier, the Head of BARK for Good shared.
Russell Hartstein, a dog trainer and the founder of Fun Paw Care added that some dogs bark due to behavior problems or training problems. He also said that there are dogs that are more prone to barking than others. “Barking is also a self-reinforcing behavior, meaning that dogs can self-sooth and reward themselves by barking,” he said.
So, what is the right way to stop your dog from barking?
The punishment-based tactics or things like bark collars, sprays, shock, or pronged collars will do no good for your pet. According to Hartstein, these ways are inhumane and ineffective. These will also result in emotional fallout and more behavioral and emotional problems.
Hartstein said that the first step to address the dog barking problem is to know the reason why your pet does this. You must think that there is a factor triggering it them to bark for example, when the doorbell rings. When this is the reason, here’s what you need to do:
- Have a friend or family member ring the doorbell.
- When the dog barks at the ring, refocus them with a different command like “sit” and reward the dog with a treat as they quiet down and do that behavior.
Bernier said that by practicing positive reinforcement you are teaching your pet correct behavior. Then, you should remember not to reward your dog when it barks. “That is the most difficult to do for some pet parents because most parents are not aware when they are rewarding their dog,” Hartstein added. Yelling, screaming, telling them ‘no,’ or even looking at your pet, may mean reinforcement. The dog may think that your attention to them doing these things is better than no attention at all.
According to the article, here are the ways to train the dog to bark less:
- When your dog is silent or not barking, click and give them a treat.
- Repeat the above for several times to mark and reward your dog with a treat when they are silent.
- After a few tries, make the silence time longer by introducing the cue “good” as they are silent. After a few seconds, click and treat.
- Continue doing this while increasing the silent time between each bark by saying “good” when they are silent.
- Remember to do this slowly! If you jump from 2 seconds to 20 seconds, it may be too large of a change to ensure your dog understands.
- When your dog is successful at being silent for a while, you can say the verbal cue you want to associate with silence right before asking for the behavior. So say “quiet” directly before you say “good.” Starting with the new word before the old one helps the dog associate the two.
- By practicing this, it will be easy for your dog to respond to the verbal cue “quiet.”