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Barking Mad - Stop dog barking

Stop your dog barkingIs there anything more annoying than a barking dog in the middle of the night? Okay, maybe a wailing newborn due for a feed, but thatís easily rectified with soothing words and a good dose of motherís milk. Hushing up a hyperactive canine is another thing altogether.

Unlike humans, who can communicate very specifically via speech, dogs rely on body language and barking to get their point across. So tending to your dogís need for food, water, shelter and playtime is the first important step in preventing barking problems Ė because you canít blame a dog thatís only demanding his basic rights.

The fact is that most dogs bark because theyíre bored. Leaving Max alone, without any means of entertainment, for eight hours straight while youíre at work, is going to leave him mighty lonely. Itís important to leave your dog with enough activity for him to amuse himself when heís alone: balls, chew toys or a special digging pit are a great way to let him play.

Talking your dog for a daily walk, and letting him interact with other dogs, is another way to curb barking for attention. Remember, that dogs are social creatures, descendent from pack-roaming wolves, so companionship is vital to their happiness.

But dog trainers believe good obedience training is the best way to stop a dog barking for no reason. Alerting an owner to an intruder, an empty water bowl or a storm on the rise are a dogís barking instinct, but hours of endless whimpering or growling at every passerby just isnít good manners. You need to teach your dog when itís not okay to bark Ė especially at children, or after dark.

Invest in a good basic obedience course, a personal trainer or some books on the subject to discover more secrets to stop your dog from barking. Remember good obedience training takes time to master. Practice with your dog and be consistent. Like all dog training, de-woofing takes patience and effort Ė but together youíll learn to understand each other.

If youíre tried several training methods and nothing has worked, itís time to seek product intervention. Dog training collars can be a useful tool to fine-tune a mutt gone barking mad.

Anti-barking collars that squirt citronella when your dog barks can do the trick. Most dogs hate both the hissing noise of the squirt and the smell of citronella itself.

For those considering the controversial shock collars, which emit a static shock to your dog, bear in mind that university studies have shown that citronella barking collars are twice as effective as shock collars. The shock collars should only be used as a last resort and where traditional methods have failed.

And if all else fails, consider getting a Basenji Ė the only dog breed that doesnít bark Ė also known as the African Barkless Dog. Maybe with enough exposure to silence, your dog will soon get the hint.

Nuisance barking can be defined as follows:

  • Dog regularly barking at every person or dog passing property or using part of the street, with barking continuing for a period of time.
  • Dog regularly barking, howling or whining for periods in excess of 10 minutes when the owners are absent or ignoring the dog.
  • Dog aggressively rushing, jumping, barking or growling at any of the fences.
  • Dog regularly barking during the night.
  • Dog regularly barking at the neighbors.
  • Dog barking excessively for no reason or no apparent reason.


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