Most of the time, a dog will bark incessantly because of boredom. Maybe they have been used to a lot of attention so now; being alone is a very new situation to the dog. So who is to blame but the owner themselves? Because every pet owner wants their pet to be happy more often than not, they receive a lot of the attention (probably more than they should) and end up being spoiled. Treats are given out of nothing or we pet and praise them for doing only the norm; then when they start barking and we feel stressed, the dog gets all of the blame that in the first place it was our own fault as pet owners.
However, a dog that barks is perfectly normal behaviour. Because they cannot talk like humans do, barking is their way of communicating or reacting to us or to any other species. But a barking dog can irritate not only silent loving neighbours but your housemates as well. The next thing you know, you are being asked to pay a fine because of your dog. How can you stop your dog from barking? Is there a way to make them stop or at least tune them down? Here are some tips to do this:
1. Assess. Find out what is making your dog bark in the first place. Is there a stranger who trespassed in your territory? Is there a cat that is taunting the dog? Does he need to pee outside? Is he hungry or thirsty? Or does the dog only want attention?
2. Stop praising the dog for doing nothing. While a dog will always desire too much attention, he can potentially start destroying things. If the dog did nothing, do nothing.
3. Out of touch. The dog must learn that it is alright not to be touched once in a while. Give the dog a toy instead to divert attention-seeking behaviour.
4. Electric shock collar. This is a little harsh but sometimes effective. This is not very recommendable but if it works, then it is worth trying. I do recommend ensuring that the collar you choose will not actually harm the dog, but more so send a mild shock that simply startles the dog momentarily – causing them to stop barking. Remember – animal abuse is a crime, so you do not want to inflict actual physical harm.
5. Citronella no-bark collar. This type of collar, effective and kind at the same time, sprays a small amount of fragrance that can irritate the dog and make him stop barking.
6. Positive reinforcement. This may take some time because this is a training to make them stop barking. Weeks of repetition to get rid of that old habit. Help them learn how to stop and train them to bark on command. When he follows your command, this is the time to praise and pet them.
7. Consultation. Seek help from a board-certified veterinary or a pet behaviourist. They may be able to identify and explain what is wrong with the dog and train them on barking behaviours.
Article Resource: Ronald Uy