Non stop barking can drive you mad.
How do you stop the racket? If you want to get the message across not to bark, your most effective tools are your hands. Not to hit: but a humane, impact and pain-free method of telling your dog you require 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 kinder, and a lot more effective, to give her a chance to express herself before asking her to be quiet). If she doesn’t quieten by herself, reach out and hold her muzzle gently, but firmly, in your hand. She’ll try to shake you off, or back away, so put your other hand on her collar for greater control.
This method is useful for two reasons:
- It effectively silences the barking (you can’t bark with your mouth shut!).
- It reinforces your authority: using direct physical action to show her you’re a benevolent but firm leader who not tolerate nonsense, and who won’t balk when it comes to enforcing your rules.
Hold onto her muzzle and collar until she’s stops trying to break free: when she’s calmed down and stopped wriggling she’s accepted your authority. Once she’s still, hold on for a second or two more, before letting her go and praising her.
Further to this short-term fix, what you can to do to reduce your dog’s need to bark in the first place. The number-one cause for unwanted barking i.e.barking that’s repetitive and is directed at nothing, is nervous, pent up energy – the kind she gets from lack of exercise.
Most dogs need one and a half hours’ exercise every day to function at their best – a considerable time commitment for you. Factors like breed, age, and general level of health will mean this varies from dog to dog. You may think that your dog is getting enough exercise, but if her barking is coupled with fidgeting, restlessness, destructive behaviour or perhaps acting more aggressively than you’d expect then she almost definitely needs more.
Fortunately, it’s pretty simple to fix this problem:
Try getting up a half-hour earlier in the morning and taking a quick walk. If this is just not possible, consider hiring someone, or delegating one of the kids, to walk her mornings and/or evenings. If this is impossible too, then you’ll just have to resign yourself to having a loud, frustrated, and agitated dog.
The second most common cause of excessively noisy dogs is too much ‘alone time’. As social animals dogs need lots of attention, lots of interaction, and lots of communication or they become anxious and on edge. If you’re at home with your dog, and she’s spending a lot of time barking at nothing, she’s probably bored and lonely because you’re not paying attention to her .A healthy dose of affection and attention would help greatly.
If you’d like more information on how to stop your dog barking, you’ll probably be interested in taking a look at Secrets to Dog Training. A complete, A-Z manual for the dog owner, dealing with just about every problem dog behavior under the sun.