Stop Your Dog Barking When Youre at Home

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Stop Your Dog Barking When Youre at Home

by Martin Olliver



When you need to curb your dog?s barking, it can be a real challenge if the only time they do it is when you?re not there. Often, these dogs need a training program that will not only address the barking, but possibly a general case of separation anxiety. However, you?re in luck if they bark in your presence, as you can correct the barking with the right timing, correction, and praise. Dealing with a barking problem when you?re there may also help prevent it from happening when you?re away. There are several methods discussed, which have varying degrees of merit:

* Ignore, wait, and reward method. This is good for attention seekers, but you?ll need some patience, and perhaps a good set of earplugs. The important thing is to reward them immediately after they stop.

* The squirt gun method. I personally don?t enjoy carrying around a gun (how un-American of me!) even if that gun is filled with water. It can be a hassle, and if you?re not a quick enough draw, it diminishes the effect. Note: a mixture of Citronella or water and vinegar solution (one part vinegar to eight parts water) can be more effective than straight water when using this approach. Aim for the chest, not the face.

* The collar and leash method. Effective for dogs on lead that have been trained to respond to a tug and a corrective, ?Uh uh? or simple ?No.? You may find it easy to suppress barking through the same means. This is a good method.

But here?s the absolute best and quickest:

* Physical correction method. No, it?s not the least bit violent, painful, or inhumane. When your dog barks, meet them at their level, firmly wrap one or both of your hands around the snout (don?t shake it), and repeat your corrective command. I use a continual ?Shhh? or a repeated ?Uh uh uh uh.? The idea is to hold on not only until they stop making noise (they obviously can?t bark with their mouth closed) but also until they stop resisting the placement of your hand by jerking back or wriggling away. This method is effective also because it asserts your dominant role in the process.

Because it involves a physical correction, it may not be a favorite option for owners uncomfortable with this sort of interaction. But I can only emphasize that dogs are not children and they feel more secure with a clear idea of a pack leader they can trust.

Whatever method you choose, only repetition will do the trick. Never yell. It?s like barking back at them. It just makes more noise. Though it?s easy to tell your dog to shut it through an open window, it?s lazy, and if your dog is barking because it needs to tell you something, even if it?s just that they want a bit more attention, then yelling will upset and confuse them more. Expect more barking. As always, give praise when the barking stops.

All in all, you still need to allow your dog times to fully express themselves and their beautiful voice. It is not realistic that you always ask your dog to stop barking every time they start. In fact, this can have dangerous consequences if the dog needs to alert you to something but they have been discouraged from speaking up. Remember, if they are barking to indicate arrival of someone trying to sell their Tupperware or their religion, let them go for an extra minute, and thank them after your visitor has made a hasty exit.

Martin Olliver has over 12 years experience in dog training and is a proud member of the Kingdom of Pets team (http://www.kingdomofpets.com/). For more great articles on problem barking, visit http://kingdomofpets.com/dogobediencetraining/articles/barking_dogs.php



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