Barking isn’t necessarily something a dog needs to do to be happy. Rather, dog barking is usually a sign of frustration, stress, anxiety or just being overly excited. None of these emotions are actually good for dogs, so learning ways to stop dog barking is good for your dog. It’s important to remember that dogs don’t bark excessively if they’re relaxed.
How to Stop Dogs from Barking
I’ll give you several tips in this article on ways to stop dog barking. But first, I want to give you a recommendation for way better help with this issue than I can offer, and that’s advice on how to stop dog barking from Professional Dog Trainer and Behavioral Specialist, Doggy Dan. Doggy Dan owns the dog training website, TheOnlineDogTrainer.com. You can watch a video by Doggy Dan about stopping dogs barking HERE.
A dog barking when you are not home is the most common barking issue. Usually people have no idea that they have a problem until the neighbors complain. We’ll discuss why your dog is barking when you leave, but here are some tips to stop your dog from barking when they’re home alone.
Find the right space. Try leaving your dog in different areas. Some dogs are more relaxed outside, others inside, and some prefer smaller areas such as a washroom.
Exercise. Exercise your dog before you leave. A tired dog is more likely to relax.
Food and water: Always leave water down and make sure that your dog is warm and fed before you leave.
Leave calmly. Say goodbye five minutes before leaving to help your dog stay relaxed as you go.
Leave the radio on. Consider leaving music on for your dog or the TV – these distractions can help. If nothing else, it will keep them from hearing every noise in the neighborhood – the garbage truck, car doors slamming, neighbor’s voices.
Hire a dog walker. A break in the middle of the day can certainly help. This doesn’t have to be a paid professional – it can be the kid next door, a retired gentlemen in your neighborhood. Ask around – you may be surprised at how many volunteers you get!
Don’t get another dog to solve the problem. A popular idea is that getting another dog is going to stop the problem. This is something to stay well away from. Remember, the source of your dog’s issue is not boredom. Many dogs who bark all day when their owners leave are the same dogs who lie around the house doing nothing most of the weekend when their owners are at home!
Understanding why your dog is barking is the key to stopping it. You must address the cause of the dog’s problem and not just treat the symptoms. You have to remember to see it through your dog’s eyes! It’s normal for dogs to bark for reasons like attention seeking, because they want food, or because they’re excited when someone visits the house. But if your dog is barking excessively, and especially when you’re not at home, there could be a more serious issue going on. Let me explain.
Dogs are pack animals. In a dog pack, there is usually one pack leader, and the rest of the dogs are followers. Most dogs are followers, not leaders. All dogs understand that pack leaders are responsible for making decisions and leading the pack. They’re responsible for protecting the pack, and they’re responsible for keeping the den and surrounding area safe. It’s a big responsibility and only an alpha dog can handle it. For the rest of the dogs…well, they’d just rather follow. So what’s the solution?
The solution is for you to become the pack leader for your dog. You have to make your dog see you as the pack leader, so he doesn’t think he has to take on the job himself. As I said, most dogs cannot handle this role. That’s why, when they are left alone, they’re completely stressed out because they think they have to protect the pack (and how can they if you’ve all left?). They think they have to protect the house (the den). And if your dog barks in the yard a lot – at neighbors, cars passing, other dogs…he’s likely doing this because he thinks he has to protect the property as well.
How to Stop Dogs from Barking
The solution is actually very simple. You need to become the pack leader in your dog’s eyes. Once you do this correctly, your dog will not see it as his job to protect you, the kids, the house or your property. You will be able to come and go as you please and he will be totally relaxed. This is the real solution to having a calm, relaxed dog. Becoming the pack leader is not complicated. You may refer to this article, How to be the Pack Leader – then follow up to see Doggy Dan’s step-by-step videos on how to do this.
Never Punish Your Dog for Barking
I always say it’s our responsibility as pet owners to educate ourselves so we can understand why our pet is behaving a certain way. And it’s our responsibility to learn the steps to stop any bad behavior. Whatever your dog is doing, whether it’s barking, biting, urinating in the house, being destructive – know that there is always a logical reason for the behavior in the dog’s mind. I strongly suggest visiting Doggy Dan’s website to get a clear understanding of how your dog thinks. Believe me, it will help you with absolutely any dog behavior issue. Debra
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