Dog barking can quickly become a nuisance especially if your pet becomes a vocal demon when he's let out into the yard. If you and your neighbours are at your wits end read on to learn how to stop your dog barking, quickly and easily.
Now I'm the first to admit a barking dog can be very annoying, especially if you're enjoying a bit of quiet 'me time' on your garden lounger.
The sound of next door's dog barking (or your own!) is the last thing you want to hear!
However, dog barking is a natural canine behaviour.
It's their way of communicating with us and their world around them.
Some dogs will bark at anything that moves; birds, squirrels, leaves, a stray plastic bag flapping in the breeze, and sometimes even their own shadow!
To some dogs, the sound of children playing close by is enough to trigger a bout of frenzied dog barking, especially if the children are excited and all the dog can hear is high pitched squeals and laughter.
Sometimes, people walking past your home or garden may be enough to trigger a little vocal chorus.
One thing I do know is that if your dog's barking is driving you mad, you're not alone. Let's see what we can do about it, shall we?
Sometimes the sound of children playing, passers by, or road noise, may cause your dog to bark.
When I lived in the UK we had a delightful family with young boys living next door. The boys would play football and adventure games in their garden.
My Cocker Spaniel could hear them, but couldn't see them and the sound of their playing used to drive him wild. He just wanted to join in the fun.
His whining and barking really became a nuisance and was beginning to drive me up the wall (and probably my neighbours). I spent weeks running out into the garden with a bag of goodies or chopped chicken from the fridge shouting 'biscuit!' to distract him.
At first I had to get up real close and let him see that I had a treat for him, but I didn't give it to him immediately (otherwise he would have thought I was rewarding him for barking).
Instead, I 'teased' him with it and made him wait a few seconds by walking away from the sound of the playing children. Once he saw the treat he would stop barking (result!) and come running to me.
I would ask him to sit and then I'd reward him (after he'd been quiet for a few seconds).
Because there was a suitable time delay between his barking and being given a treat, he believed he was being rewarded for coming to me, and for sitting and not for barking.
I guess what I was doing was distracting him from his task in hand.
I would sometimes use a toy and play with him for a few minutes.
Enough distractions like this eventually broke his barking habit and he came to learn that being quiet gave him cookies. yummy tit-bits or play, and eventually he stopped his barking in the garden.
I'm taking care of a two year old Labradoodle at the moment. She's so adorable, but she barks at anything that moves. Unfortunately she's setting Max off again so every five minutes or so I'm running out into the garden, waving a goody bag like a mad woman and shouting 'biscuits!'
I'm not really sure what the French think of their new English neighbours!
Sometimes our dogs bark for no reason other than they're excited to be outside or simply because they can, and it's become a habit.
Believe it or not, the way in which you let your dog out into the garden can have a huge impact on his barking.
If your dog is excited, he will more than likely bolt through the door and begin barking automatically, simply because he's excited.
If your dog is calm, he'll step into the garden and begin sniffing or trot quietly over to his toilet area and 'do the business'.
Obviously, you don't want your Cocker to bolt through the door.
The ideal situation is for your dog to sit calmly at the door, watch you open it and remain sitting and only go through the doorway when you allow him to.
Time to break that bad habit before it drives you and your neighbours mad! This video explains it much better than I could, so why not settle back and see how it's done?
I hope you've managed to find something here to help with your dog's barking. As with any dog training, the key is to remain consistent at all times and reward your dog for his good behaviour.
This means that as soon as you hear your dog bark or you spot the signs that he's about to, get up and go deal with it; don't let him get away with any behaviour that you feel is unacceptable.
If you can
get to him before he barks (ie watch for the signs) even better because
he hasn't been able to 'get into the zone' of barking. It's much easier
to head it off at the pass than it is to deal with it.
Once your Cocker Spaniel has stopped barking and becomes silent for a few seconds, if you reward him with plenty of praise and perhaps a treat or some playtime, it won't be too long before he learns that being quiet gets him the goodies.
Happy training and good luck - remember, perseverance is paramount.