Barking - How To Train Your Dog
by David the Dogman
Barking at night
The simple answer is to ignore the dog. By barking, it is training you to
respond. You might have a few noisy nights but you will be showing it that
barking is not productive. Certainly do not respond by shouting or scolding. If
you do so the dog will only know that its barking has been productive by making
you bark as well.
The reason for excessive barking in one word is FEAR, and it is frightened
because it has not been socialized. It is nervous of every sound it hears and
barks in a futile attempt to send the perceived threat away. Sometimes a dog
which constantly whines, cries, barks, or is destructive, suffers from skin
problems brought about by scratching and licking themselves because of the
stress of being left. Generally this is not a problem with dogs which have been
socialized through training classes at an early age. The solution is socialization
through obedience classes and home management.
Barking when the owner is out
This is a big problem caused by bad owners. The dog is a pack animal and if, as
a member of the family pack, it is given the freedom of the home by being
allowed to rest on the furniture and sleep in bedrooms, then it will suffer a
form of stress when the pack goes off to work because it expects to go with the
pack. When people leave home they should not look, touch or talk to the dog for
about 10 minutes beforehand. The same applies when coming home: ignore, no
talking, no patting, no looking, nothing. This way, the dog understands that its
barking has not brought the owner back. If it has been barking while you were
away and is rewarded by your attention when you come back, it then thinks it was
its barking that brought you back to the house. A dog’s bark is said to be
worse than its bite. It certainly is for the neighbors of a constantly barking
dog left alone for too long, unsocialized and with uncaring owners. Hopefully no
readers would permit their dogs to be such a community nuisance.
Barking at the postman
The postman or any kind of regular deliveryman is regarded by your dog as an
intruder and so it barks and is immediately rewarded by the postman going away.
It thinks it has frightened off the intruder and done its duty. Talk to your
postman and try to get him to cooperate. Tell him you will leave a tit-bit
outside the door and ask him to push it through the letter-box before the
letters. The tit-bit will be a better reward for your dog than chasing the
Barking when the telephone rings
If you shout (bark) at your dog when it barks at the telephone ringing, you are
encouraging it to bark more. It feels there is danger if you react. Get a friend
to phone you at several agreed times. When the phone rings do not move and do
not speak. After your friend has done this a few times your dog will no longer
bark when the telephone rings.
Barking from balconies
When a dog barks from a balcony at someone passing by, it is simply asserting
its dominance, firstly by looking down on humans and secondly by successfully
telling them to shove off. As far as the dog is concerned, it is objecting to
someone invading its territory. And even more pleasing, its barking is rewarded
by the passerby walking away. Answer: ban the dog from the balcony.
Abistop is a French invention resulting from chemosensory research into the dog
barking problem. It is attached to the dog's collar and automatically emits a
small spray of citronella whenever the dog barks. Brief exposure to citronella immediately distracts dogs but does not cause them distress and even smells
pleasant to humans. It is effective but expensive at £90. A cheaper method
might be a quick squirt of water from a plant spray bottle or putting a bit of
food in front of the dog’s nose. It cannot eat and bark at the same time.
Commitment, Firmness, but kindness.
About the Author:
Do you have any problems with your pet? Then why not send
your problem to DAVID THE DOGMAN. David
is a Canine Behaviorist who works and lives in Marbella, Spain. Tel/Fax (00345)
2883388. His web site is located at: http://www.thedogman.net.
David has his own radio and TV shows, and writes for many newspapers and
magazines. David has been working with dogs for many years and started his
career in Israel, working on the Border Police. He has been involved in all
forms of training, including air sea rescue, air scent work, and has trained
dogs for finding drugs. David has devoted the past 10 years to studying behavior
and the very passive approach. He does not use choke chains, check
chains, or any form of aggression.
David The Dogman is available for private consultations in your home, for
further details telephone; Tel; (95) 2883388