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How to stop excessive barking in dog?

Dog training mongrel

Barking is a norm for most puppy or dog. Barking or vocalizing is the way, our puppy or dog try to communicate with dogs and with us. Vocalize can be attention seeking, alarm/fear, territorial, boredom, playing, greeting, separation anxiety, compulsive barking etc ... However, if it's left unchecked, it may develop into a persistent barking or excessive barking issue.

Before we discuss how to stop your puppy from barking, let's have a look at how important is barking to your puppy.

Having a good look at their origins or what they have been bred to do, you will have a good idea on how your dog will be using its bark.

For Example; Working Breeds such as Aust Terrier, Norfolk Terrier, Jack Russell, Yorkshire Terrier etc. These working dogs vocalize while working, bark for the finds, indicate the whereabouts, bark to flush snakes, rodents, and pests. These working dogs bark the whole day while working in the past century. And now you want to shut down up, it's very unreasonable and I often tell your clients to get a cat if you cannot take barking at all.

We will also need to figure out what's causing your puppy to bark? Sometimes, stopping the trigger is like nipping on the bud, you will have your barking issue resolved.

Do a detailed study on the environment. Is it a newspaper delivery man? Is it your neighbour's maid wake up early and create some noise? Is it way past their breakfast time? Is it due to separation anxiety? These are the common triggers and can be resolved relatively easy.

6 reasons your dog is barking and it's resolutions

Attention Seeking Yes, attention seeking is very common vocalization you will see in your puppy or dog. I have an experience where my own dogs using different vocalization to seek attention from my in-laws and myself. However, if you will not stop reacting to them during their ritual, you will be able to stop the reinforcement, leading to a decrease in that behaviour and eventually extinct.

Territorial &/or Protective Territorial barking is almost part of the overall package of a dog. Your dog barks at stranger/s at your door, gate or territory is an innate behaviour of our dog as it's a mechanism or build-in behaviour for our dog to bark and inform us on the intruder. However, you can learn your dog to ignore activity at the door as the 'happening' is inside their home.

Alarm &/or Fear Spook by a loud sound and uncertain noses, it can result in vocalization, the scent of fear will trigger the mechanism of vocalization to fan off the scary sound or objects.

Boredom When your pup has nothing to do, out of boredom your pup will vocalize or barks for attention.

Greeting &/or Play Especially when the owner returns home from work or a trip, you will likely to hear the vocalization of your dog. I usually observed my dogs vocalized differently when they see my In-Laws. And at play, due to heighten excitement, a dog will vocalize too.

Separation Anxiety and/or Compulsion Barking Some dogs suffer from Separation Anxiety and it will lead to prolonging vocalization. I have written an article on SA, you might want to have a read.

How to overcome excessive barking or vocalization?

You can seek help for Professional Dog Trainers. There are some techniques you can employ to put the barking issue in checks. However, it will be beneficial if you know what causes the barking behaviours.

Here are 3 Tips to Stop Excessive Barking

Tip 1 - Treat at the root of the problem. Tip 2 - Teach an alternate behaviour Tip 3 - Throw a Positive Punishment into the equation

Treating at the root of the problem is the key to resolve such excessive vocalization. I have seen dog's barks because neighbour woke up very early like 5 am when the newspaper delivery man appears etc, all such concerns can spook your dog and result in barking. The solution can be just moving your dog's sleeping area ...

Teaching your dog an alternate behaviour might be the trick too. Just imagine, everytime he hears the newspaper delivery man, he can run to your room and get onto his bed and get the rewards there. Such alternate behaviour will train your dog to choose the correct and permissible behaviours.

To throw a positive punishment, I am referring to throw a negative connotation into the environment. For example, every time he barks, he will hear this irritating sound, it will end up associating his barks with this weird sound. If he chooses not to bark, he will not hear such weird sound.

Happy Training and stay positive.


Dexter Sim

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