Have you ever wondered why your dog barks at other dogs or at people walking by your yard? Have you ever wondered why your neighbor’s dog barks so much in their yard?
Barking is one of the ways dog communicate within their pack. A dog barking in a yard is acting like an early warning system. They are notifying the other pack members of change in their environment and they are letting the intruder know that they are there. It is very frustrating for a dog when its bark is ignored by the pack leader. The dog then feels that it need to continue the warning.
Some people like to use their dog’s bark to alert them to visitors but the dog’s bark needs to come with an off switch. I like to use “Thank You, That’s Enough” to signal to the dog that it’s job is done and I will take charge of the situation
If a dog is barking in the yard call it into the house. If the dog is barking at the windows move your furniture so the view to the outside is not available to the dog. A little management can go a long way in dealing with a barky dog.
Some breeds like some people tend to be chattier than others. It is important to research a breed of dog to decide whether it can fit well into your living situation. A dog that is highly sound reactive does not do well in condo or apartment living.
It always saddens me when clients call and want a quick fix for a dog that they have allowed to bark for several years but they now wish to travel with the dog or are moving into an apartment. If you don’t want your dog to bark it needs to be taught as a puppy when barking is allowed and when to stop.
Some dog’s bark when they play with other dogs or as a greeting when they are excited to see a friend. A few barks can be a nice greeting but once again the dog needs to have an off switch.
Barking is not a dog behavior that you just have to put up with. If there are specific people, animals or events that precipitate barking the dog can be desensitized to them.
A common trigger is the doorbell or a knock on the door. Most dogs are just as excited as you are to see who is coming to visit. In my next blog I will write about ways to change your dog’s response to the doorbell.