Dogs are descendents of wild wolves and as you know, wolves don’t bark (they howl) – so why do domestic dogs bark?
The reason is that they have evolved to do so – through selection by humans!
Barking was originally encouraged in domesticated dogs to scare off intruders and to provide a measure of defence for masters (people).
However dogs can cause irritation to humans if they bark too much, too loudly or at the wrong times. Dogs dont know the difference between right and wrong, but they aim to please their master – the goal therefore is to TRAIN your dog not to bark at certain times, at certain people or in certain places.
To do that you can undertake positive reinforcement behavioral training.
You can also utilize the aid of anti-barking products like citronella spray collars and herbal/natural supplements that encourage calmness.
The cause of excessive dog barking must be discovered before you try and treat it: often your dog is simply asking for more attention, or could be expression some sort of physical pain. Make sure you rule out all possiblities before resorting to anti-barking products.
It is vital that you realize that a dog will bark for a variety of reasons. If you want to know how to stop a barking dog from making continual and inappropriate noise, you must understand the basics of dog communication.
Dogs don’t bark just to get on your nerves – or your neighbors nerves.
Nor do they bark to get revenge or make anyone angry. It is a form of communication, just like humans speak to communicate.
There are some breeds of dogs which are known to bark more than others (some have been bred that way). There are always exceptions to the rules, but on average the following breeds are known for being excessive barkers;
Terriers: Yorkshire Terrier, Cairn Terrier, Miniature Schnauzer, Maltese, West Highland White Terrier, Fox Terrier, Silky Terrier and Boston Terrier.
Other dogs: Beagles (although I’ve met beagles that hardly make a sound), Pekinese and Chihuahua
Common reasons that dogs bark include:
As a warning
Excitement / Playing
Responding/communicating with other dogs nearby
Durign storms or fireworks
When you read the above situations where many dogs bark excessively you start to realize WHY it happens and how easy it might be to actually curb this unwanted behavior.
Listening closely to your dog and watching his behavior will lead to a greater understanding of WHY he is barking and at what times or what situation it is most likely to occur. Discouraging all barking is not necessary, but discouraging excessive barking is something you can do through behavioral training.
Now that you have some idea of how to stop a barking dog you can begin the training process – I’d be interested in hearing about your results!