doubt one of the most annoying issues for owners is a dog
that is a chronic barker. These dogs seem to bark at
anything and everything and do not stop barking even when
the threat or event is over. While chronic or excessive
barking is often associated with small dogs all sizes and
breeds of dogs may become chronic barkers under the right
set of conditions.
What makes a dog bark?
Initially puppies and dogs bark to attract attention, notify
owners of a stranger or unusual event, or to defend
themselves and their property. Most owners appreciate a dog
that barks to notify them when a stranger approaches or
there is a knock at the door. The problems start to happen
when the dog does not disengage from the barking activity,
even if corrected. Some chronic barkers will not stop even
if removed from the room and will continue to bark even if
Usually dogs that have a problem with barking started this
behavior because they were bored or received attention for
barking. Remember that to a dog all attention is good, even
if it is negative. Therefore when a dog is bored, lacks
attention and then barks and gets yelled at, he or she
quickly learns that barking gets human attention, which is
just what he or she wants. Once this pattern has been
established it is more difficult to correct than catching it
early and stopping it as it develops.
Working with a Puppy or Dog
Puppies are often very cute when they bark and owners do
little to correct the barking. Once they become a bit older
the problem becomes more annoying, but by then the behavior
is established. If you want to have a watchdog, consider
using the following method:
When the stranger comes to the house or yard and the puppy
or dog barks, immediately praise the puppy. After one or two
barks say “Enough” or “Stop” and then immediately give them
a toy or chew item to distract them from barking. As soon as
they take the toy praise them for stopping and provide
attention for quiet behavior.
If the puppy or dog continues to bark and doesn’t take a
toy, consider giving them a food treat. Again praise as soon
as the dog is quiet after you have given the verbal command.
Spend time playing with the puppy and provide attention when
they are quiet.
Never yell at the puppy or hit the dog to make it stop
barking. This will only raise the puppie’s anxiety level and
lead to more barking or even more aggressive behaviors such
as biting or running away.
A squirt bottle filled with tap water can also be used to
stop the puppy from barking, although this should only be
used if other methods fail. Again, the word “Enough” or
“Stop” should be used prior to the water bottle, and the
puppy should immediately be praised when he or she sits or
stands quietly beside you.
For dogs or puppies that bark chronically when the owner is
away, consider providing more toys and activities for the
dog. In addition take them for a long walk or play games
with them to provide more stimulation before you leave them
alone. Try to make the times away from home as short as
possible and praise the dog when you get home and all is
Be as consistent as possible if you are trying to train or
correct a barking dog. Always respond the same way to
barking. Dogs become very confused if one day they are
allowed to bark and other days they given negative attention
for barking. Always pay attention to the dog when it is
quiet or behaving appropriately and spend extra time
exercising and playing with the dog or puppy to ensure that
they will be tired and relaxed when you are away from home.
About The Author:
Kelly Marshall is a popular contributor at
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