Barking to Excess: What you Can do to Rehabilitate your Dog

Dogs Bark A Lot if they feel Bored or Lonely

Telling a dog not to bark is like telling a cow not to moo as dogs naturally like this
form of expression.

Plus, every time he barks, the vocalization results in a reaction. So, if you are
seeking to modify your canine friend's behavior in this regard, you'll only be able to
do so by ensuring that he does not become too isolated or bored.

Barking Stirs Things Up - Makes Them Happen

That's because, when a dog barks, especially a bored dog, he gets things stirred up and makes things happen. For example, if your dog barks every time someone knocks at your door and you respond by answering it, he believes his barking was what caused you to appear. Even if you yell at him to stop, he refrains from doing so because, here again, he has caused you to respond to the behavior. So, to effect a change, you'll also need to teach your canine friend when to bark or not to bark upon command. This type of training involves teaching your dog to "Speak" when you want him to bark and issuing the command, "Enough!" when you want him to stop.

Teaching your Dog When and When Not to Bark

To teach your dog to speak or bark, issue the command Speak! in a firm but composed voice. When he barks, you can praise him with a liver treat or similar food reward. After he barks a couple times, then issue the command Enough! When he stops barking, you can give him another treat.

You can also use the times he does bark to break him of the habit as well. So, if someone knocks at your door and your dog barks in return, show him praise for alerting you about the visitor and follow up by issuing the command, Enough! When he stops barking, give him a treat. If he ignores your command, remind him to stop by gently pulling his collar and repeating the command Enough! once more. By using this approach, you'll eventually be able to train your dog to bark only when it is appropriate.

Make Sure your Dog Receives Plenty of Companionship and Exercise

The above training method is not always easy to implement, especially if your dog commands center stage with his barking. But don't give up. If you are consistent, you can guide him so he barks less frequently. Plus, as mentioned, you can also reduce the amount a dog barks by making sure he is occupied and keeps from getting too lonely. Dogs are social animals and therefore do not like to feel alone or isolated. So, if you have a dog that barks too much, all that may be needed is a bit more interaction on your part. Instead of taking the time to look for a stop-barking measure like an electronic bark collar then, take that time and spend it on training your dog not to bark or giving him more exercise.

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