As a Brevard County dog trainer, dog barking is the number one reason most pet owners call me. Barking (howling, whining) is a way dogs communicate, but there are appropriate times and inappropriate times. For instance, if your dog barks while you’re gone all day, this may annoy your neighbors. If your dog barks at everything that passes by, or if your dog keeps barking when guests arrive, this can be an issue.
Barking occurs at various degrees, but all barking can be stopped with the right dog training methods. The first step is to get to the root of why your dog is barking.
Reasons Why Dogs Bark
Nuisance Dog Barking
If your dog barks at any noise indoors or outdoors, it is usually a sign of stress and means your dog is on edge. Dogs need to feel safe and secure and will assume the role of “pack leader” if their owners don’t. If your dog is reacting to every sight or sound, it’s time to help him feel safe by stepping into the pack leader role yourself. He will gladly relinquish control instead of feeling he has to patrol and protect if he knows you have the situation under control. Bark Busters uses a series of training exercises to help shift the social hierarchy in your “pack” to allow your dog to see you as the embodiment of safety and security in his life. Once you accomplish this, your dog will be calmer, happier and MUCH quieter!
Fear-Based Dog Barking
Many people think if their dog barks when he sees another dog that it is a sign of aggression. Not true. It is usually a sign of fear. He is afraid for himself or for you. It is important your dog understand that he is safe by your side and you will protect him from any danger. Do not shout at your dog if he is barking or he will think it is a game that you are joining in. He will take his cues from you. If you are calm, he will be calm. If your demeanor tells him there is no risk, he will assume you as the leader are right and will not bark or react.
Associative Dog Barking
Sometimes dogs will only bark at certain things, persons or sounds (like a vacuum cleaner). I had a client whose dog would bark and growl every time she tried to vacuum the floor. He went so far to even nip at it. The loud noise scares him. For Bark Busters, it is a matter of re-conditioning the dog, so he is no longer “triggered” by a scary noise.
Does your dog bark and howl when you are gone? He is suffering from separation anxiety. Although you might think your dog is barking because he misses you (which I’m sure he does) the real reason your dog is reacting is because he feels responsible for your safety and is freaking out because he can’t keep an eye on you. He is desperately trying to get you to come back so that he can do his job of keeping you safe. Imagine if you lost sight of your toddler in a store. You would panic until he/she was back in your sight/control. That is what your dog is going through with separation anxiety, causing him to bark and howl when you leave. Bark Busters will quickly help your dog to understand that you can take care of yourself and that there is no reason for him to be anxious when you leave. Even the most severe separation anxiety cases tend to show immediate improvement with the Bark Busters training system.
Regardless of why your dog is barking, there is a solution and Bark Busters Brevard County can help. Don’t let the barking behavior go on and on. The longer a dog does something, the more ingrained it becomes.