How to Stop a Barking Dog!
Statistics indicate that dog barking is the most frustrating dog behavioural issue confronting dog owners. Yelling at the dog, hiring expensive trainers, physical punishment, distractions and bark collars are all methods that have been tried by dog owners, some with mixed results.
Find the reason why your dog is barking
The first step to stop dog barking, is to understand why your dog is barking in the first place. I usually categorise nuisance dog barking into these main types:
The dog is distressed because of circumstances. The most common is Separation Anxiety. In this instance, most owners do not even know they have a need to stop dog barking as they have never heard it.
Barking at the postman or other dogs walking past your house. Most dog owners will experience this type of dog barking and often encourage it to keep intruders from the house.
Demanding/Attention Seeking Behaviour
Barking to demand attention, be let in the house or be fed are common examples. Usually indicative of a dog that thinks it runs the household.
Barking in the car on the way to the dog park. Barking because you have arrived home etc.
The Most Common Cause of Barking
The first two categories (separation anxiety and territorial barking) are definitely the most common types of dog barking. Separation anxiety occurs when you are not around. Territorial barking may occur when you are home but will also occur when you are not.
In most cases the territorial barking probably increases as you are not there to stop it and the dog may become more defensive when you are not there. To stop dog barking when you are not there is a far more difficult proposition.
So if it is agreed that the most common motivations for dog barking occur when you are not there, what methods will stop dog barking more effectively than others? Chastising and physical punishment are obviously impossible when you are not there.
However, before spending hundreds of dollars on private dog training, ask the prospective trainer if they will guarantee fixing your dog barking problem, particularly if you are not there.
Bark Collars - The Best Form of Bark Control
So what is the best method to stop dog barking?; Without a doubt, it is a bark collar.
The reason being it works on a level that is the basis of all dog training: consistency and timing. The moment the dog barks the collar goes off…every time!
No human intervention can match the preciseness of a bark collar. The dog quickly learns that barking results in the correction, so as a result stops barking when the collar is being worn.
Over time it is hoped the dog as a result of wearing the bark collar will learn a new pattern of behaviour that does not involve barking. The owner can then test the dog by removing the bark collar.
The last piece of the puzzle to stop dog barking is to find the right type of bark collar for your dog's breed.