We must remember that a dog's barking is their way of communicating.
A dog's barking can have many causes - he's bored, scared, defending his territory, or he needs your attention.
To get him to stop barking, you must first find the cause of the barking! It will take a lot of work to limit and reduce your dog's barking.
Causes of barking:
- Territorial aggression:
The dog will bark to protect his house, his property, at the slightest noise, passerby or car. This behavior is often noticed in adult dogs.
A dog that is afraid will bark without stopping. A fearful dog will constantly be on the reserve and on guard, always on the alert, the slightest noise can trigger the barking in these conditions. This behavior is often present in small dogs.
- Separation anxiety:
When the dog is not used to being left alone, it will bark until its owners return. This can also happen during the night, if the dog does not have its owners in its field of vision.
If you have a friend visit, your dog comes across another dog on a walk, and they are super excited, your dog may start barking to show their extreme contentment.
- HS-HA syndrome
This syndrome (Hypersensibility-Hyperactivity) is present in puppies that have been separated from their mother too quickly. The weaning period is important because the mother teaches her puppies to control and calm themselves. Puppies that have not stayed with their mother for 2 months can become very nervous and hyper-reactive. They will therefore bark, destroy, run away, without you being able to calm them down.
Your dog will start barking only because he hears other dogs doing it.
- Getting the owner's attention:
Your dog wants to play or asks for a pat on the back. If you have been used to reacting to his barking in the past, he will repeat the experience to draw your attention to him.
Behaviors to adopt to calm your dog :
The education you give your dog will influence his barking, as well as his reaction if you ask him to stop. A good foundation of recall, for example, can limit your dog's territorial aggression. Commands such as "sit, down, stay" can also limit the effects of hyper arousal when your dog encounters other dogs or humans.
If your dog is overly aggressive, don't hesitate to contact a behaviorist or dog trainer.
From a very young age, the puppy must be accustomed to noises, sounds and situations that are out of the ordinary. He must be brought to meet animals, humans and young children. He must know the noise of the city if you live in the country, or the noise of tractors if you live in the city.
The simple fact of vacuuming in the same room as your dog will allow him to get acquainted with the noises of everyday life, without being afraid of them.
The awareness period doesn't end when the puppy grows up, it continues for a lifetime. Take your dog with you whenever you have the opportunity, it will allow him to be at ease in any situation.
In case of HS-HA syndrome, behavioral therapy can be interesting to limit your pet's symptoms and make your daily life more peaceful.
Homeopathic treatments against anxiety and hyper arousal can also be prescribed, to be given in stressful situations (during fireworks, for example). In rare and extreme cases, drug therapy may be recommended.
- The owner's attention
When your dog is stressed, excited or frightened and barks, show him that you are there, confident and in charge of the situation. Take the right actions depending on the cause of the barking and your dog will calm down.
Behaviors to avoid:
- Physical or moral violence
Animal abuse is obviously to be banned - a mistreated dog will have every reason to bark continuously.
Some breeds of dogs are more sensitive than others and are likely to react badly if their owners raise their voice or use shouting to make themselves heard. Whatever the situation, try to maintain a firm tone without yelling and practice positive reinforcement in your training.
- Ignoring the causes of barking and solutions to calm it down
There's always a cause for barking, and it's your job to understand it and make it stop. One dog is not more likely to bark than another. Some breeds are known to bark little, but any dog can be trained to bark (and stop) in a specific situation. You have the keys!
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