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How to Curb Excessive Barking


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Don't let excessive or chronic barking disturb the peace in your home. There are many ways to help control undesirable or excessive barking.

Dogs bark for many reasons. It is a natural behavior and primary method of communication. They bark to warn others or defend a territory, to seek attention or play, to identify themselves to another dog, or as a response to boredom, excitement, being startled, loneliness, anxiety, or teasing. Four proven methods to help you stop unwanted barking behaviors include:

  1. First, avoid the temptation to reinforce your dog's bark. Do not give verbal reassurance, a treat, or physical attention to a barking dog.

  2. Minimize your dog's barking with proper and consistent training. In addition, try using a calming pheromone spray in your pet's environment.

  3. Train your pet to respond to a one-word command, such as "Enough." During training, divert his attention from the barking and sternly say "Enough." If he stops barking, reward him with a great treat. Only give the treat if your dog stops barking.

  4. Along with these other behavior modification techniques, you may try a bark collar, a training tool designed specifically to address habitual chronic barking. It gives your pet a warning tingle or mild static correction when he barks, which quickly trains your pet to avoid the behavior that initiates the correction.

Bark control is important in developing a dog that is obedient and able to relax. Your success in this area will create a more harmonious home.

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