Fix your barking dog forever

Your dog barks excessively. What can you do?

Experts say it’s not a good idea to stop the dog from barking altogether. This is because if ever you are in danger or need to be warned about something you can’t detect, a dog that senses trouble but has been trained to stay silent is of no use to you.

Find the trigger

Instead, try to find the trigger that stimulates the barking and see if you can eliminate or decrease its presence in the place where your dog barks most. It can be in your yard, in parks, or on walks.

How can this be done?

When your dog starts to bark, have a look at what it’s barking at. It could be a squirrel, your neighbor’s cat, a courier, a jogger, or just a change in the way the wind blows.

Whatever it is, you can help to circumvent the behavior by redirecting your dog’s attention.

Ultrasonic whistles

One solution is the use of high pitched ultrasonic whistles that are automatically activated by your dog’s barking. There are several different models according to your needs: boxes usually shaped like birdhouses that can be hung in your backyard or placed strategically in the house. They come with handheld remote-controls and usually require you to press a button to activate.

These products can work but remember that it all depends on the breed and the personality of your dog. Some dogs can remain undeterred. Also, once the batteries die, it’s back to square one because the machine will not be able to set off the whistle. Be aware that, these nifty inventions do not function too well on puppies under 6 months.

Loud squeaky toy

If the whistle doesn’t work, try using a loud squeaky toy to distract your dog. Reward by giving a treat or by engaging in a game of fetch if the dog turns towards you. If not, keep testing different squeaky toys with varying sounds until you find the one that distracts your dog.

Walk towards the source

Another way to decrease the trigger is to walk towards it while your dog is barking, but without making a reaction. Reassure your dog that the problem is really nothing at all by speaking to it in gentle tones.

By having a relaxed attitude towards the trigger, you are showing your dog that there’s no reason to get excited over it.

Teach “look” command

One trick commonly used by trainers is the “look and treat” method. Starting in your house, call your dog, say “look” or “here” and when he looks at you, give it a treat. Continue until your dog expects a treat whenever you say “look” or “here”.

Transfer this training to the yard and then start doing it on walks. After a while, just saying either of those words will cause your dog to look at you.

Whenever you are doing a training session, be patient and persistent. Your dog deserves it and in time you will soon be rewarded for your efforts.

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