Most dog owners assume that dogs bark as a defense mechanism or to raise the alarm. However, barking has many meanings, like a reaction to something alarming, happy, or to express anger or sadness. We must train our dogs to only bark when required, like during an accident, strangers with abnormal behavior, etc. If you can manage your dog, he will be your best friend and be a pleasant member of your neighborhood.
Dogs should be trained to bark at times when there is something relevant and requires the owner’s attention immediately. Otherwise, a barking dog will only cause a nuisance and cannot be trusted upon in times of genuine requirements.
We have listed down a few reasons why dogs bark and how to train your dog not to bark.
Reasons why dogs bark:
1) To communicate their feelings or needs.
2) To show territorial and domination behavior.
3) To call out to other dogs, animals or to get attention from you or your family
4) When he is in a happy or playful mood.
5) If they are left alone for long hours.
6) If they are attacked or trapped (like in a door or windowpane)
7) To communicate domination (puppies usually check you out at some level with a demonstration of domination barking).
8) In case they are ill, stressed, or having bad dreams.
How to Train your Dog not to Bark
The best advice is that you, as an owner, should never shout at their dogs, as this will only make them more aggressive and assume that barking is alright.
Owners should also not reward their dogs with treats to make them quiet as this, too, will make them feel that this kind of behavior is acceptable.
Cuddling or praising your dog will encourage your dog to bark even more in the future.
Instead, here are a few tips to help you stop your dog from barking unnecessarily
1) Ensure that your dog is not isolated or bored; keep him healthy and active as this could mean a happy and lively dog.
2) In case your dog is the kind that barks when you arrive home after a long day, it is best if you ignore him. While this suggestion may sound weird, it will help your dog get accustomed to being alone and not looking for attention.
3) While this method requires patience, it is very effective. The next time your dog starts barking for no reason, try to deviate his attention by throwing a tin of coins ( to make some noise) or spraying him with water (to catch him off guard). These actions will teach him that his behavior will not be tolerated. You can also choose to ignore him for a while so that he understands that barking is wrong. If he is quiet for a while, you can treat him or cuddle him as a reward.
4) In case your dog barks at known people, you could leash him and try to make friendly contact with these people (mailman, milkman, neighbors, etc.). That will give him a feeling that he is not threatened, and there is no need to bark.
By consistently using these tips, you will find that your dog’s barking has reduced and has become an obedient and happy dog.