All dogs bark – it’s natural. Unfortunately, it’s also annoying for the surrounding community. Dogs bark because they are:

  1. Seeking attention;
  2. Bored;
  3. Lonely;
  4. Anxious;
  5. Protecting their property.

Scolding your dog for barking will still answer its need for attention. This will teach the dog that the more it barks, the more attention it will receive, even if this is unpleasant. However, there is a range of simple, effective solutions which may stop your dog barking.

When You’re At Home

When you’re at home the ‘bad dog – good dog’ technique can be used.

To train a puppy, place it in a comfortable room. When it barks, walk quietly to the closed door and sternly tell it to be quiet. Do not open the door. The pup will usually stop barking at the sound of your voice. Wait fifteen to twenty seconds and if it does not bark again, open the door and praise and cuddle the dog. This is not a reward for barking but for being quiet as a result of your command and still gives the dog the attention it wants. If you observe that your dog is on the verge of barking, a firm reprimand in a stern voice No- Bad Dog should prevent this. Now, using a friendly tone, you should command the dog to Come, Sit and Stay. Reward it for obeying. This contrast between reprimand and reward gives the dog a clear message about the effects of its good and bad behaviour.

When You’re Not At Home

When you’re not at home dogs often bark because of a combination of social isolation and boredom. The solution can be to make your dog happy and relaxed by confining it to a small, comfortable room – a ‘den’.

Your laundry, bathroom or any small room would be suitable. You must make the dog happy about being confined to this room while you are out, but balance this with extra exercise when you return home.

  1. Make the room comfortable – not too hot, not in direct sun and with soft bedding provided.
  2. Place the dog’s water bowl inside its den and nowhere else – so that even when you are at home, it has to go to its den voluntarily for a drink.
  3. The most important step is to lock the dog in its den for 15 minutes whenever you feed it. The dog then will associate being confined with the happiness and contentment of being fed. Leave the dog in the den for 15 minutes, then release and praise it.
  4. When you leave for work, lock the dog in the den and give it food to make it happy. A large bone will help do this and keep the dog occupied for some time. The dog will remain quiet because it is happy.

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