Dog Training Barking
“Barking “ for dogs, is the most natural thing for a dog, barking is a dog’s way of communicating, like us humans talking. You cannot expect to own a dog and not have a certain amount of barking, whining and howling, it is just what dogs do. You can however train your dog to bark less frequently than he might otherwise do. It will be more comfortable for you and your neighbours if your dog is trained to listen to your commands when asked to stop barking.
Barking can become an “enjoyable” pastime for a dog that is left alone for long periods of time. When left alone barking starts out of boredom, and with you not around to train him to stop, the barking just continues. If your dog has not been taken for a really long walk before being left alone, he will need to find an outlet for his pent up energy, and one way is by barking. Once a dog starts barking for amusement it will continue, because it becomes so pleasurable to him.
To some extent you may have started off the barking habit, by responding to your dogs barking when he was trying to attract your attention, when asking for you to let him out or in. To begin with you considered it clever, which of course it was, when your dog barked to let you know that he needed to go out, but it teaches your dog that barking gets him what he wants. So when he is left alone he will bark in the hope that you will come and keep him company. So when your dog first starts to bark to get your attention, to let him out, you should ignore him, just for a short time before letting him out. Be watchful of your dog he will probably look at the door before he barks, this gives you the opportunity to make a fuss of him for asking to go out quietly, therefore training him just to look at the door , not to bark.
Lots of dogs get excited, and start barking, when you are getting ready to take him out for a walk, be vigilant and train him to sit quietly while you are getting ready, if he misbehaves then wait until he is quiet before continuing. This way he is being trained that he will not be taken out until he is quiet. A well exercised dog is more likely to sleep while you are out, because he is content, than the under exercised dog who is frustrated and bored and is guaranteed to bark.
If you remember that barking is generally caused by boredom combined with loneliness and frustration and that you should be able to stop it becoming a habit if you find a way of entertaining your dog. If you haven’t got time to go for a long walk then do 15 minutes training, throwing a ball for your dog to fetch, then incorporate a lot of sits, downs, stays, and a lot of fusses. This gives your dog lots of mental stimulation, which is just as tiring as physical exercise, so long as you keep it fun.
You need to train your dog to have different barking habits. This will be helped by leaving a radio on for him, it keeps him company and helps to muffle noises from outside. You, and all the family, need to be consistent in your reaction to your dogs barking, not ignoring one time and being annoyed about it another. Your poor dog gets confused, and has no idea whether barking is being a good dog or a bad dog.
Every time your dog barks, after two or three barks, praise him for sounding the alarm. Then ask him to, "Stop Barking." At the same time, wave an especially tasty food treat in front of his nose. Most dogs immediately stop barking because they can not sniff and lick the treat while barking. During this quiet time praise him continuously - - "Good boy, stop barking, good boy stop barking, good dog stop barking .etc . ." After 3 seconds of no barking, let him have the treat. The next time he barks, ask him to stop barking for 5 seconds before he is given the treat. Every time he is told to stop barking and succeeds, he will be rewarded, and therefore learn that not barking is being a good boy.
If he barks even once, no matter how small after you've given the command, scold him immediately , very loudly as this shock alone will make them be quiet. If your shout doesn’t work then have a water spray handy, and spray him directly in the face. Timing is very important, your praise, or scold must be instantly given. As training proceeds, the length of time for silence is increased gradually; to begin with "Stop Barking" means: no barking for the following 3 seconds, then 6 seconds, then 9 seconds and so on, until he is understanding that when you ask him to stop barking, he goes an settles down somewhere.
In a single training session, you should be able to teach your dog to stop barking for up to 1 or 2 minutes. This is really good progress, simply because whatever set off him of barking in the first place has been forgotten, and he should to be quiet until the next time.
It is obviously easier to not allow the bad habit of barking to start. If it is already a bad habit, it will take a lot of persistence on your part to get it under control, but don’t give up, if you are consistent you should win in the end.
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