The dog can not help but bark, because barking is one of the important communications of dogs, with which they express their emotions. Different dogs bark at different frequencies and for different reasons. Some of these reasons like their owners, and some do not.
How to wean a dog to bark?
Even at the stage of selecting a breed, it makes sense to find out its tendency to bark and decide whether it suits you. If you (or your neighbors) love silence, buying a spitz or beagle will not be the best solution. However, do not forget that even the most silent breed, with improper upbringing, can acquire the bad habit of barking for any reason. And vice versa, proper upbringing can make a representative of the talkative breed a worthy city dweller and a pet of neighbors.
Here I will discuss only the most common problem barking , which may occur due to improper upbringing, and ways to prevent it.
The most common types of problem barking are:
barking with excitement
barking out of fear.
The name speaks for itself. Through barking, the dog requires that you:
gave her some delicious
threw a ball
scratched behind the ear
led her at 4 in the morning for a walk,
let go to that little dog, etc. etc.
She demands “Give me!”, “I want it immediately!”. The problem with this barking is that the owners usually give the dog what it wants, thereby reinforcing this barking. Another problem of this barking is that the owners, having decided to fight with him and after reading useful tips, begin to ignore the dog at such moments … and they lack patience. The dog barks – they tolerate – the dog barks harder (or even starts jumping and biting) – they run out of patience and they turn to the dog. The dog learns “man is a little deaf; now you need to bark louder and / or jump and bite so that he will notice me. ”
So demanding barking can acquire horrific proportions!
It will be easier for you to cope with this bark if you see a demanding dog the way it is – telling you “hey, but give me a quick give me that!” (Yes, it was you who taught her by doing this).
Barking with excitement.
This barking occurs in situations of intense excitement: when you call or knock on the door, the arrival of guests, going out for a walk or a game. As well as before the hunt, kursing, jogging and other exciting activities.
This barking does not have any independent function, but is a symptom of the internal state of the dog.
The main problem here is that the events that cause this excitement reinforce it. Going out for a walk with a dog jumping and barking from excitement about the walk reinforces this emotional state and the following behavior.
It will be easier for you to correct this type of barking if you take off the pink glasses of the myth “agitation = joy”. At these moments, the dog is screwed to the limit, and physical activity helps her cope with this discomfort. Believe me as a person with panic attacks, who, on his first flight, ran for an hour back and forth along the aisle in order to somehow alleviate his condition. She is not at all happy!
Barking out of fear.
This is the kind of barking that, for reasons I do not understand, is very popular with many owners. They are proud of such a dog and say that it “protects”.
The problem is that the protection of their territory (and family) appears in dogs only with the onset of social maturity, that is, in 2-3 years. And not all. Therefore, all the “security” up to this age, all the “heroic” barking of healthy bearded men is a symptom of fear.
And after 2-3 years, such a puppy will not become a good security guard: he will either run away, or attack and bite what he considers to be a threat (most likely the 7-year-old boy who ran out from behind the car would be a “threat” or the doctors who came to your call ambulance).
Fortunately, a small puppy is quite easy to get rid of various fears, thanks to which he will be able to grow a self-confident dog and, with proper training, become a really good guard. So, do not waste your time, being enticed by the barking of the “little defender” at passers-by, but consult a specialist as soon as possible.
Owner errors regarding the barking of a dog.
The first and most common is barking reinforcement .
If you are the owner of an unnecessarily barking dog, consider how often you pay attention to her, when she barks (“Shut up!”) And when she is silent. As you remember, negative attention is also attention, and it serves as a reinforcement for behavior. This problem is especially acute in the case of demanding barking, when the goal is to attract your attention. The more often you swear at such a dog, the more often its barking becomes. You violate the “golden principle” and reward bad behavior with your attention.
The second mistake is training the dog for the voice command .
There is nothing wrong with teaching this team. When a person understands what he is doing and what awaits him. And waiting for him that the dog learns that barking earns good rewards and starts to bark even when it was not asked. Suddenly something perepadet. Professional trainers are aware of this effect and simply ignore such barking (in clever words, subject it to the extinction procedure), but ordinary owners often react to it. That is, reward their attention. With all that it implies.
If you are not ready for the fact that your dog will bark periodically at the most inopportune moment and you (as well as other people) will not be able to react to this in any way, do not teach her “voice”.
The third mistake is the creation of conditions in which barking is inevitable .
For example, do not leave the puppy good toys, but leave him the opportunity to find himself noisy entertainment. So, there are owners who, leaving home, leave a bored dog the opportunity to look out the window … and bark at passing cats, dogs and people, passing cars and flying birds. Great fun! Is it any wonder after this that the dog has turned into a wasteful? Remember: if you do not leave the puppy “good” entertainment, he will certainly find the “bad”, and one of them may be barking.
What to do so that your puppy does not develop the bad habit of barking for any reason?
Follow the “golden principle”. Reward your puppy for silence and do not reward for barking. It’s simple. Teach him alternative calm behavior instead of the old noisy.
In the case of demanding barking, a silent sitting, an analogue of our “please”, would be a good option. Agree that hearing “please” is much more pleasant than “hey you, but give me that!”. Teaching a puppy to say “please” is very simple, especially if he already knows how to sit. Just show him a piece of goodies and wait for him to stop putting his paws on you, jump and bark, and sit down, looking at you. Give him a piece. When he will immediately sit down for a piece, do the same with the toys, asking him to take him on the pens (or the sofa) before putting on a bowl of food, and for everything else he wants to get. And very soon the moment will come when, in any incomprehensible situation, he will sit down, politely asking you to fulfill his request.
The same polite request “please” can be used in the case of barking with excitement. Only here the reward will not be a material object, but an exciting event. Teach your puppy to sit down (and not jump with barking) to greet when you come home from work. Teach him to sit down when guests come to you. Teach him to sit before fastening his leash and going for a walk. Here you may have to try a little more. When he behaves actively, just freeze like a statue and wait for him to sit down again on his own (without your help) before continuing his actions. Imagine this as a game: at one point in time, either humans or dogs can move. If the puppy freezes (sits down), people move; if the puppy moves (jumps), people freeze. If you teach him to keep calm in the face of all sorts of exciting events, to hear barking because of the excitement does not threaten you.
Be sure to provide your puppy with “good” entertainment, even when you are at home. Chewing toys and search games are a good option. When a puppy is chewing and sniffing, he cannot bark, and the pleasure from getting food serves as reinforcement of silence. According to Ian Dunbar, feeding the entire daily ration to a puppy through Kong can reduce barking by 90%!
And, of course, make sure that neither you, nor other people, nor the environment reward the puppy for barking. Invite only those friends who are able to control themselves and not interact when meeting with the puppy, while he politely sits down, and also do not pay attention to the possible demanding barking.
If the dog barks at the guests
Let’s try to figure out how to minimize barking when knocking / ringing the door, guests come. Usually, the dog barking and strong excitement caused by the joy of waiting for guests and excessive fussiness, attention to the behavior of the animal from the owners themselves.
1. Ignore barking: do not touch the dog, say something / shout at her, look in her direction while she barks.
2. If you have the opportunity – turn off the bell / intercom signal at the time of training. A sign with the inscription “We teach the dog to bark less, therefore we will not be able to open the door immediately, is very effective and original. We will appreciate the expectation and understanding. ” By the way, immediately there will be less willing to sell you plastic windows or talk about the Kingdom of God.
3. Invite your friends, neighbors to participate in the training process – after all, we want to reduce the dog’s response to their arrival.
4. Ask one of the helpers to call or knock on the door. When the dog runs up to the door, reacting to this sound, calmly go to it, stand between the dog and the door, turn your back to the dog – and give a “stopping hand” signal. Stand like this until the dog calms down.
When you stand between the door and the dog and make a stopping gesture with your hand, in this way, you let the dog know that you are taking a solution to the problem. This is very helpful for dogs that are overly hysterical and think that they are “guarding” the house.
5. Open the door slightly. If the dog remains calm (sitting / standing), then you can open the door wider. If the dog starts to worry – stop opening the door and wait until it calms down.
6. Invite the person to come in. Do it all calm and friendly.
7. When the door is open enough for the assistant to enter – let him into the house, while asking him to go sideways to the dog and not pay attention to it. You can communicate with a friend, but in a peaceful and peaceful manner.
8. Come all together in the house, settle down. If the dog is again excited and rushes to the guest, then it would be better if you put on the harness in advance and hold onto it until the dog calms down.
After, of course, you need to give the dog the opportunity to talk with a friend or neighbor. But let the first minutes of communication take place in a relaxed atmosphere.
Later, you can repeat this training several times with other helpers, and then warn your relatives / friends that you have a new ritual of “entering” the house and work it out with them.
Be calm and consistent during the training and remember that the dog cannot help but bark. Barking is a natural way of expressing emotions, it is an indicator of a dog’s condition. Any kind of barking occurs in a dog for a specific internal or external reason. It is necessary to understand this reason, and it will help solve the problem of excessive barking and excitability.
The action algorithm is as follows:
determine the type of barking (what situation provokes the dog to bark),
eliminate the causes of barking,
We think how to reduce the “portion” barking.
Excessive barking can drive you crazy and poison living together with such a dog. However, it is fairly easy to prevent its occurrence, if from the very beginning to educate a puppy according to the “golden principle”, rewarding alternative “good” tacit behavior and not allowing to receive the award to “bad” barking.