Compulsive Barking – How Can You Easily Transform This Behavior?
Please do seek expert help if you feel things are going out of hand. Because we want the best for our dogs, isn’t it so?
Barking is the language in which dogs communicate, but even for those who love their dog to bits, it can sometimes be nerve-racking if they incessantly keep barking.
Compulsive barking can be annoying and disturbing, not just to the pet owner but also to the neighbors. Just as children, dogs also suffer from separation anxiety, and don’t like to be left alone for long periods of time. They exhibit similar symptoms as humans like:
If a dog develops the habit of compulsive barking, the pet owners need to understand why the dog is barking.
Pet owners also need to understand that compulsive barking is not a habit that can be stopped immediately. It requires patience and regular training to break this habit in a dog.
Dogs usually bark due to the following reasons:
- They want to alert the master about a stranger coming.
- If it hears some odd noises
- If it feels someone is encroaching on its space
- To gain its owner’s attention
- If the dog is excited at seeing someone familiar
Treating The Dog Out Of The Habit Of Excessive Barking
Never Shout at Your Dog
Shouting at the dog when it is barking will only make it bark even more. A calm but firm voice works better on the dog to stop its compulsive barking. Train it to understand simple commands like ‘Quiet’ or hand signals like holding your finger to your lips. When it stops barking, don’t fail to praise it! Understand why the dog is barking. Don’t yell at it and show your frustration on the dog, however tired you might be.
How to Stop A Dog from Barking When Left Alone?
Take it for a run or play with it before you leave home. If the dog is tired, it will curb its barking even if it is locked up in the house. If you are busy, get someone to take it for a walk.
Don’t Encourage Unnecessary Barking
Barking gives dogs an adrenaline rush, and thus, should not be encouraged.
Compulsive barking is also a sign that the dog is feeling some kind of discomfort or is in pain. It is also a sign of senility and taking it to a veterinarian is usually advisable to ensure the well-being of the dog.
Block Its View
Dogs tend to bark if something catches their attention or they hear some unfamiliar noises. Keep your windows closed or use blinds or curtains so that your pet does not get a clear view of the outside. If you have a yard, ensure that your pet does not get a view of the neighborhood by planting some bushes and shrubs around the fence.
Create A Private Space
When you have a dog at home, it is always a good idea to create a comfortable space for it. Set a bed and leave some of its favorite toys or a snack which will keep it happy when it is left alone at home.
Never Pay Attention or Reward Your Dogs’ Barking
If your dog has the habit of barking to go out or for a treat or water, you are rewarding it for barking. Teach it to push the door or tie a bell or rope which it can pull if it needs to go out. Teach it to tap its bowl if it needs water or food.
Curb Frenzied Barking While Playing
Some dogs, usually young ones, tend to get into a barking frenzy when they get excited while playing or when their master comes home. You should discourage this tendency from a young age. Train it to wait near the door when you open a door or while playing with the dog. Use praise and treats to encourage good behavior.
Devices to Control Barking and Reduce Stress
With the advancement of technology, numerous products are available in the market such as sprays, jackets, collars and ultrasonic sounds which help curb the habit of compulsive barking in dogs.
Training the dog using simple commands is the most effective way of curbing compulsive barking. It is also equally important to be calm and authoritative with the dog. This is to ensure that it understands the instructions given to it. If the pet owner is also yelling at the dog, it will only howl louder instead of stopping. Be patient and understanding towards your pet, and it will reciprocate in kind. You might also want to read this good article on using dog bark collars and if it is cruel to use them.