Saturday, August 4, 2007

Quieting a Barking Dog

Sometimes a barking dog can not only drive the neighbors crazy, but the owners as well. Dogs bark for many reasons, some are less of a problem than others. Often, dogs will bark to let people know of their presense. This doesn't mean that you are necessarily neglecting your dog, but just that your dog is either very social and needs continuous attention, or that they are very protective and need to let others know that they are guarding the yard or house.

One way of solving the problem of continuous barking is to get the dog's attention, and let it know that you have things under control. This works well for dogs that are protecting the yard, by saying "It's okay," you are letting your dog know that you are aware that people are near your yard. But this doesn't work for many dogs, and some more creative tactics are often needed to quiet the barking.

Try keeping a squirt gun on the porch, perhaps if you have a large yard, you would need a high-powered super-soaker type. Make sure that it is full of water. Next time your dog is barking, call his or her name to first get the dog's attention. If the barking continues, squirt the stream of water OVER the dog, so as not to directly wet the dog. However, by aiming above the dog, surely a drop or two will land on the dog, and he or she will realize that it has done something you do not approve of. Once you have the dog's attention, immediately follow up with a command, such as "NO" or "QUIET" in which you will use each and every time your dog barks obsessively. After one or two squirting incidents, you will be able to simply call your dog's name from a window rather than going outside to halt the noise, and again - use the command to stop the barking. If you need to, aim the squirt gun at the dog, but don't squirt. Your dog will soon learn that the behavior isn't good, and learn to bark only when necessary. Don't worry, if there is an intruder, your dog will surely let you know!