If Your Dog is the "Problem Barker"
If you have received a complaint about your dog, it is important to correct the problem so that your neighbors do not take legal action, or take their frustrations out on your dog. Remember, being proactive and solving the problem at hand will help you to avoid legal action, and will promote good relations with your neighbors.
Why Some Dogs Bark & Some Suggestions
Some dogs will bark just because they are bored. Supply your pet with chew toys or beef bones. Give him a ball, stuffed toy or something that will occupy him while you are away.
Many dogs bark because they are lonely and want some company. By barking, the dog has gotten your attention, and whether you punish him or not, he has attained his goal. Therefore, he may continue to bark just so he can see you. This is a bad situation for both you and the dog.
Restrictions on Freedom
A dog who is chained continuously in a small area will tend to become aggressive. He will soon bark at the slightest sound or movement, such as leaves, moving cars or the wind. Be aware that the dog is barking to relieve his tension due to being confined and lonely; a cruel situation for any animal to be in.
Protective of Territory
This is very natural for any type of dog, yet consistent and habitual barking is a sign of an unruly dog. It is important to teach your dog to bark enough to alert you and then to respond to you and sit quietly. This way the dog feels he is protecting his property while the owner is still in control of his behavior.
Solutions to the Problem Barking
The following are suggestions that may help you solve a barking dog problem. These suggestions may not work on hyperactive or vocal dogs. You may need to seek professional training for your pet.
Bring your dog in the house when you leave. Many dogs bark continually once you are gone. If you do not want your dog to have the run of the house, you may wish to contain the dog in a certain area, i.e., a basement or laundry room.
Put your dog in the garage. Many people choose to do this if they have a large dog. Be certain to provide old blankets, rugs, or carpet for your pet to lay on. A cold, hard cement floor is far from comfortable. Be aware of the dangers of leaving your dog in the garage.
No matter where you decide to keep your pet, be certain there is clean water and shelter available at all times. Many dogs will bark and whine if they are thirsty or cold.
When your dog starts to bark, it is the dog owner's responsibility to find out what is causing the problem. Do not ignore the barking no matter what time it may be.
The best thing you can do to correct this problem is work on training the dog. For specific directions, contact a qualified obedience instructor. Spend time with your dog and include him in your daily activities. Remember, you are his only means of exercise and love.
Mechanical & Surgical Solutions
Anti-bark collars, either electronic or sonic, as well as fence-mounted anti-bark devices, are available through local pet store and pet product distributors. Veterinarians can "debark" a dog surgically by cutting the vocal cords. Talk with your veterinarian about what method may be more appropriate for your pet. Both methods are more effective when accompanied by consistent training.
If you are too busy to spend time with your dog every day, you are probably too busy to own a dog. Please evaluate your situation and do what is best for your dog.