Dogs use barking to communicate with other dogs as well as their human friends, and we can’t deny them the right to speak their mind.
However, sometimes they are just overdoing it and you cannot stand the noise – they create tension and nervousness amongst people and other dogs in the neighborhood.
This occasionally happens when dogs are feeling as their territory is endangered, or when they are frustrated and anxious because some of their needs are not satisfied, they are in pain, or they simply feel the need to communicate.
Try to first address the issue which causes the barking: if your dog is hungry – provide food, if you think it may be in pain – take it to the veterinarian, etc.
There are some devices available on the market that will prevent your dog from barking. Among those products, there are – muzzles that prevent dogs from opening their jaws, a bark collar (which shocks the dog with electricity when it barks), and such. These devices may prevent barking at a given moment, but they don’t improve your dog’s behavior or the way it feels. Besides, these devices are FAR FROM BEING HUMANE, and if you have a dog, you probably love it as a part of your family, and you don’t want to hurt it and cause it to be unhappy.
Besides, a dog who cannot communicate may end up feeling frustrated, while you on the other hand might end up with destroyed furniture and small brown icky balls all over the house.
If your dog is barking uncontrollably and you want to use a humane way to calm it, use these simple tricks:
1. Distract your dog.
When dogs get bored, they tend to bark wanting to get your attention and incline you to play with them. Sometimes noise from the street can upset your dog, so it may be a good idea to leave the radio or TV on while your dog is home alone.
That way, your dog won’t be anxious, as it will feel as it was not completely alone. Also, leaving some toys for your dog to play with will distract it from the thought of being alone and bored. The more toys your dog has, the better.
2. Keep your dog active.
If your dog isn’t physically active and if it’s not running or playing enough to use up all of its energy, it usually becomes frustrated and nervous, and in those situations dogs overreact with barking. You should take some time to take your dog for a walk, or even better – a run. You can chase each other at the park or you can take it where there are other dogs playing so it can find some company and friends to have fun with. The happier your dog is, the less it will unnecessarily bark.
3. Stay calm when trying to stop the dog from barking.
Your dog won’t take you serious if it notices that you’re frustrated, nervous and unbalanced, says Cesar Milan, a world famous dog trainer. Your dog feels your energy and if you’re nervous – it will be nervous as well, and it will release that negative energy through barking. Calm yourself first, and then calmly approach your dog, use your soothing voice and pet it to calm it down. Let it feel your calm and positive feelings, and soon it will stop barking.
4. Challenge your dog’s mind.
Idle and mentally unstimulated dogs usually get bored with their daily routine. Exposing them to new things and challenges constantly can be nothing but good for them, and when they are challenged and entertained, they are less likely to bark unnecessarily.
One way to challenge your dog’s mind is to play interactive games. For example, there are canine puzzles the both of you can play with. Also, you can try hiding something inside a cup turned downwards, and placing 2 other cups beside it, and then let your dog find the hidden object. There are many games you can play, you just need a little imagination.