Does your dog bark? Is it embarrassing? Do you know why they’re barking? Or is it just something they do to everything they notice?
Some dogs bark more than others. It’s quite common to hear tales of certain breeds. Terriers, Cocker Spaniels, Schnauzers but all dogs are individuals, and some dogs are simply more vocal than others. The most important thing is to work out why the dog is barking. This is what’s known in my job, as a ‘functional’ assessment. What is the dog trying to get from the behaviour? In other words, what’s the function of their behaviour? That’s why barking stop-type collars are rarely a good idea. If I get asked HOW to stop a dog barking I always need to ask WHY they are doing it.
In general, does barking affect dogs like it affects us? If there are other dogs nearby, one dog barking transmits a communication of one kind or another, to any of the dogs around. It also communicates something to us people, and probably other animals too. Did you know that people even without owning dogs, can identify the reasons for any barking? A number of different types of bark have been identified, so it’s important to check the cause of each.
If you want to know more about how dogs think and live, you can get my book ‘Being a Dog – the World from your Dog’s Point of View’ – right here!
If you have a dog that is barking because it’s frightened, and all you do is try to shout at it to switch it off, then what that will do is add some upset and stress to an already stressed dog.
If your dog is barking to let people know that there’s someone at the door, owners will tell me that’s what they got the dog for in the first place. However, they then don’t want the barking to go on and on. Ask yourself whether or not it’s healthy for your dog to be barking whenever anyone’s around. This can be quite stressful! It’s also a small habit each time, that can build into a big bad one. Here is an article to help you better understand what your dog’s bark means.
Download my handy ‘Ssh! Stop your dog barking’ manual below!
– Karen Wild