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A barking dog can be very annoying, even if it is your own dog that’s making all the noise! It’s important that you work out why your dog is barking before you try to stop it, because if you take the wrong approach, it won’t work.
There are several common reasons dogs bark:
1. Intruders. Dogs are territorial and will defend their home and back yard. This intruder may be a squirrel or a neighboring cat, or it may in fact be a prowler. If your dog is barking because of an unwelcome guest, acknowledge him for doing his job, and then remove the intruder from your dog’s turf.
2. Boredom. Being a pack animal, dogs enjoy the company of others, and don’t like being alone. They also enjoy going for walks and exploring their neighborhood. If your dog spends most of his life on his own in your back yard, he’s not going to be happy, and will let everyone know about it.
3. Separation anxiety. Some dogs bark because they become extremely anxious and distressed when they are left alone. This can take several months of re-training to resolve.
Most people take one of two approaches to a barking dog: they either ignore it, or they yell at it. The former doesn’t do anything to stop the behavior, and the latter can make things worse. The dog thinks you are excited too, and they will keep on barking.
There are several things you can do to reduce your dog’s problem barking.
Exercise and training will help him use up his excess mental and physical energy.
Anti-bark collars can be used to stop a dog barking, however they don’t address the cause of the barking, so your dog is still unhappy but just can’t express it.
Keep your dog indoors to remove him from whatever is making him bark. This is a good option when he’s trying to make the local tom cat go away.
Muzzles can be helpful but you need to make sure your dog can still pant and drink while he is wearing it. Never leave your dog unattended while he has a muzzle on.
A constantly barking dog can have surgery to “debark” him. This often just makes the bark softer and squeakier, which may be just as annoying. It too is not ideal because it doesn’t solve your dog’s underlying reason for making a noise.
In Summary – I recommend vigorous workouts twice a day for your dog and if after 2 weeks your dog is still barking at the clouds go by then seek advice from a veterinary behaviorist to
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