Got a Barking Dog?

Bow, wow. Woof, woof. Arf, arf. Arrrrooooo. When you first get a puppy, they’re itty-bitty bark is music to your ears. But after a while, woofing roolly does your head in – and the neighbours typically don’t dig it, either.

So, how do pull the pug on a barking dog?

1. Understand why he’s yelping like a Steppenwolf cover band.

Is Poochie droolly where he wants to be?
Dogs woof to go inside, outside, inside and outside again, all day – and need your attention to open the doggone dooooor! A doggie door, which allows Fido to come and go as he sees cat, could be your window to solving the problem.

Irregular feeding times can throw Fido into a frenzy.
If you’re always feeding your furry friend at different times, he may begin to fret, ‘This bites. What if she never feeds me again?’ By keeping a consistent mealtime schedule, your hungry Harrier won’t have reason to arf about where his next meal’s coming from.

Somedoggie wants attention.
Rook at me! Rook at me! Rook at me! Sometimes a bit of bow-wow is just a cry for a belly-rub. Regular pat-pats and cuddles will help your noisy Newfoundland feel more secure, so she won’t feel the need to woof it out.

Because boredom really bites.
‘Arf, woof, yelp, woof.’ Translation: ‘Mum, I’m borrrrrrred.’ So, make sure Wally gets plenty of walks in, so he’s too dog-tired to bark from all the excitement. Particularly if you’re away during the day, a few doggy toys can make a big difference.

5. Outdoor and distant noises are the yip of the iceberg.
‘Suspicious’ noises can send your dog straight to a phone booth to change into Watchdog. Or Junkyard Dog, depending on what side of the tracks he’s from. So, the next time he gives that rustling a warning yelp, stick your head out the door, look around, then give him a pat: ‘Junkyard Dog, you’re such a good boy for letting me know there’s a problem’. Nothing against rustling, but if there’s a real issue, such as another dog or cat, kindly ask them to leave or you’ll have to call their owners.

2. Nipping that barking for your bud.

So, you’ve satisfied his needs, HIS NEEDS, above – but Fido’s still belting out Three Dog Night. It may be time for a little tough love. Woof:

Treat the barking like it’s not there.
If you discover your Collie choir-leader is roolly just an attention seeker, you may need to ignore him the next time he barks out-of-turn. Once he stops woofing, encourage him to do something good boys do, like go to his bed where a treat just might be under the covers. This will help Lassie learn there are better ways to get attention.

‘Command’ him to stop barking. (Yip, sir!)
Choose a command and use it every time you would like your dog to stop his Dogfather impressions – or at least choose a quieter character. Begin by figuring out what sets him off, and then reenact the situation. Somewhere during your mafia scene, put your dog on a lead. As soon as he starts to arf, use the lead to force him to the floor, while firmly stating your command. When your barking Brando obeys, give him a treat. If all goes according to plan, he should eventually recognise the command without the need for a lead – or petty cash from another gangster.

If at first you don’t succeed, train, train, again.
Keep in mind that some breeds, like Beagles and Kelpies, just bark more than others and may need a bit more time and patience, on your part. And you can also talk to your vet if you’re out of ideas, or if the barking is out of character for your Cocker Spaniel.

Yip, yip!

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