Barking is one type of vocal communication that dogs use, and its purpose can mean different things depending on the situation. Dogs can bark because they are protecting their property from someone they deem as a threat. They may bark because they are startled or alarmed or because they are bored and lonely. Or they may bark in greeting, because they are happy to see you and want to play.
It’s unreasonable to think that your dog will never bark, but it is reasonable to want to control excessive barking. Here are some tips on how you can control excessive nuisance barking:
1. A tired dog is a quiet dog. If your dog is going to be alone for an extended period of time, or if you are preparing for a house full of visitors, take your dog for a long walk/run or wear him out with a high-energy game of ball or Frisbee. The dog park is also a great place to visit prior to leaving your dog or hosting visitors.
2. Using a “Quiet” command can be an effective form of controlling poor behavior. When your dog is barking, say “Quiet” in a firm voice. When your dog stops barking- even to pause for a breath- praise him and offer a treat. He’ll soon start to realize that if he stops barking at the “Quiet” command good things will happen.
3. Try an ultrasonic distraction. The Havahart® Ultrasonic Trainer uses an ultrasonic sound- set to your dog’s specific hearing sensitivity- to distract him for undesirable behavior. Set on Automatic Mode, the trainer is programmed to recognize barking and deliver an ultrasonic sound. As a safety feature, the trainer will time out if it is triggered six times within one minute.