The number one problem dog parents call in a dog trainer for is dog barking. By dog barking I mean excessive dog barking. Dogs bark, growl, and whine for a variety of reasons as a natural means of communicating. The beauty of the Bark Busters system is we get to the root of the reason your dog is barking and teach you how to overcome this mis-behavior.
Here we’ll discuss some of the reasons dogs bark.
Does your dog bark at everything that moves outside whether it be a person, the wind or a car? Your dog is trying to tell you he is stressed and on edge. Dog stress occurs when your dog does not feel safe. He is looking to you to be the “pack leader”, the one in charge, the person who provides him with the rules and boundaries. If the dog is secure in the knowledge he is safe, he doesn’t feel the need to patrol or bark at every movement he sees or sound he hears.
Most dogs are not natural leaders – they are followers. Dominant dogs or alpha dogs prefer to be in charge and give versus take commands. When an alpha dog senses a threat, he will be calm but alert. Chances are your dog is not calm and begins to bark uncontrollably. At the root, he is not a natural born leader but is trying to take on the role as best as he knows how.
Here is where Bark Busters teaches pet parents to be the leader of the pack and make their dog feel safe and secure. He will defer to you to protect him. I will teach you a series of training exercises to shift the hierarchy of your pack, so your dog knows he does not have to be in an adrenalized state. Believe it or not your dog will thank you. He will be much calmer and happier knowing you are there to safeguard him.
Many dogs bark when they see another dog or person. This bark is usually not aggressive although it may seem that way. Usually it means your dog is afraid for you or himself. Your dog needs to learn that the safest place for him to be is right by your side. He will start adopting your cues. If you are calm, he will be calm. Bark Busters will start by establishing your leadership role on the inside of the house before you go outside where there are a lot of distractions.
Does your dog bark at specific things? The vacuum cleaner, a place, or a sound? I had a client whose dog would bark continually when the husband walked into the room. Chances are, a situation triggers a dog to associate a person or place with a bad or fearful experience. For instance, my client had adopted this dog … did a man abuse him before? As with all types of barking, the key is to make the dog feel safe. In some cases, we may even have to teach a re-association protocol where the dog associates the person or place with something different. Whenever the husband would appear, we used high value foods and activities to dispel the negative association. Within a short period of time, whenever the dog saw the husband he was too busy looking for the cheese or playing a game to care.
Dogs are pack animals and they do not like to be alone or bored. Dogs with severe cases of separation anxiety may even pace, destroy things, or toilet in the house. Is it because your dog misses and loves you? Probably not. The real reason is your dog can’t see you and he is afraid for you. He wants you to come back, so he can keep you safe. Separation anxiety is a very powerful emotion for your dog. The Bark Busters system quickly teaches him that you can take care of yourself and there is no reason for him to be afraid for you.
Getting your dog to STOP barking will take time and patience, but if you follow your homework exercises, you will see the problem can be overcome. Never shout at your dog because he will think it is a game and you are joining in. Tire your dog out before you leave the house. Leave him with some interactive toys to alleviate boredom.
Most of all don’t let the excessive barking continue because it will only get worse and could develop into aggression. Call me – Michael Konstantaras – your Stamford dog trainer or email me. I’d love to help you have a well-behaved dog! I can help you with dog barking, aggression, separation anxiety and more!