After I adopted my first puppy, I didn't train him very well. I was too afraid of him getting "mad at me" to scold him when he did naughty puppy things, like chewing up my shoes. I thought he would grow out of some of his bad habits, but it didn't seem like he was. I asked another dog owner at the dog park for advice, and he told me that dogs really enjoy being trained, and proper training actually makes them happier. After that conversation, I started taking my dog to a local training center and he seemed to really love being there! He soon stopped his bad habits and even learned fun tricks. I want to share my dog training tips with anyone out there who needs them and help everyone learn that a well-trained pet is a happy pet!
One common issue that can affect even well-trained dogs is excessive barking. Some barking is natural and even beneficial- after all, you probably want your dog to bark to alert you of an intruder or other emergency. But when a dog barks all the time and won't stop even when you use training commands, it's time to intervene. Here are four tips for correcting this unwanted behavior and minimizing your dog's barking:
Provide Plenty of Exercise
Oftentimes, barking is a result of pent-up energy and boredom looking for a way to express itself. Making sure your dog has plenty of daily exercise may have an immediate positive effect on your dog's excessive barking. If you work long hours, consider paying a dog walker or taking your dog to doggy daycare where they will get tired out playing with other dogs. Daily brisk walks are ideal, but should be supplemented by mixing things up with a vigorous game of catch, swimming, or hiking.
Make Sure You Are Pack Leader
If your dog knows you are in charge, they will feel less compelled to bark because they will trust that you are already aware of whatever they are barking at. Establishing a healthy pack order often requires professional dog training, but there are things you can do on your own to complement your lessons. Always make sure your dog sits before they eat a meal and making them wait to walk out the door on a leash until you have walked out the door ahead of them and given them permission are actions that send the signal that you are in charge and your dog can then relax instead of trying to lead the pack.
Excessive barking can be so frustrating that many dog owners resort to yelling at their dogs when they bark. This is counter-productive because it makes your dog more anxious and can also be interpreted as you joining in on the barking. This gives your dog the impression that they are right to be barking, which is the opposite effect of what you're aiming for.
Avoid Reinforcing the Behavior
Sometimes scolding your dog when they bark or even encouraging them to stop in a nice tone of voice only reinforces the behavior. Many dogs love any action that results in attention from their owner. A more effective approach is to ignore the barking altogether, remove your dog from the stimulus if possible, and then reward them with plenty of praise and a treat when they stop barking.
By following these tips, you will help train your dog to bark much less and soon have a more peaceful home. For more information, contact a business such as DePaul k9 Academy.