Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Is there really a way to teach dogs not to bark? If you live in an area where there are many dogs, you would certainly hope so. And, if you have a dog that loves to make noise, you may want to know this for you own sanity.
Dogs bark for several reasons. If a noise is made outside your home, your dog probably barks in an effort to warn you. This is part of a dogs nature, but that does not mean you can't teach the dog not to bark on command. It does take some doing, but this is what we learned through trial and error.
If you are not there to command your dog to be silent, I can't say there is something that will keep it from barking. When you are with the dog, you can continually show your disapproval when it barks, and eventually the dog will get it. First, when the dog barks for a reason you do not find acceptable, say quiet in a loud, stern voice, followed by a hand signal of your choice. Repeat the same step each time you have a barking incident. Some dogs will get it the first day. Other dogs take many times to get with the program.
When you approve of a dog barking, commend it with 'good boy' and a pat on the head. This helps the dog understand there are times when barking is okay. Most dogs will learn to distinguish between the sounds of the mail being delivered, and strange noises that an intruder would make.
It is true some dogs will never understand how to behave the way the master would prefer. For these pets, a professional trainer may be needed. In most cases, just being consistent and fair will get the results you need.