Kathy Pierson

Every pet owner realizes their dog will sometimes bark. In fact, most people even want their dog to bark if someone comes to the door, or if there’s an unusual noise. After all, these are some of the benefits of man’s best friend.
However, when barking becomes excessive, the benefits of a watchdog are greatly diminished! Not only may you find yourself yelling at your dog (and adding to the commotion!), but you may also find that you don’t even go see why he’s barking. After all, if he barks all the time, why bother checking?
Not only can this problem be annoying for dog owners, but it can also be bothersome to neighbors, and can cause you to ignore your pet should he ever be barking for a real reason.

Most often, excessive barking is caused by lack of socialization. If your dog spends most of his time in the house or the yard, he’s likely to feel much more territorial over the area. Additionally, if your pet hasn’t been thoroughly socialized, he may perceive things as a threat that actually is not!

For example, there is no need for your dog to bark every time your neighbors go in and out of their house, or while they’re in their yard. They belong there. Same goes for the children that walk past every day on their way to school, and other common neighborhood occurrences.

You can help your dog to overcome this problem by working on obedience training and socialization skills. Take him out for a walk around the neighborhood and let him meet lots of people and children. Next time your neighbor is bringing their garbage pails out to the curb, put your dog on his leash and bring him out front to chat with the neighbor and see the pails.

Remember to use your dog’s obedience commands as a way of life, in day to day situations. Rather than yelling from across the room, go over to your dog, tell him “No barking” and put him in a sit/stay. Follow with praise. Similar methods should be used when your dog is barking outdoors too.

With training practice and socialization, your dog’s barking problem can be brought under control. Stick with it and you’ll soon be enjoying your pet more, as well as some peace and quiet!