How to Handle Dog Barking
Excessive barking can become a real issue for pet owners. I had a dog once that barked at anything and everything. When I let her play in the backyard, she would run up and down he back and bark at the grass, the shed, the fence and so on and so on. Dogs bark to communicate with us and with other dogs. Unfortunately, when dogs bark too much, it may disrupt your sleep or bother the neighbors. Well I know this is the case for some of you out there so I have some helpful tips that can help you stop or control the barking.
How to get your dog to stop barking
1. First you can try a citronella collar; a citronella spray bark collar is often viewed as a humane alternative to painful shock collars. The gentle spray bark collar has a small receptor designed to pick up and respond to the barking sound of the dog by releasing a spray of citronella in front of the dog’s snout. Through reflex conditioning, your dog learns to associate barking with the annoying squirt of citronella and barking becomes less “rewarding” to most dogs.
2. Next you can try an electric bark collar. An electronic bark collar is a good choice for bark control. Using a bark collar will not stop barking, but it will limit unnecessary barking, which will be a relief for you. The anti-bark collar units use three different types of correction. Several models use mild electronic correction. When the dog barks, the bark control collar responds to vibration or vibration and sound depending on the model, and emits a correction. The electronic stimulation provided by a bark collar is not harmful. It is similar to the feeling you get when you slide your feet on carpet and then touch a door knob; it’s annoying but not physically harmful.
3. If you can’t afford a trainer, you can try to training your dog yourself. One conditioning program that’s effective is called desensitization/counter-conditioning program. This means that through very slow, controlled exposure you teach your dog to associate each of the stimuli that triggers her barking with something good (usually food). This will eventually teach her to look to you for a treat rather than bark at the stimulus. Many people are probably reading this wondering “does this mean you always have to have food on you? The answer to that is “yes, for a while.” You can eventually wean the food to an extent. However, if you were to use a bark collar you would always have to use a bark collar, so either way, you are always going to have to have something. To learn how to do a desensitization/classical conditioning program you could either buy a book or hire a professional trainer to walk you through it.
4. A third suggestion would be to hire a trainer. Trainers can help in ways that you can’t imagine. Keep in mind that trainers can become expensive, but again they are effective.
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