Can help for a variety of reasons, such as:
Worried - This maybe how the barking started, the dog was worried or anxious about something (barking often comes from a place of worry/anxiety/fear) so it starts barking.
This dog starts barking as soon as it starts to get excited, this may be a knock-on door or doorbell ringing, you get lead & harness out prior to a walk, playing toy game and you stop so dog backs off barking in hope you will continue.
Attention seeking and not getting attention, seeing another dog when yours is on leash and wants to go over an interact etc.
It can often be one or more of these things, for example, dog barks because it’s worried of something I.e., noise in garden, talking outside house, neighbor putting wheelie bin out, someone trying to stroke it that’s a stranger, another dog dashes over. Every time that thing happens, its barks. Then starts barking in other situations, such as when it gets over excited. Barking increases, maybe a dog barks in class because its frustrated, it can then start increasing barking by doing it somewhere else (home/walk etc.)
So, the more the dog practices barking, the more barking increases – because “practice makes perfect!”
Some of the things that can help are:
- Practicing and rewarding “calm activities” - many of these dogs are not calm enough during day or have not been rewarded for calmness enough. Every time your dog relaxes, takes a breath, is calm – cash in on that by rewarding it. If your dog likes it main kibble/food use that for rewarding all those calm choices you see every day & calmness with increase, barking will decrease.
- Give lots of passive calming activities such as a stuffed Kong (stuffed Kong recipes on this web site for you to check out), calmly scatter feed, long lasting chews, snuffle mats, licky mats – use these for feeding, if necessary, instead of bowl as they last longer & are more calming. If they cannot eat, it shows you the barking is bad & the need to bark outweighs the food. You may need to speak with a Pro Dog Trainer.
- Choice can be exhausting for some dogs, and they may need more active rest. Think about where they like to sleep and rest if given the choice and encourage them to use it more often, making sure it’s not a busy area of the home.
- Vigilance barking need working on immediately if this is the problem. It’s important you do not keep letting this happen. Keep them amused using “passive calming” activities above. Ash yourself “why are they barking?” Maybe to play with another dog in the home or chase/play with the cat – well that should not have been happening in the first place. Maybe barking in garden, so stop, for time being, dog having free access to garden which is putting him/her in a position to practice what you want to stop – barking. Maybe take him out on a long lead (not the one used for walking) so you can supervise this and after toilet break bring back in. But whilst out in garden, reward those good choices, being quiet, sniffing, toileting, mooching about or do some calm scatter feeding using main kibble so dog is actively practicing quiet in garden, not barking. .
- Pick moments you can reward them and practice this lots! - Someone knocks door – feed them - You pick up harness & lead – reward them What often happens is one bad choice your dog makes (bark at something), you probably missed 100 good choices it made in that day you want/like. You need to be rewarding every good choice, even verbally, so that good choices increase, bad choices decrease