Excessive barking is a very common problem for dog owners. Most of the time dogs are just protecting their territory, feeling a bit anxious or just want your attention. Dogs are very social animals and can easily feel lonely.
Punishment-based methods are not a solution for barking. When your dog is excited enough to bark, they are often too distracted to learn new behaviours. It is better to first focus on calming your dog down, and then reward the calm behaviour.
- Altering your fence to impede your dog’s vision of passing strangers
- Getting some toys and other alternative stimuli to keep your dog engaged
- Treating any arthritis, skin irritation or other physical disorder that is making your dog uncomfortable
- Address any unwanted barking immediately using commands and trying to calm your dog
- Where possible, remove your dog from the location and the stimuli that is causing it distress
Reward good behaviour
- Reward your dog with affection when they silence upon command
- Food treats can be used initially (though try to transition to just a pat and a ‘good dog’ before too long)
If you have a persistent barking problem with your dog just make an appointment with us at the Moorabbin Veterinary Hospital. We can give your furry friend a quick check up to make sure nothing physical is bothering them and offer personal advice as to how to deal with any separation anxiety issues.