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Barking Problems continued from last week…

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There is also barking caused by separation anxiety, which often takes place as you prepare to leave or when you’re not around. There are two types of separation anxiety barking:{{more}}

The acute, hysterical type of barking that occurs within minutes of the owner’s departure, representing panic – a cry for help.

The more chronic variety of more monotonous barking expressed by dogs that have all but given up on their ability to do anything about their predicament.

The two types of barking have similar cause, yet sound different and represent different stages of the same condition. The acute variety, a distress barking, takes the form of intermittent bouts of “expectant” barking, perhaps interspersed with bursts of whining, designed to attract the attention of the owner (or, in some cases, anyone) to the dog’s miserable plight. The treatment for this problem is the same as the treatment of separation anxiety because separation distress is at the root of the problem. Too many owners fail to recognize their dog’s suffering when irate neighbours complain of being disturbed by the dog’s incessant barking. Instead of viewing the problem as a problem for their dog, they only see it as a problem for them. Punishment of such behaviour is an all-too-frequent and misguided solution. Physical punishment at any time, especially after the act, is not only pointless but is counter-productive and inhumane.

More chronic “stereotypic” barking, with its monotone and seemingly mindless motivation, also derives from separation anxiety. Stereotypic barking indicates that a dog has been left alone for extended periods for years and has all but lost faith in its ability to summon anyone’s attention to its plight. In this respect, chronic displacement barking is a barometer of long-term suffering. The humane solution for these dogs is to give them their due by making arrangements to prevent them from having to experience such isolation and futility in the future. Training them not to bark misses the point and will often not work, anyway. Punishment is inhumane. For such characters, much more fundamental issues have to be addressed to bring about resolution of the problem at hand.

to be continued

For further information, contact: Dr. Collin Boyle Unique Animal Care Co. Ltd. Tel: 456 4981

Website: www.uniqueanimalcare.com

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