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Barking problems Part 3

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Territorial Barking

One of a dog’s main duties around the home is to bark and warn off any strangers and alert fellow pack members that an intruder is approaching. This function is very much appreciated by many owners and has prevented many a burglary.{{more}} Having a dog in the yard or house is as good, if not better, than having an electronic surveillance system. But problems arise when overly enthusiastic dogs continue to bark longer than is necessary to alert its owners of approaching persons.

The trick is to train the dog to stop barking once the warning has been acknowledged. For most dogs this is usually not too much of a problem. A “good dog” or “thank you” is sometimes all that is needed to acknowledge the dog’s warning of a stranger’s approach. It is good manners, too, to thank your dog for performing his duty.

If barking persists following your acknowledgement and thanks, however, a “cease” command, like “stop it!” or “enough!” should be used afterwards to call an end to it.

Reactive Barking

Some dogs don’t just bark at approaching strangers – they bark at anything that moves or alters their environment: a passing car, a falling leaf, and so on. Such dogs are the antithesis of the lazy old coonhound that takes everything in his stride: They are constantly on “red alert” for anything that might happen. This type of dog can be difficult to cohabit with, especially if you don’t need that degree of protection. Highly reactive dogs take their self-defensive and family-guarding responsibilities way too far. Perhaps by nature, perhaps by nurture, these dogs trust no one and regard every environmental change as a threat.

So, how do we persuade these dogs that their mission is pointless when each environmental disturbance eventually stops, thus reinforcing the behaviour? The answer is that we can’t.

In this case it may be a wise idea to try one of the commercial anti bark devices that we see advertised on TV.

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

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