Dogs hold a special place in our hearts. They aren't called man's best friend for no reason! Dogs are loyal, funny, smart, and love nothing more than cuddling up beside you for a session of napping and maybe some butt-scratching. Dogs = the greatest. Your argument is invalid.
You can love a dog all you want, but when they seem to be barking constantly, all the love in the world won't help. In order to help solve your dog's problem, you've got to identify it. Once you've figured out what's causing the behavior and learn how to address it, the whole barking dilemma is a thing easily solved!
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1. Figure Out Why
The first step toward stopping your dog from barking? Find out why they're doing it. Does your dog bark when he sees other dogs, people, cars? Maybe he's barking because you're leaving him alone? Once you figure out what's causing the racket, you can begin to address it.
2. Up the Exercise
If you tried all the patience in the world and nothing is working, TV's own dog whisperer, Cesar Millan, says that there's nothing wrong with seeking the help of a professional. That said, before you make the call, he suggests challenging a dog physically. No, not getting in a fight with them -- he means upping the amount of activity they do. If you can't figure out why they're barking, lack of exercise could be why!
3. Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Does your dog bark when he sees people walking by the house? Draw the curtains. What he can't see, he can't bark at. That will help curb barking when you aren't home. The poor guy is just protecting his territory anyway!
4. Socialization Is Key
But sometimes it isn't so simple. Dogs also bark when they are frightened or overly excited. Staying calm and speaking in a soothing, firm manner to your dog goes a long way. Help them spend time with others dogs, go to dog parks, or have supervised visits with other pet owners. Normalizing the experience can go a long way.
5. Be Consistent & Kind
There are two things to remember when you begin training your dog. The Humane Society says they are "consistency and attitude." By which they mean YOU set the rules. The dog follows them. The same goes with attitude. If your dog is barking and you're yelling, all he hears is you barking back! That helps no one. So be firm, clear, and direct -- but also kind and positive.
Do you have a dog who barks too much?
Image via Marcin Wickary/Flickr