Thursday, August 24, 2006

Tips to Help Solve the Three Most Common Dog Barking Complaints

Many dog owners find themselves frustrated, deeply concerned and even embarrassed by their dog's constant barking. Currently, there are approximately 63 million dogs owned by 44 million Americans. And just over one third of those owners complain of excessive barking.
Allowing your dog to bark excessively can be hazardous to it's safety. I should know, I lost my dog because of it. I found out that excessive barking is one of the major reasons that people end up losing their dog. It's a problem that nobody likes to talk about or admit to.
Here are some practical solutions to three of the most common dog barking complaints.
Complaint # One: Your dog barks for more than 15 minutes continuously, or off and on for more than half an hour - especially after you leave the house. Better known as separation anxiety.
Solution: Even the Queen of Talk herself, Oprah Winfrey suffered from this problem. The key is to not make a big deal when you are leaving the house. Many people feel guilty and start apologizing to their pooch when they have to leave it alone. Don't! That negative energy will affect your dog. Your dog can feel your stress and will play into it, causing nervous barking. How you react will dictate how your pup reacts. Leave calmly without exciting your dog. Better yet, do something to preoccupy your dog so she's not focused on you when you are about to leave.
Complaint # Two: Outside sounds cause your dog to bark for long periods of time.
Solution: You need to do something to block out those noises. You may want to consider putting your dog in a room as far away from the main street as possible and don't let him have free reign of the house. And while he's in there, try turning on a radio (preferably classical music or a soft style of music) to calm your dog. It's really true that music soothes the savage beast.
Complaint # Three: Your dog constantly barks, whines or whimpers due to stress or anxiety or for any reason at all.
Solution: This can be a tough one for most people but, DO NOT give your dog attention when it's behaving like this. Too many people unwittingly contribute to this particular problem by picking up their dog or going to him when he starts to bark or whine. Your dog is learning that in order to get attention from you, barking and whining is the way to do it. He's controlling you. And by you picking him up or giving in to him in some way, you're reinforcing that. Remember, YOU are the boss, not your dog. The way to break your dog of that habit is to ignore the unwanted behavior and only praise your dog when it is not barking. Then he'll get the message that he only gets what he wants (attention or affection) when he gives you what you want (a calm quiet dog).
No dog owner should suffer the guilt, pain or embarrassment of having a dog that barks constantly. Finally, dog owners can safely leave Fido alone knowing he's happy and quiet. And no more worrying about dirty looks from the neighbors. All it takes is knowing the proper way to deal with the behavior.


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