Sometimes, dogs bark. This is unavoidable, and should be obvious to anyone who has spent any time with the creatures. However, many dogs do it so often that it becomes a problem. Usually there is some kind of trigger, such as seeing strangers, while other times it seems that your dog just barks for no reason.
A dog's bark is like a baby's cry in many respects. There is always a reason for excessive barking, and that reason is usually negative. Perhaps your dog is scared or confused. This is usually the case if there is a trigger, such as strangers, loud cars or a certain type of person.
If this is the case with your dog, then you need to be on hand to show them that there is nothing to be scared about. If you have a friend that usually triggers your dog's barking, enlist their help. Bring them around, and see how your dog reacts.
If your pet begins to bark, walk over to your friend in a confident manner. Shake their hand, pat them on the shoulder or touch them in some other way. Sit down, have a cup of tea and relax, ignoring your dog's barks. Be calm and authoritative throughout.
When a dog is prone to barking at things it is scared of, it usually makes the owner apprehensive. You may find that you are constantly worried when walking your dog, in case they begin to bark and be aggressive at people you pass. Dogs pick up on this anxiety, and it makes them anxious in turn. Be calm and relaxed to show your dog there is nothing to worry about.
If there is no trigger, it could be because your dog is spoiled. Again, the answer is to be authoritative. For example, your dog might be hungry. While it is a good idea to feed your dog well, with premium dog food, your pet needs to know that it gets fed when you want to feed it.
Ignore any attempts by your dog to beg food from you. It is worth feeding your pet at set times, however you may still want to withhold your pet's food if they are not calm and relaxed. Make sure they know that you decide when they are fed, and they do not.
Written by: Hannah Dyball