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Tips to reduce your Dog’s Barking

Tips to reduce your Dog’s Barking
Barking can be an endless source of frustration for both dog owners and their neighbours. As natural as it is for a dog to bark, and there are many good reasons for them to, it’s also the responsibility of their owners to reduce this noise as much as possible. In this guide we will examine many aspects of what makes dogs bark and how you can help reduce the stimuluses that lead to the behaviour. 
Research Breed:
This point may come too late for many, but it’s worth making for those still deciding what breed of dog they would like to bring into the home. Some breeds are simply more vocal than others. Certain breeds, such as Basset & Bloodhounds, Huskies & smaller Terriers/Chihuahuas are more prone to being vocal, be that with barking or howling. Shiba Inus, Lurchers & Greyhounds are known to be less vocal than other breeds.
Barking for attention:
Without the ability to communicate as effectively with us as we can with other humans, dogs have to be trained to let us know their needs in other ways. Barking is the obvious starting point for a dog wanting attention. The easiest way to train this out of your dog is to offer their barking no response. Do not raise your voice in return and only offer attention and praise when they quieten down. Their barking may worsen at first before they come to understand that the reward of attention comes from their quietness. This will require persistence and in severe cases may even require professional intervention from a dog trainer.
Someone at the door:
This can also apply to someone walking by your house. The simplest method is just to distract your dog with some play, but this is more of a plaster on the problem than a solution. A method which dog trainers suggest is to try and desensitise your dog to the sounds or actions that their barking is triggered by, and to praise and reward them for not reacting. With people walking by, it can also be good to prevent your dog from being able to see people passing by.
Barking when bored:
Barking for no apparent reason can be very common in working and higher energy breeds, and is typically a result of boredom. Increasing your dog’s physical exercise & mental/sensory activity with scent based play helps to refocus your dog and prevent boredom.
Boredom can cause dogs so bark excessively
When left alone:
Barking and Howling when left alone are often an attempt by the dog to be heard by their owners. Separation anxiety is a very different & complicated issue to tackle in dogs, there are many excellent articles online to help you with this. Professional help may be necessary in severe cases.
Barking at other dogs:
This is another particularly complex issue. Barking at other dogs can be a sign of fear, frustration, aggression etc. Often dogs who weren’t fully trained or socialised in their youth can display this behaviour. This can be a difficult issue to correct without the proper training or professional help.

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