Quantcast

How to Stop Barking

Stop BarkingWe all love our dogs, but some of them really love to bark a lot and that can get annoying for you and your neighbors (if they live close to you).  Ideally, if you have a puppy, you can nip this in the bud with some puppy training. However, perhaps you adopted an older dog or your dog’s barking never seemed to get under control. Regardless, here are a few tips to try out:

Don’t Yell at Your Dog

If you yell, it’s likely your dog thinks you’re barking back at him and that could be a fun game. So remember to stay calm.

Desensitize Your Dog from the Stimulus

Does your dog always bark at the same person, situation or object? If so, you’ll have to desensitize them from the stimulus. Golden rule is for you to remain calm during the training. If you have the advantage of knowing when the stimulus will be present (or creating the situation yourself), this can be helpful.

Stop BarkingStart with having the stimulus far away. If your dog is not barking, give your dog a treat. Gradually move the stimulus closer to your dog. As long as your dog is not barking, you can give your dog a treat. When they eventually start to bark, use your body and your calm-assertive energy to create an invisible wall between your dog and the stimulus. If needed, stand between your dog and the stimulus. Wait for your dog to calm down and remain quiet. Then you can give your dog a treat again. You’ll have to practice this over and over again to teach your dog – so be patient.

If you can’t control the environment when your dog is going to notice the stimulus, an alternative is to use something like the Dog Dazer II Ultrasonic Dog Deterrent which emits an ultrasonic discomforting sound, which is not harmful, but deters the dog from barking. The high frequency sound is audible to dogs, but not to humans. When your dog starts barking, just push the button on the device to send an ultrasonic sound that deters the behavior. Remember to keep treats on you so you can give your dog a treat when you come in contact with the stimulus and your dog does not bark.

Another option is to use a citronella spray like PetSafe GentleSpray Anti-Bark Collar which harmlessly works to stop excessive barking. The collar uses a microphone and a vibration sensor to pick up your dog’s bark. It then releases a burst of citronella spray in front of his snout to distract him from his barking behavior. Dogs typically don’t like the smell of lemon, so this can be quite effective. We used it with our dog when he was young and soon after the barking problem stopped. Now he rarely barks.

 

Stop BarkingDivert Your Dog’s Attention to Something Else

If your dog starts barking, try to have something you can quickly grab like a ball or favorite squeaky toy to distract your dog from what ever stimulus they are barking at.

Keep Your Dog Tired

It’s possible your dog just has too much pent-up energy. Make sure your dog is getting sufficient physical and mental exercise every day. A tired dog is less likely to bark from boredom or frustration.

The Yellow Dog Project – A Great Idea

yellow dog projectWe recently learned about the Yellow Dog Project and think it’s a great idea! Yellow Dogs are dogs who need space – they are not necessarily aggressive dogs, but often are dogs who have issues of fear; pain from recent surgery; are a rescue or shelter dog who has not yet had sufficient training or mastered obedience; are in training for work or service; are in service; or other reasons specific to the dog.

If you have a “Yellow Dog”, you put a yellow ribbon on your leash or dog that can easily been seen so that other dog owners know if advance that your dog needs some space and not to go close towards these dogs.

They also have a list of what a Yellow Dog Project is NOT:

  • It is not an excuse to avoid proper training
  • It is not a waiver of responsibility
  • It is not an admittance of guilt or a confession

The Yellow Dog Project hopes to educate the public and dog owners to identify dogs needing space, promote appropriate contact of dogs and assist dog parents to identify their dog as needing space.

Pet Tunes – Help Your Dog Relax

Pet TunesDoes your dog suffer from anxiety or excessive barking when you’re away or during thunderstorms? We recently discovered Pet Tunes and thought it was an innovative and non-invasive way to help your dog relax.

Pet Tunes, created by Pet Acoustics, is a mobile Bluetooth speaker pre-loaded with special frequency modulated music clinically tested and proven to reduce stress and calm anxiety for dogs (and other pets). Pet Acoustics’ music is specifically designed to eliminate high and low frequencies that trigger agitation in pets and result in calming your pets.

Pet TunesAs stated by Pet Acoustics, it’s been clinically proven and veterinarian approved. Litchfield Veterinary Hospital mentioned”…Pet Acoustics music has a significant calming effect on our hospitalized patients. We have found it has helped to reduce anxiety while pets were away from their families.”

Pet Tunes is small enough to fit in your hand so you can take it anywhere (e.g. even in your car). It will play 5-10 hours on a single battery charge and has 24/7 continuous play with a AC/USB Adapter. The unit features a built-in repeat mode, as well as, an easy click-and-play function that links to your music library using Bluetooth. Pet Tunes connects to mobile phones, tablets, PCs, notebooks and a variety of other devices. It comes with a USB cable and a lanyard strap.

Interested? Click here to easily purchase Pet Tunes on Amazon.

To see it in action, check out their video:

Dog Anxiety from Thunder or Fireworks?

thunderWith July 4th right around the corner, you might be worried about how your best friend will do with all the firework sounds.

Hurricane season has also started and we’ve already experienced some lightning and thunder which can be scary for your dog too!

Dog anxiety is always worrisome for a pet parent. Clearly you want to appease your dog, but often they will just hide and shake. Many dogs flee, which is why July 4th is the #1 day in which pets get lost and end up in shelters.
Dog anxiety

What can you do to help out your dog during July 4th and Hurricane Season?

 
1. Keep your dog inside during fireworks or thunderstorms, preferably with human companionship.
2. Provide a safe place inside for your dog to retreat. When scared of sounds, dogs often prefer small enclosed areas. We highly recommend using a crate (see our article on the Dog Crate) and perhaps putting a blanket over the crate.
3. Ensure your dog gets plenty of exercise earlier in the day – a tired dog is a happy dog.
4. Keep the windows and curtains closed.
5. Make sure your dog is wearing ID tags with a properly fitting collar. They should also be micro-chipped just in case they are lost and brought to a shelter.
6. Distract your dog by giving him a bully stick to chew on or an interactive food toy (see our article on Treat Dispenser Toys).

Thundershirt camo

Thundershirt in Camo

Try Out the ThunderShirt – a medicine free solution!

If you haven’t tried one before, we recommend trying a ThunderShirt to help your dog with anxiety.

How does ThunderShirt work? Pet experts believe that pressure has a calming effect on the nervous system, possibly by releasing a calming hormone like endorphins. The ThunderShirt’s gentle, constant pressure relaxes most dogs if they are anxious, fearful or overexcited. Just to be clear, this does not mean you can hug your dog and get the same results – a hug from a shirt/wrap is different from a hug from a person.

thundercoat

New – ThunderCoat

ThunderShirt has conducted surveys on over 2,000 customers and over 80% of dogs showed significant improvement in symptoms when using ThunderShirt.

ThunderShirt has traditionally only been in grey, but they’ve come out with a line of new colors and a very cute ThunderCoat, which adds warmth and protection from rain. So even if your dog is anxious, he can now be extra stylish in a ThunderShirt. We love the new camo / orange color for our male dog!