Would You Like To Quiet A Barking Dog?
Quiet A Barking Dog, dogs bark for all sorts of reasons, it could be to tell you that they want something, like exercise, a toilet break or some other attention from you (like food or play); it could be a warning about something they feel may be a threat, excitement over something they would like to get close to or chase, a warning where someone or something has invaded ‘their’ territory, or because something has surprised them or is different from usual!
When your dog barks it may not be an issue to you and you might not be in the least concerned about stopping them; there may, however, be times when it is really not convenient or perhaps it’s even a downright nuisance… to you and others!
We had two very large, gentle dogs holidaying with us, they both loved and craved attention and for the most part were very quiet and calm. Mind you when something did concern them they were not slow in barking VERY loud… and when one started the other would take it up with a vengeance. And particularly at 7am in the morning outside some pensioners’ bungalows I have to tell you I didn’t feel that this was at all welcome behaviour…
If you have a similar story then you may be interested in something that can work quite well. This works really well for our two collie girls and it also worked for the aforementioned “two very large, gentle dogs” we had staying with us (as you can imagine they also had very large, loud barks). They all know us as their ‘leaders’ and from this technique, they understand that they have done their job and are being lovingly thanked for their efforts.
This is not a method to stop barking on an ongoing basis, it is to quiet the dog at a point in time in relation to a particular issue that is present. For many of us of course there are times when we welcome the barking of our dogs – for example to put off an otherwise unwelcome approach or intruder at our home.
The technique that I am about to describe to you works in many circumstances so long as YOU ARE CALM and with dogs who have a gentle nature; it will not work for all dogs and is unlikely to work if you are anxious, upset or angry because that will feed the agitation in your dog.
Please note that dogs who are not naturally calm or are predisposed to displays of fear aggression will more than likely need a very different approach!
So, a gentle way to quiet gentle natured dogs is to first noticeably pay attention to what they are barking at, so that they understand that you have seen it, then give at least verbal, if not also physical, praise (for example ‘good boy’ or ‘good girl’ and a pat or a stroke). This will acknowledge that the message has been received, understood and ‘shouting’ is no longer required.
If the barking continues, while praising and stroking or otherwise giving physical affection, very gently take hold of the muzzle and hold the mouth closed – gently.
Please remember that many dogs may find it provocative when you bend over them, especially when they are barking aggressively – so if in doubt and you need to bend to reach your dog, it is best to do it to the side of the dog otherwise you might find yourself causing an escalation to aggressive behaviour.
The point of the exercise in dog language is that having brought whatever it was to our attention and passed on the responsibility of dealing with it, they can return to their natural state of being calm and looking to you for leadership.
This is just a snapshot… if you want to know more or have any questions about how to deal with a dog that barks when you’d rather they didn’t, please get in touch.
Go To http://www.DogsandKids.co.uk where you can find a growing wealth of useful information about dogs and the relationships we have with them… as well as links to our Facebook and Twitter pages where we share even more hints and tips.
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