Ask Inger: The Barking Dog Syndrome. How Do I Get It To Stop?

I have a dog named Romeo about 2 years ago. He’s been great and I love him very much, however my roommate does not. Unfortunately, Romeo has a barking problem, whenever anyone gets close to our apartment door, or enters / exits our apartment Romeo barks uncontrollably and it is very loud and piercing. Admittedly I find it annoying as well, but I can deal with it, my roommate can not and it is causing a riff.

So I was thinking about getting Romeo a bark collar, but they are kind of expensive and I want to know what is what before I purchase anything. I’m thinking preferably to get one that emits a sound humans can’t hear but dogs can, does something like that exist? I really don’t want one that shocks him, unless you think it’s not a big deal and I can use one like that.

The other kind I see all over are the citronella ones, but they seem so bulky and he’s a tiny dog so I don’t see that working out.

Anyway, what are you thoughts? What should I do / buy to start correcting this problem?

                                                        Paul

 

Hi Paul, Thanks for your question! It’s a common one.  Remember behaviors take time to develop and they also take a little time to go away. There are various issues that contribute to barking and why dogs bark. Some barking is due to boredom, triggers, lack of training, separation anxiety, lack of exercise and so on… Owners can play a huge part too. Yelling “NO” constantly at your dog puts you both into the looney camp. Bark collars are not the answer. Look into your daily life and make a list of the times your dog barks. It will help isolate where you need to focus. Here are a few tips to get you started on the road to recovery.

 

Paws For A Minute® Lifestyle Dog Training

Tips To Help Barking At The Front Door

 

Everyone should note:  If your dog is barking his head off all day long, that is what’s called boredom barking and it’s up to you, as owners, to make sure all exercise needs are met!

 

So before you do any corrections get on your running shoes  and warm up your throwing arm. Ultimately, a tired dog is a good dog! Hello, get off the couch! Therefore, if you have exercised your dog daily and barking is still an annoying sound effect, the below may help. 

 

 

1. One option is to create a bone chewing time by using a baby gate. This can help in creating a new pattern. Gate one or two of the dogs in a kitchen or hallway for bone chewing time. For multiple dogs breaking up the pack can stop the trigger of one dog instigating the barking. Doing so will help train your dog over time out of the pattern of scouting for the person, noise or action to bark at. Music is key, to soothe the beast during this peaceful time. Remember, this is NOT meant to be a punishment place! AND implementing this 20 minute space a few times a day should be done when you are home. It helps break up the barking pattern.

 

2. Another option is to know when the barking happens is to put music on in advance. Sounds crazy, but this will really break up the pattern of being alert to outside noises. It also sets a tone and a completely different atmosphere to your house. Much less trigger oriented. Not meant to be a cure, but it will help.

 

3. A third option is to correct this barking with a shake of a penny can from out of sight! Your dog should not see you shake the can.

 

This next tip is not for every dog or owner. So really assess your circumstance carefully. Use your common sense! Not all dogs can handle a loud noise and others can and will respond no problem.

 

The trick  is to not let your dog see you shake the can. It’s just really about the sudden, quick sound. This correction is not meant to scare, just make as clear communication that no barking allowed. You should think of this correction more like a police siren pulling a car over for speeding. Know that not all dog temperaments are right for this type of correction. Note: Very timid dogs will respond well to a firm no, that should ban the barking and do the trick. If your dog has a really strong, confident personality the penny can “shake” can be tolerated and send the right signal to zip it.

 

Take a coffee can, empty it,  then put a handful of pennies in it and the lid back on. As your dogs begin to bark, shake the can once and say “No!” This loud abrupt noise will represent the same boundary as the siren of a police care pulling you over for running a red light. Then back up this quick correction by redirecting your dogs in a positive way!  Ask them to “come” to you in a really happy, nice voice. Finish the command by having your dog sit. Then praise, love and maybe even a treat!

 

If you haven’t guessed already I’m really training you to be a little smarter than your dog, have a little foresight to your circumstance then the bad dog behavior will go away. Dogs love to please, they just don’t know how unless you guide them.then put a handful of pennies in it and the lid back on. As your dogs begin to bark, shake the can once and say “No!” This loud abrupt noise will represent the same boundary as the siren of a police care pulling you over for running a red light. Then back up this “quick” correction by redirecting your dogs in a positive way!  Ask them to “come” to you in a really happy, nice voice. Finish the command by having your dog sit.

 

Add praise, love and maybe even a treat! If you haven’t guessed already I’m really training you to be a little smarter than your dog, have foresight to your circumstance and the bad dog behavior will go away. By the way, a tired dog is always a better dog. So exercise is always a great routine to help barking problems. Dogs love to please, they just don’t know how unless you guide them!