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Healthy Dogs

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Why Dogs Bark and Curbing Excessive Barking

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How to Treat Excessive Barking continued...

Territorial/Protective/Alarm/Fear: Because this type of barking is often motivated by fear or a perceived threat to their territory or people, it can be lessened by limiting what your dog sees. If he’s in a fenced yard, use solid wood instead of chain fencing. Indoors, limit access to windows and doors or cover them with an opaque film.

Boredom/Loneliness: If your dog barks excessively while you’re gone, you need to provide more activities or companionship to keep him from being lonely or bored.

Bringing an outdoor dog inside will lessen the noise impact on neighbors, and provide extra security for your home. It’s also safer because dogs left alone outside can face theft, escapes, poisoning, harassment, and other dangers.

But dogs can still bark inside if bored. So if your dog barks while you’re at work all day, get someone to walk your dog or play with her for at least an hour a day.

Providing something for your dog to do during the day also can help. Try leaving out a couple of food-dispensing toys, which come in different shapes and sizes. These can keep him busy for several hours, then he’ll probably take a nap.

Dogs that bark all night should be brought indoors. Dogs quickly learn to sleep quietly inside, and are added protection for your family.

You also can drop your pet off at doggie daycare two or three days a week, or take up agility, obedience, or another active form of dog training.

Greeting/Play: To stop a dog from going into a barking frenzy every time you come home or the doorbell rings, you’ll need to teach him other behaviors. One way is to train your dog to go to a spot and stay there when the door opens. It’s best if they can see the door, but not be too close to it. Pick a spot and practice getting your dog to go there and stay, but don’t touch the door yet. Use lots of treats and praise, making it a game.

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