“YOUR DOG WONT STOP BARKING?”
Yes, dogs bark. We all accept that. But why, where, for how long, and can you stop them?.. can make the difference between what is acceptable or unacceptable. So if this is a problem to you, let’s take a look at..
UNDERSTANDING & CONTROLLING A BARKING DOG.
1. A simple ‘trigger’ for instance, would be someone ringing your door bell. (Triggered by sound). Which also applies to neighbours shouting, slamming car doors, car alarms, and any other external noise.
2. Your dog is possibly ‘guarding’ or ‘patrolling’. In this case your dog could be watching out of the window, looking for any activity that again, triggers the reaction. (Triggered by sight).
3. Your dog might be doing much the same in the garden. Watching and listening for anything that might be construed as unacceptable to the dog.
4. Maybe your dog is not a problem at home, but only when you take it for a walk. The outside world can offer a multitude of triggers.
You see, although it is a normal function, even for a ‘healthy’ dog to bark for the right reason, at the right time, for an acceptable period. Unfortunately, ‘unhealthy’ dogs will express themselves at the most unacceptable times, and for an unacceptable length of time.
When I use the terms ‘healthy or unhealthy’, I do not mean their physical state. (Although, this can be a contribution to a dog barking, and it is always wise to seek the advice from a vet if you are concerned about your dogs physical well being). What I mean is that there is more likely to be something psychological or emotional that is at the root of the problem, and the dog is expressing itself by vocalising the issue. The chances are, that the dog has practised this behaviour for so long, that it has become an automatic response, and has now formed into habit.
It is possible that your dog is either sensitive, anxious, ultra alert, very excitable, frustrated, bored, or any number of possible psychological or emotional states, that are the root of the barking. The barking is merely a symptom of the root cause. That is why, as a dog behaviourist, I am diagnosing the root cause, because that has to be addressed for the problem to be solved.
The barking, as a symptom, can be temporarily stopped.
I have heard of many tactics for addressing the barking (the symptom). Some are pleasant, such as distraction with treats, sweet talking (“good boy..good boy”), comforting (picking the dog up, stroking it, showing affection etc), plug in diffusers, and even whale music!!.
Unfortunately, some methods are not so nice. What we call ‘aversion methods’. Such as, Shouting, smacking, water spray bottles, spray collars, vibrating or electric collars, shaking or throwing a plastic bottle of stones or coins, and of course, the good old ‘rolled up newspaper’!.
And even though some of the above methods might stop a dog barking temporarily, it will happen again, because you are addressing the SYMPTOM, not the ROOT CAUSE. I am pleased to say, that I DO NOT use any of the above methods. So let me make this clear..
YOU HAVE TO ADDRESS THE ROOT CAUSE.. NOT THE SYMPTOM.
Once I have diagnosed the root cause, I can then offer a strategy that will help the dog cope with the psychological or emotional issue that is causing the barking, and in turn, the barking will diminish, or even discontinue.
A little like going to see your family doctor.
You describe the symptoms..ie coughing, sneezing, runny nose etc
And the doctor, with their experience and training, will diagnose the root cause. In this case it might be a virus.
They will then prescribe the correct medication for eliminating the virus (not the symptoms).
A box of tissues will only temporarily help!.
Think about it.. No More..
Ear splitting noise that drives you to despair.
Putting the dog in the kitchen when you have visitors.
Apologising to everyone on your daily walk.
Having to explain to other dog owners “why”.
‘Trick or Treating’ your dog into compliance.
Being Known As “The One Who Cant Control Their Dog”.
Let’s get on with the work!.
Please complete the form below, and let’s both start to make yours, and your dogs life, a little bit more peaceful and content.
If you would like to ask me more about my philosophy or methods, then by all means, call me, on
I look forward to meeting you both!
Glen I would just like to say thanks for all the help you are giving me with my little puppy! It really is making all the difference. I highly recommend you to anyone who needs…
Claire – Chelmsford, Essex
Thank you for your time visiting this morning to help my wife and I learn how to walk our dog and prevent him from pulling on the lead. We really appreciate it and the other…
Brian – Basildon, Essex
Glen, thanks so much for your help with Kira! Was great to see her around other dogs and can’t wait to keep working with her and see more progress. Had been to so many dog…
Sophie – Basildon, Essex