Dogs bark to express themselves to other dogs, to other people, or to express their deep sense of emotion when they are by themselves. Many owners are able to keep their dog quiet when they are around but when absent the dog will bark forever. Certain breeds, especially those bred as guard dogs are known to be heavy barkers. Also small breed dogs seem to bark more than other sizes.
Dogs that start barking and continue to bark about 20 minutes after you leave could be an indication of separation anxiety. If this is the case it will require some extra attention and training. It is important to rule out why your dog is barking. If they start to bark towards the end of the day, there could be a number of reasons. They could be hungry, need exercise, or need a bathroom break.
Barking can be caused by either an external or internal stimulus. An “attention getting” bark arises from an internal distress (hunger,exercise, bathroom etc.). A bark meant to sound an alert arises from a passing person, dog, or other reason.
If the dog barks because of internal stimulus, it can be trained to stop. You may ignore the dog until it settles down then reward it. You may also hold the dogs snout firmly and say in a gentle voice “Shhh”. When the dog settles down always reward him. External stimulus is harder to deal with as the dog is only warning you of a presence that should not be there.
There are a number of ways to curb your dog from barking:
- Ignore, wait, and reward method.
- The squirt gun method
- The collar and leash method.
- The physical correction method