Tips to Manage Your Dog’s Barking
Brought to you by the AKC GoodDog! Helpline – the AKC’s 7-day-a-week training support service
By Hilarie Erb, AKC GoodDog! Helpline Trainer
Does your dog have a lot to say about all the extra activity of a busy summer? Is its barking making it hard to enjoy the season? Kids and their friends are out of school, more people are walking outside with their own dogs enjoying the weather and you and your neighbors have get-togethers in each other’s backyards… It’s easy to get too busy to spend time with the dog.
If your dog is normally easy going and has no anxiety issues, the best thing to do is to manage the situation to help them enjoy a safe summer. Unusual activity can be stressful for a dog. While you may be annoyed by their barking, they are trying to tell you that they are not sure about everything that is going on around them. Guests may not know how to act around a dog, unusual noises may be frightening, running children are invitations to chase, and those neighbors are making way too much noise! Make the time to ensure that your dog is getting plenty of attention. Play with them every day. It may seem easier to let the dog “entertain themselves” in the yard since the weather is nice, but it’s not a substitute for one-on-one time with you.
“Make the time to ensure that your dog is getting plenty of attention.”
Before you can stop excessive barking, you’ve got to figure out why it is happening. Is your dog lonely and frustrated because everyone is having a good time inside while he’s alone in the backyard? Then make sure they get their share of attention before the party starts. If it isn’t an option for them to interact with guests, let them be indoors, in a crate, chewing on a special treat. Since you’ve made the time to exercise and play with your dog earlier, you don’t need to feel guilty about this. They will be happier – and quieter – in their private area.
Understand that your children’s friends and other houseguests may not be your dog’s friends. If they are afraid of your dog or act in ways that are strange to them, your dog will probably bark. They might bark every time these people move. Since this isn’t a permanent situation, plan to manage it. After a nice walk or other exercises that he likes, set your dog up in a cozy part of the house away from the chaos. That way your dog can chew a nice treat in peace, feel secure, and won’t need to bark.
Another good possibility is dog daycare. These are available in many areas, and if you have some hectic days planned, they are a great way for your dog to enjoy the summer just as much as the rest of the family. When they come home, they will be tired and ready for a nap.
Join the AKC GoodDog! Helpline TODAY at the discount price of $59.99 – $40 off the regular fee. This provides lifetime training support for your dog. No renewals ever necessary.
For more tips and advice on training your dog, join the AKC GoodDog! Helpline, a seven-day-a-week telephone support service staffed by experienced dog trainers: www.akcgooddoghelpline.org.