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Training dogs to stop barking

Training can ensure that a dog doesn't bark at everything that moves. Once trained, a dog should be able to tell the difference between people who are allowed in the house and people who are intruders.

Proper training, coupled with affection, can help prevent a dog from developing bad habits. Start young if possible, but bear in mind that you can teach an old dog new tricks!


Simple things to try

Some dogs don't want their owners to go out. Generally, you should try to get it used to you going out at different times of the day, then it may not be so concerned when you do go out.

  • Don't make a fuss of it when you leave
  • Try putting it on its own in another room, for a short time at first
  • Do not return until it is quiet for a time - when you return, praise him
  • Some are comforted by human voice - try leaving a radio on at low volume
  • Try not to leave it for long periods of time
  • If you have to, is there someone who can look in on him from time-to-time?
  • Clothing or a blanket carrying its owner's scent can act as a comfort


Going out for a long p
eriod of time?

  • Feed & exercise him before you go out
  • Leave him with access to some fresh water
  • Make sure its bed or basket is comfortable
  • Leave him with his favourite toys
  • Check that its not too hot or cold
  • And that there is adequate ventilation
  • If you're not going to be back till dark, leave a light on


Other points

  • Try not to put the kennel too near to a neighbour's fence
  • If he has a kennel, think carefully about where to put it
  • Replacing a 'nuisance' dog may not solve the problem
  • A change in your lifestyle may be needed
  • Getting a second dog may double the problem, not solve it!


If all else fails

  • There are animal behaviourists available who understand the logic and needs of a dog
  • If you suspect there may be a health issue, take him to the vet
  • Dog training classes are often advertised in local papers or yellow pages
  • Some products are available that market themselves as being effective devices at stopping dogs barking (e.g. "Super Barker Breaker", "Dazer"). We can't endorse them,  but they may be useful in your particular circumstances.


More information on training dogs

Your local library may be able to lend you books specifically relating to dog welfare and behaviour.

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