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Dealing with Barking

Barking is something dogs often do to sound the alarm of a potential threat (in his mind).  Unfortunately for you and your neighbours, these ‘threats’ can include squirrels, birds, people or dogs walking by, noises, the garbage man, etc. A dog that barks at everyday occurrences is not a good watchdog. A dog like this is similar to a car alarm that keeps going off for no reason. People willeventually take no notice, even when he barks for a legitimate reason. He will only annoy the entire neighbourhood. 

What is a good watchdog?

A good watchdog is one that barks only when something out of the ordinary happens; when someone attempts to enter your property or when there is imminent danger like a house fire. Dogs naturally protect their territory but you can teach him what is not a threat to you, your family or the territory.

Dogs that bark a lot can be of various personality types. The very confident dog will feel it is his duty to ward off everything and everybody from his turf. He is insistent in his warnings and is vigilant in keeping things away. The timid or fearful dog may be very worried about these scary threats, as he feels vulnerable. He will do everything in his power to keep them from approaching his domain so he or his pack isn’t hurt. This can even escalates into growling and biting.

A dog may also be barking to call the pack back to him (separation anxiety) as he is worried for his safety and that of the pack.

These are all natural survival instincts for dogs. Since they are dogs living in a human society, we need to teach them in their own language what warrants concern and what is acceptable barking, and what is not.

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