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.
Things that you can put in place to help the situation include:
- Don’t react to your dog every time he barks by calling him, going to him, or yelling at him. You are only reinforcing his ‘calling of the pack’ responsibility.
- Provide a safe place for him to sleep and relax when he is left alone. Patrolling an entire house is a huge job that will require lots of barking.
- Provide your dog with a sense of strong leadership from you. He will feel less vulnerable if he knows you are capable of taking care of him and the pack. This includes setting rules, getting him to work for you by following and focusing, and not acceding to requests from him for attention, games, coming in or going out, etc.
Understanding the temperament of your dog, the constant messages he’s sending to you and others, and the scope of his concern is paramount to educating him and minimizing the barking. Some solutions that are available to stop barking can possibly make the matter worse. Seek the assistance of your local Bark Buster trainer for professional guidance with excessive barking.