How To Deal With A Barking Puppy
A barking puppy is typically cute for about half a day until the noise starts to sound like nails on a chalkboard. By the second day, your alarm clock is even a magical sound to your ears in comparison to that obnoxious noise coming from your adorable furry friend. Funny how they aren't nearly as perfectly cute when they are barking all day either.
Wanting to stop your puppy from barking altogether is unrealistic and pretty foolish. It is a natural canine trait and the way that they communicate. After all, you want your dog to let you know when someone is outside lurking in the bushes. The realistic goal you should have is to control the barking puppy to speak when there is a reason.
Keep in mind that dogs that are confined or socially isolated for extended periods of time and don't receive supervised exercise need a way to release their built up energy. Dogs who are left all alone all day long will often take up barking as sort of a hobby, the same way that humans talk to themselves. This soon becomes an enjoyable habit to pass the time, something that your neighbors probably don't appreciate.
You could also be to blame for your barking puppy. It is easy to get into the habit of responding to their bark so they believe that this is the action they should be performing to get what they want. Chances are, your dog barks to go outside and you open the door and then he barks to come inside and you do the same thing. This is great if you can train your dog to offer one polite request bark but non stop noise is just unappreciated.
The first thing you need to understand is that the barking could mean the dog is bored, lonely, scared, frustrated or sick. Never dismiss a bark completely. Of course, boredom is the most common cause and luckily this is something you can easily remedy. A well exercised dog will rest more and be more calm and relaxed when they are awake. Spend time training, exercising and playing with your puppy. If you can't do this, shame on your for bringing one home.
Obedience training is wonderful for a barking puppy because it stimulates their mind. Thinking is actually quite a tiring activity for a dog. Don't allow your training sessions to be boring or a tedious routine. Dogs love to learn but once it gets too easy or too predictable, what's the point?
Even if your dog has a huge yard to run around, he still needs social activities. Puppies should be walked around your neighborhood or at a park so they can sniff and investigate smells and sounds that are so tempting while they are locked in the yard. Keep in mind that just because you have a big yard does not mean that your dog is well exercised. To really cut down on unnecessary barking, provide your puppy with plenty of ways to occupy himself by way of chew toys and even a digging pit.
While it is never acceptable to punish a puppy for barking, a quick squirt from a spray bottle is often the best way to attack the problem. Since puppies are already trying to learn commands words, understand what they can chew and what they can't and learning to go outside to go potty, often realizing that barking is unacceptable is just too overwhelming. A quick stream of water from a spray bottle is voted one of the best ways to address this problem.
Of course, once the puppy has stopped barking and is calm, he should be praised and receive a treat for his good behavior. Soon, your barking puppy will learn that being quiet and calm gets him treats while being loud and obnoxious results in a spray bottle.