Like many problem behaviors excessive dog barking in dogs is one that in the right context is completely appropriate. Dogs need to signal when there is danger or if they are communicating with another dog. But what happens when your dog takes it too far and is using their excessive dog barking as a way to get attention or express their frustrations and discontent?
1) Dogs Should take a “Wait and See” Approach to Life
I find a large percentage of problem barking is directed at humans in attempts to “seek” something they need from their two legged counterparts. Although many people find this cute or think it is good that “they are telling me what they need…” This is not a good thing at all and a major cause of anxiety and excessive dog barking in the cases I see. As I tell all of my clients, you are good at taking care of your dog and providing what they need in the appropriate time frame necessary. Whether is be food, attention, or to be let out, unless there is a medical emergency, a dog should NEVER feel responsible for dictating the next event or action that occurs between them and humans. It empowers them to be responsible for a situation that is beyond overwhelming for them to handle. Our world is far too complicated for them to feel responsible for even the most basic of transactions. Yet, will find great contentment in patiently waiting for all their needs to be accommodated in our time frame as we dictate.
2) Give Your Dog a Job
Many dogs who are our pets were genetically made to work and are highly driven. On their own, they can easily become bored or simply not know what to do when our fast paced lives are going on around them. By created structured tasks vis basic commands while you are doing your chores, family gatherings, and other transitional times, it simulates the essence of what dogs first did alongside early man. To take direction from humans as we take care of our human business.
3) Physical Exercise
Exercise helps release physical energy, gives a dog the chance to feel free, and releases endorphins into their systems to help them feel more balanced overall reducing their need for excessive dog barking. Every healthy dog should have a regular exercise regiment in place. Even out of shape or senior dogs can benefit from daily walks and the occasion run. I offer k9 personal training sessions even for my clients in Los Angeles and Hollywood.
4) Mental Exercise
Like physical energy, mental energy needs and outlet too. By providing a daily training regiment that challenges a dog’s mind and develops single pointed focus as described in #2, releases a great deal of thinking energy that drives the overthinking which leads to problem behaviors.
Some dogs get frustrated from not being around their own kind. Although they do not need to live at the dog park, it gives them a sense of purpose and validation to see that they are not the only ones i the world who walk on all fours and pee outside.
Brett Endes, The Dog Savant is a professional dog trainer and author based in L.A. with over 20 years experience specializing in problem behavior and puppy development counseling. The Dog Savant hosts a weekly podcast and is currently developing a web-based show to promote his message of canine behavior awareness. Brett takes a unique approach to dog behavior like no other trainer. His methods are based on psychology and principals of meditation along with a dog’s natural way of communication. Brett has been affectionately called, “The man with a dog’s brain”. He is available for private consulting of individual clients and speaking engagements in the greater Los Angeles / San Fernando Valley area and worldwide. To learn more about Brett or for contact info please visit his website: dogtrainingLA.com email: email@example.com and check out his Yelp Dog Training Reviews.