If you think your dog is howling, whining and whimpering more than normal, your dog could actually be uncomfortable or stressed. But don’t worry! Our experts at Animigo have some useful tips to help you understand your dog’s behaviour and anxiety better.
First things first: why is your dog barking?
Dogs bark to communicate excitement, but also because they feel stress or fear. This stress could be caused by a number of things, from loneliness, being uncomfortable (around people or other dogs) or because they are anxious. Click here for more information on why your dog may be stressed.
1. Work on Behavioural Training
This is a great place to start if you aren’t sure how to help your dog’s mood. Not only is training good for reducing barking, but in puppies it can help with bad behaviour, socialising and toilet training.
You can try working with a professional trainer or by yourself to help your dog get used to barking triggers, ultimately stopping their loud responses. This is a process that takes time and patience, but in the end, it’s worth it.
Another important factor that people often forget is that when your dog is around badly-behaved dogs, this behaviour is likely to be copied or repeated. Attending training sessions with calm dogs in a relaxed environment can influence your pooch to become more placid too.
2. Block Barking Triggers
Alongside training, blocking your dog’s sightline to potential barking triggers like birds or strangers is a useful tip for keeping them calm. Managing environments like your garden can make a real difference. For example, ensuring you have a fence blocking your dog’s view into neighbouring gardens can prevent them seeing or hearing something that they believe is a threat, making them feel the need to warn you and defend themselves. You could also plant some hedges as an alternative, more attractive option.
In places indoors, like the living room, dogs often bark at things outside the window. You can leave blinds and curtains closed, or put something up to block their view. Another option is to not let your dogs in certain rooms. This has great potential for dogs that bark at night or dogs that bark at everything that moves!
3. Try Natural Supplements
If your dog is stressed, Animigo offers some excellent products designed to help dogs feel more relaxed and comfortable in many environments. We have stress support capsules, calming paste and soft chews, giving you a variety of forms for ease and convenience - we know some dogs are reluctant to take pills!
4. Keep Them Distracted
A common example of a time when dogs need distracting is when the postman delivers your post. Dogs bark at the postman because they believe they are a potential intruder and are both trying to scare them away and warn you. This is a natural reaction for dogs - their instinct is to protect themselves and their families.
A free and easy method of keeping your dog from constantly barking, and a great way to spend some quality time with your pal, is to play with them when your post gets delivered! Alternatively you could try feeding them at the time your post usually arrives, so that their attention is elsewhere.
5. Use an Accesory
There are lots of devices out there that you can have a go at using, such as anti-bark collars, coats and ultra sonic devices. However, the products that deliver shocks are less popular as many think they are unkind to their pets, however, many of these devices can be expensive and they don’t always provide the desired outcome.
6. Give Them Plenty of Exercise
Your dog may not be barking because they are anxious or stressed, but simply because they are excited. This is not a bad thing! However, you don’t want this to turn into negative, frustrated energy. Depending on the breed, your dog should always be getting the correct amount of exercise anyway for health reasons, but if they have been left inside all day, of course they are going to be excited to see you! We recommend that you take them for a walk before you leave them, so that they feel more relaxed and have less energy when they’re alone, meaning they can rest. Leave some toys out so they have some enterntainment in the day too.
7. Get into a Routine
Walk your dog in the morning before you leave, and in the evening when you get back. Do this every day and your dog will learn what to expect and therefore won’t be over-excited. If things change too much, this is another opportunity for your dog to feel nervous. Walking them in the evening ensures that they will be tired, meaning you both will get a good night’s sleep!
So, if you are looking to help calm your dog and create a more relaxed environment at home, do give our tips a go! Remember, the solutions you end up choosing depends on the breed and the reasons for your dog’s barking. These methods can also be used towards stopping a puppy from barking.