There are lots of reasons a dog barks
Some dogs are simply over excited, some are being protective, other times a dog simply wants something. In this video I want to show you how to stop a Boston Terrier dog barking. Little Bella is barking to get attention, she is excited and is trying to get my dogs to play. What I love to watch in this video is how Peanut, my larger dog, behaves. Her body language and energy give me clues as to how best to deal with this and many other situations.
Let me explain…
1. The noisy dog
Sometimes, as in this situation, if a dog is just barking too much for attention and fun, Peanut will ignore her and keep ignoring her until she gives up. Peanut remains completely calm and relaxed throughout the whole process. It helps Bella calm down.
2. The space invader
If a dog is being rude and is in her face barking, she will give them a warning snap to tell them to back away and knock it off. As soon as she has done it however she is as calm as can be again. Relaxed and quiet.
3. A dangerous situation
If a dog is barking aggressively and there is a potential threat, Peanut will calmly and quietly walk away and give space to the other dog. Sometimes she has walked over 100 meters away before lying down. Very often the other dog upon seeing this will relax and chill out.
Keep calm and carry on
Regardless of the situation Peanut stays calm. We work as a team. She helps me read the situation and I then use some of the tools and techniques that Peanut is unable to use, such as timeout and the short lead to control the other dog. Together we both calmly show the dog how we want them to behave. We keep control of the situation and make sure that our actions are in line with our end goal.
Of course in some situations rewarding good behaviour with a treat is an option. And some behaviour results in the dog being put on the leash or put into timeout. However it is important to point out that without calm energy, food is unlikely to stop the barking on its own.
Silence is golden
I find it interesting how much time Peanut will spend in silence – ignoring and being calm in comparison to the time she spends correcting the other noisy dog. It is only a tiny fraction, far less than 1%. Yet often when we are trying to stop our dogs from barking we are so stressed, angry, frustrated and loud in our dealings that there is as much noise coming from us as the dog. It is no wonder that they don’t calm down!
Learn to control your emotions, starting with your voice when things start to get tough. Simply learning to take a deep breath before saying anything is just one powerful way that can help you to stay in control during tricky situations.
Remaining calm is something that takes practice but it is well worth the effort as your dog will start to respond more and take more notice of you in the long run. Strangely enough, less talking is often the key and remember…
Your actions really do speak louder than words!
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