If a dog is frustrated he will bark because he can’t get to something that he finds exciting. Perhaps he has seen a cat in the garden or children playing on the street; maybe he can hear another dog barking next door. He may also scratch at the door or garden gate, or jump up at the windows in an effort to get closer.
- Find out what is making him bark and then, if you can, prevent him from seeing, hearing or smelling it. If you’re going out, close the curtains and put the radio or television on to drown out offending noises.
- Don’t leave your dog alone for long periods in the garden if this is where he does most of his barking. Play more games with him, so he’ll be too busy to bark.
- You could try getting him used to the sounds by recording them and playing them back at low volumes during times when he is already quiet and relaxed. Give him treats and lots of praise if he stays relaxed.
- Alternatively brush up on your basic training and have sessions where you ask for sits, downs and stands in a random manner, using lots of treats and praise, at times when the triggers are present. This will help train your dog to be focussed on you, rather than the distractions.
- Entire (not neutered) male dogs can smell a bitch in season up to 6 miles away. If this is contributing to the problem, consider talking to your vet about the possibility of castration.
- If your dog is hungry (i.e. if he only has one meal a day), frustration and guarding behaviour can become worse. Make sure your dog has plenty to eat throughout the day. Several smaller meals are far better than one large meal.
- Download a printable factsheet about barking