Majority of dog lovers in India acquire a dog and treat it as their own baby. To love a dog like your own baby is fine-but unlike your baby, you leave the dog uneducated. Most parents feel that their child can learn manners only in school. Similarly, they feel that training a dog some manners is the job of a trainer and find them too busy to teach simple manners to their dog.
A neighbor with a barking dog is worse than a fighting neighbor. Their dog suddenly starts barking at the dead of the night. The dog may bark at imaginary intruders, or may be trying to sync his voice with a howling bitch somewhere in a distant lane! At times when you are busy solving a complex mathematics sum for your son, the neighbor’s dog starts barking. It is most irritating when you are sick and want to sleep peacefully, but the neighbor’s dog has other ideas. He decides to bark incessantly and you toss in the bed cursing your fate.
There are kids who howl a lot and there are kids who are playful and always happy. Likewise there are breeds of dogs that bark at anything and everything all the time. And there are others who remain quiet. Amongst the high barkers are Dachshund, Lhasa Apsos, all Terriers, Spitz etc. Labrador Retrievers are one of the quiet breeds-of course exceptions are always there. In addition, there are cross breeds, which are most unpredictable, they may start barking even as young as 30 days or they may be quiet.
Whether in the barking category or otherwise, a pup has to be taught from very beginning not to bark unnecessarily. Thumb rule for which is to make the pup understand that when you say NO, you mean it. You must show your happiness, when he stops barking on your command. Naturally to teach a dog something you have got to spend some time with the dog.
Sit with your dog at a place in the house where the chances of dog’s barking are maximum. Remember to keep the dog in leash, with the other end under your feet. The moment he barks, look at him angrily, raise your forefinger and say No or Stop in a hushed angry tone. The moment he stops, praise him instantly with all the honey in your voice and with a big happy smile. It hardly takes seven days for an intelligent dog to learn it and about a fortnight for an erratic owner to teach it.
A friend went to England and on return commented, ‘I wonder how they can have dogs, who never bark!’ In his six month’s stay there he never heard a dog bark, though there were scores of dogs in the locality. It is not that the dogs in England are born with all manners. They are born with same qualities as dogs all over the world. But the owners there spend lots of time with their dogs and teach them to live like well-mannered pets.
So, what are you waiting for? It is high time that you start teaching your dog not to bark unnecessarily immediately.