One of the most common problems people struggle with,
Which is funny because EVERYONE seems to have to answer as to why a dog barks and how to fix it.
Which usually goes something like you’re dog is most likely bored, you need to do more with him, he needs more environmental enrichment, he needs more toys.
Meanwhile, the people I speak with – their dog has ample toys, works out treat dispensing toys in a flash, if they work their dog for the food i.e sit, drops and tricks the dogs nail them quickly and both owner and dog get bored fast with the same repetitive tasks, they walk or play with their dog frequently.
Buuuut he is still barking at the neighbours movements, passer byers, at the fact that a bird farted.
They feel frustrated, like they aren’t or can’t do enough for their dog, that everyone makes it sound so god dam simple and they just can’t get it together.
Truth is there are LOTS of reasons why dogs bark.
Boredom is usually on the bottom of my lists of why.
When speaking with people they usually have a dog that is either or both highly anxious and highly energetic or high drive.
It’s usually misplaced energy, frustration or an attempt to realise emotions that are making the dog feel tense or wound up.
Sure you can call that boredom throw toys, treats, training, and heaps of exercise at the problem but if you don’t know what you are doing and why, how is that going to actually dig into the core issue and start to fix it?
So what DO you do instead?
I think all but one of our currently clients was or is currently struggling with barking being ONE of the issues their dog actually has, it’s one we get caught up in and zero in on because it bothers the neighbours, it bothers our peace and quite and we can also receive council complaints and warnings.
But when we assess what’s going on around the dog we find that the communication between the owner and dog isn’t great, the connection isn’t as strong as they wished it could be, they don’t do the things they wished they could with their dog because of the way he behaves, and when they are really honest, they love their dog but they find him tiring he just seems like yet another chore they have argue with themselves about doing training, exercise or play because none of it seems to work anyway.
We have carefully designed our programs to heal those things, to bring back the connection, with that comes motivation, they feel closer to their dog then ever before, they begin building the foundation they need to truly get in and fix the problem of barking and once we do address that issue, it’s already improving on it’s own, it seems like no effort at all to get a handle on the issue, and usually owners like the fact their dog barks, they just wish he could understand when it was appropriate and when its not, and that’s why we teach them a system that clearly shows the dog this.
This TAKES time.
Something I say often to people.
We are not a take away business.
We are not cheap, easy or fast.
We want to build results that are long lasting that address all aspects of the dogs and owners lives, to ensure that the work matches them, can be moulded to suit their lives and the changes that will occur in it.
Because at a guess having 10 plus years with your dog shits going to change, life doesn’t stand still, people go through injuries, moves, expanding family, loosing family, all things that can impact on you, your dog and how things appropriate in the household.
I love management strategies, having things to lean on during those rough patches or changes in your own life or your dogs life, which is what those solutions that are so frequently given for barking are
But they aren’t sustainable, they can’t be kept up forever, I have lost count the amount of people who have rang me with injuries, who were walking there dog up to twice a day to keep the bad behaviours at bay to have everything fall apart and all the things they were keeping just under the surface spring up, now on top of an injury they have to deal with say – a lot of barking.
“it’s because you aren’t walking him as much any more”
No sally it’s because people like you keep pumping out the same old story people don’t realise that they need to take into account that walking doesn’t fix an issue like that, it just puts a band aid over it and helps make living with the dog easier.
It doesn’t solve the dogs coping skills, yes you should walk your dog, it’s nice to get out of the house but you shouldn’t solely rely on one thing to manage an issue, and there is a huge difference between management and teaching your dog how to cope when shit changes.
Dig in and do the hard work and you get the long term, sustainable results.
Do the “easy” work and watch how quickly all that time and energy slips backwards because you couldn’t for what ever reason sustain it any longer.