Unwanted barking can be a problem.
For a dog to bark is quite natural and we should not seek to eliminate all barking. However, barking can be a nuisance to yourself and to your neighbours, although it is a problem which can be overcome.
Excessive barking is often related to an insecure dog who is attention seeking, so firstly we must ask ourselves – “Is there anything I can do to put my dog at ease, and give it the attention it needs?” This is a subject on which many books have been written, and animal behaviourists thrive. The best advice is to use common sense, check that your dog is not over-dominant, and train it with love.
Perhaps our natural reaction to recurrent barking is to shout at the dog until it stops. This is something that most of us have done, and whilst it can bring short term results it seldom solves the problem and can even aggravate it by teaching the dog that loud is good!
Your dog may bark at visitors, when the doorbell rings, the newspaper drops through the letterbox etc. The first thing to do here is to train all the family in a united approach which may be to say “thank you” at the first bark and then command the dog to sit. In other words you are saying “Your job is done, now let me take over.” You should not let your dog become the dominant partner in your relationship.
Dogs often bark when playing outside within a secure garden, and any passerby or loud noise is the trigger for such unwanted barking. These are the times when you are not present, and which can be a cause of neighbour unrest which may even lead to a complaint to the local authorities.
It is here that modern training aids come into play in the form of an anti-bark collar. This should NEVER, NEVER, - EVER be an electric shock collar which is cruel. You should use a painless training collar which incorporates a harmless spray to discourage barking. This is the method favoured by vets and animal behaviourists, and which has been proven to be 88% effective.
This painless spray collar simply emits a spray at each bark, but is sufficiently tuned not to go off at any random loud noise so that the act of barking is easily associated with a sudden spray beneath the chin. It works! (well, 88% of the time)
The painless collar has the great advantage that you are able to decide where it is worn, and so you can associate places where barking is not wanted and places where it is OK – for instance indoors at night when the dog can warn against intruders.