With 25 years of training and caring for dogs, I’ve found when it comes to barking there are just 3 kinds of dog owners
(1) owners who don’t care if their dog is causing a nuisance and it doesn’t bother them - even if their neighours or others are upset by the their dog’s barking.
(2) owners who know how to train their dog and can control the barking at home or away.
(3) owners (probably the majority) who really worry about their dog’s barking, might have tried to deal with it, but simply do not know how to stop it.
Barking matters because there could be a link to poisoned baits which have been thrown into gardens - seemingly targeting a specific dogs.
The immediate reaction is hoping something terrible happens to psychopaths who do such a wicked thing to an adored family member - which is what our dogs are. But then there comes a thought, in my mind anyway, but could this evil action have been done by someone angry over barking?
Case in point. In the UK an airline pilot was kept awake by the constant barking of a small terrier. He approached the family saying he needed to sleep due to his shifts. But the family denied their dog’s barking was a problem, it didn’t bother them, and they left their dog continuing to yap for hours on end. One day the pilot snapped. He killed the dog.
This was an intelligent man driven to hits wits end. The Pilot lost his job and the family lost their beloved pet.
This outcome was absolutely tragic and unnecessary, but it cannot be underestimated how much barking dogs can upset those who have no control over the noise.
100’s of Canine guests have stayed with me at my small boutique Hound Dog Hotel. I might have 4, even 5 dogs here at a time and with that many dogs living inside with me - and neighbours close - one thing I cannot have is constant barking.
When dogs come to stay, even in a short time inveterate barkers learn that barking is not required! I achieve this by using different approaches (pre-empting + treats, loose lead control, and so on) until I find the method that the dog responds to best.
So is it possible to stop barking? ABSOLUTELY. It will take longer with an older dog that has been allowed to bark for years, but with the right approach and applying it with dedication in the words an early dog guru, Barbara Woodhouse, you can achieve the following.
‘a dog that is a pleasure to all and nuisance to no one’