To get your attention. The motivation for the dog is very different for these two types of barking behaviors. One is for protection, and one is simply for dog satisfaction. http://pet-services.eoltt.com
The first reason, letting you know that someone or something strange is in the area is generally desirable. Most people have dogs as a form of protection or safety. Even a small breed such as a Pekingese or a Toy Poodle can be a watchdog, and they are usually very good at it. The key for this kind of barking is to have it controlled. Most owners would like their dog to bark, but would also like them to stop on command. If dogs understand that the humans in the house are in control, they will usually respect this request. If the dog does not trust the human, or thinks that they are in control, they will often bark long after the owner as commanded them to stop. This is embarrassing and frustrating for the owner, and is the cause of many people giving up their pets.
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Training your dog to stop barking on command requires patience and a good relationship between dog and owner. The dog can be allowed to bark once or twice, and then commanded to stop. If it doesn't stop try providing a distraction such as a light misting with water or a empty can filled with pebbles shaken near the dog. As soon as the dog stops, a treat and praise can be provided. The dog is then being rewarded for both barking and stopping, and is likely to continue the behavior.
As with most training activities this command is learned quicker and easier when the dog is young. Never allow the dog to bark in play for excessive amounts of time or it will start to associate barking with play, rather than with protection.
Attention Seeking barking.
Puppies quickly learn that barking, whining and howling are sure ways to get human attention. They can also learn to bark for food, water or other treats. This behavior is learned from the owner's reaction to barking. If the humans run to the barking puppy and pick it up and cuddle it, the puppy learns that this is the best way to get attention. This carries on into adulthood, where barking is not desirable at all. It is much easier to avoid the habit in the first place rather than try to correct it after it has been established.
Dogs also bark to get the attention of other dogs. If you find your dog barking at the dog down the street try changing the location of the kennel or building a privacy fence that limits the dog visual range. Providing toys, activities and attention for the dog throughout the day will also help distract him or her from barking at other animals.
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