Stop Your Dog From Barking

An expert answers your questions about dog barking.

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Q. My dog Timber barks at everything that moves, even rain. What can I do?

A. Barking is one way dogs communicate. Your job is to figure out what Timber is saying. The dog might be responding to a change in its routine or surroundings, alerting you to a threatening person or situation or simply expressing happiness or boredom And you may need only to give it more attention, socialize it to more people or give it fun toys to play with while you're away from home. Other solutions:

  • Leave your dog with a relative, friend, pet-sitter or day-care center to keep it entertained while you're away.

  • Ask your veterinarian about desensitization and behavior modification techniques. The veterinarian may recommend a calming medication or herbal remedy in addition to training.

  • Try a dog collar that releases citronella mist when triggered by barkingbut only when other options fail.Some owners have their dogs debarked, surgically removing all or most of their vocal cords. Many people consider the procedure inhumane and unethical because it inhibits the dog's ability to communicate without addressing the underlying cause. It also exposes dogs to the risk of improper surgical procedures (the dog could eventually begin barking again), complications that may affect the dog's breathing and respiratory function or require a second surgery.
  • Word to the wise: Adding a second dog to the home usually does not solve a barking problem and could even increase it.


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Corona   Melbourne, FL

9/22/2010 8:31:14 PM

I taught my toy to change the pitch of his bark by saying no to yaping and then barking in a low pitch myself, followed by a low growl. Now my toy sounds like a german shephard instead of the Chihuahua full breed he is.

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Jean   Reseda, CA

7/5/2008 8:19:39 PM

I can't imagine anyone having their dog's vocal cords removed as a way to stop barking. We taught our puppy to bark when she needs to go outside and do her business since we don't have a doggy door. If she is just barking for the heck of it, we have a water squirt bottle near us. It only took one squirt to get her to stop the annoying barking. Now if we're sure she's just barking for the heck of it, we just reach for the bottle and she will become quiet.

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Nikki   Washington DC, DC

5/29/2008 4:11:52 PM

good info

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