The Secret to Silencing Barking That Every Pet Owner Needs to Know
These tips will help curb incessant barking in even the most anxious dogs, which is one of the top reasons families are forced to part with their beloved pets.
In this episode of “Lucky Dog,” Brandon helps prepare a former stray, named Daisy, to start a new life with her adopted family. During her time on the street, Daisy was starved for love and attention, causing her to bark incessantly anytime she is left alone. However, Daisy does have a sweet family waiting to take her home. Crystal hopes that loving Daisy will help her shy daughter, Sophia, learn to come out of her shell. However, Crystal and Sophia are moving in with Crystal’s boyfriend, Eli, in an apartment complex. If Brandon can’t teach Daisy not to bark, Daisy won’t be a good match for this home.
Dogs like Daisy, who can’t seem to stop barking, often struggle to find and stay with their forever families. Brandon laments that “families give up on their dog too early...too easily. They don’t want to put the time or the energy into training the dog, so the dog ends up in the shelter.” Even for families who haven’t given up, barking is the number one reason dogs are taken away from families, especially in apartment buildings. Sometimes, animal control is even called to intervene.
Brandon takes Daisy to Lucky Ranch, and proves that with patience and training, dogs like Daisy can break their barking habit. In fact, the positive-reinforcement method Brandon used with Daisy should work with most dogs. Brandon starts Daisy’s training in the Lucky Ranch training area by leaving Daisy alone in an enclosed room. When Daisy stops barking, Brandon rewards Daisy with treats and praise before repeating the process. Daisy soon learns that she is rewarded for not barking, which encourages her good behavior. As Daisy’s behavior improves, Brandon moves Daisy to the ranch house, where Daisy encounters more distractions while left alone. Despite showing signs of anxiety, and jealousy when Daisy sees Brandon interacting with another dog, Daisy remains quiet.
Initially, Daisy can only be left alone for a few seconds without barking. By the end of Brandon’s training, Daisy can be left alone for a half hour without making a sound, proving that hard work and patience pays off. Repetition, patience, and reward is the key to breaking your dog’s barking habit. Your dog barks because they want your attention. When your dog learns that they are ignored when they bark, but are rewarded when they are quiet, your dog will progressively bark less and less. However, you will have to be patient and start small with no distractions, before expecting your dog to behave in more distracting environments for longer lengths of time. If you stay calm and consistent in your training, you will eventually have a quiet, loving companion!
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