Saturday, March 15, 2008

Excessive Barking in the Yard

Barking. It’s one of the things that dogs do. In fact, there are occasions when it’s a benefit to have a dog who barks. If there were a stranger entering your property or if something were genuinely amiss, a barking dog could be downright helpful.What is not helpful however, is a dog who barks constantly. A twig snapped in the backyard, “Bark, bark, bark!” Neighbors are grilling in their yard, “Ruff, ruff, ruff!” Neighborhood kids are riding their bikes, “Yap, yap, yap!”This is a problem that is not only extremely annoying to neighbors, but can also be rather chafing on the pet’s owners who are either inside the house or out in their yard. Many dog or puppy owners find themselves constantly yelling “Cut it out! Hush!”… which for most dogs doesn’t stop the barking but instead just adds to the commotion.Another down side to a constantly barking dog is that he can become rather like the boy who cried wolf. Since the dog barks so much, there is a tendency to not even go see what it is he’s barking about. In the event of an actual intruder, your dog might be trying to tell you, but will instead either be ignored or told to hush because the barking is so common.The first step in alleviating this problem is to work on some obedience training with your pet. If he doesn’t clearly understand what “no” and “good dog” mean, he will not comprehend what you’re asking when you holler out the window. Likewise, if your dog doesn’t respect you, even if he does know what you mean, he will not listen anyway.Some basic obedience commands such as “heel,” “sit,” “down,” “stay” and “come” will help establish a learning curve for your pet, and being consistent during practice will help you to earn his respect at the same time. Another benefit of obedience training is that it helps to stave off boredom. You may be surprised how many dogs bark all the time simply because it’s an activity.The next step is to get outside with your dog or puppy! If he’s out there by himself, barking and running back and forth, all the hollering in the world is not going to stop him. You need to personally catch your dog barking inappropriately, tell him “no” and redirect him to a more appropriate behavior such as chasing a ball, doing a “down/stay” or another acceptable activity.Also extremely important is to take your dog out on a leash and socialize him thoroughly with normal neighborhood occurrences. Introduce him to the neighbors. Bring him to meet the kids who ride their bikes. Hang around out front when your neighbors are doing yard work so he learns that it’s normal and acceptable for them to be there.Between the obedience training, respecting you more, your personal supervision and being properly socialized with normal neighborhood happenings, your dog’s barking will be dramatically reduced. Soon, even your neighbors may start to like him!

Article written by Lori VerniLori Verni is a freelance writer, Certified Master Trainer and owner of Best Paw Forward Dog Education in Holly Springs, NC. She also proudly brings you all of the free articles on, and has a book available: Everything You Need to Know About House Training Puppies & Adult Dogs. The book can be purchased at

Keywords: dog collars, dog training, dog health

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