Company of Animals

Barking at people or other dogs

Barking at people

If the barking is directed at you (or another person) then they should ignore the dog avoiding attention and even eye-contact. If the barking continues, the person should leave the room until the barking stops and reappear and continue as normal, still giving minimal attention. This will teach your dog that life can’t happen on their terms and that you and your visitors are free to mill around as you please. This will result in a happier and more confident pet less likely to develop separation anxiety.

Barking at other dogs

If your dog barks at other dogs; try walking them at a distance where your dog can be aware of their presence but not react by barking. Allow your dog to look over at the other dogs occasionally but keep engaging them in another activity such as training or a game. By getting your dog to focus their brain on another activity you will help to keep them calmer. Gradually, as your dog becomes more tolerant and less inclined to focus on other dogs, you can get a little closer. If at any point barking starts up again, simply increase the distance until they are calm again. With regular, controlled exposure your distance should soon reduce.

Aggression

If your dog is barking aggressively at you, other people, or other animals then you should seek help from a suitably qualified behaviour specialist to help you both overcome this problem. Similarly, if your dog barks when left home alone they may be suffering from separation anxiety and need further help and support.

Top tips

Fiona Whelan ~ Pet Behaviourist

Fiona has been working at the Training and Behaviour Centre as a behaviour specialist since 2002, and previously ran her own training and behaviour establishment in Lincolnshire for seven years so has a wealth of experience as a behaviour counsellor.