Barking is perfectly normal behavior for a dog; it is what comes naturally to him. However, this fact means nothing to an angry neighbor who has to listen to a dog that barks excessively all day every day.
Put yourself in their position and you would understand that you cannot have a dog barking all day, it is just not acceptable.
However, it is also very unrealistic to expect your Shiba Inu rescue to never bark at all. Other than having your pet dog surgically debarked – which I do not recommend – you will always have a certain amount of barking going on. There are some methods that you can use though to reduce your dog barking so that he is not a nuisance to your neighbors.
- The first step is to try and find out why your dog barks. If you can find the cause then you may be able to eliminate the cause. If you’re dog is barking because he is being provoked by someone, then understandably he won’t stop as long as that person keeps provoking him.
- Many dogs bark because they are bored. Try to spend some quality time with your dog each day. Take him for walks and play ball games with him. The less bored your dog is, the less he will bark.
- There are dog toys on the market that can keep your dog busy while you are away and he is left alone. There are balls in which you can put dog treats inside and he needs to play with it for the treats to come out. These sorts of toys can keep him occupied for a while and stop his barking.
There is also a very good method to train your dog to be a bit quieter.
- This method works by using a food reward, so have some treats close by.
- When your dog barks praise him and say ‘good boy’ and then say ‘what’s the matter?’
- Once you have assured there is nothing happening to make him bark, tell him to ‘be quiet’.
- Show him the treat, most dogs will quiet down when they see and smell a treat. Their focus moves from the barking to the treat.
- Once he has become quiet praise him. Wait about 3 seconds of quiet time and then give him the treat.
- If he starts to bark again show him another treat. This time try to wait for about 5 seconds of him being quiet before giving the treat to him. The aim here is to teach your dog that after each quiet time he will be rewarded.
- If your dog barks while waiting for the treat, tell him in a stern voice to ‘be quiet’. Then if he stops barking reward him.
- Increase the time period of his quiet time by about 3 seconds each time until you have gradually worked up to a couple of minutes quiet time.
- You may need to repeat this method a few times and gradually your dog will learn that there is a reward for being quiet. So he will quiet down in general in the hope of receiving that reward. This process can be very effective at breaking your dog’s barking habit.
Some dog breeds do tend to bark more than other breeds. Do some research on your dogs breed to find out if he is a breed that is more likely to be a barker.
Breaking your dog’s barking habit will not happen overnight, it will take a little bit of time. Try to be as calm and patient with him and eventually he will only be barking when it’s necessary for him to do so.
If you have trouble getting your dog to stop barking, consult a veterinarian trained in behavioral problems.