Dogs are good companions. They love unconditionally and will always be there for their owners. When a person walks in the door, the rest of the family may be involved in other tasks, but they can always count on their dog for a warm and enthusiastic welcome. If your dog is a persistent barker, however, that love is tempered with a desperate need to stop this bad habit. Pet training can help teach your dog that it isn’t always necessary to bark.
Some pet owners take the wrong approach when trying to discipline their dog. They may yell or even hit their dog, which causes more harm. Dogs that are yelled at or struck can become anxious, timid and may even bite. Reprimanding a dog or discipline doesn’t have to mean that a person should be harsh.
Discipline should include consistency, a firm hand, and confidence. Dogs are pack animals, and establish a pecking order. If the humans of the pack do not establish their place as the leader, the dog will become alpha. Be confident when you train your dog and your dog will respond to this attitude.
Clicker training is a good form of pet training that allows the owner to use positive reinforcement and avoid the negative aspects of discipline. Clickers are a small device that, when pressed make a “click” sound. The reason why clickers are popular is that they remove the confusing aspect of voice commands. When an owner uses a voice command, they don’t always enunciate properly, leading to misunderstanding and frustration for the dog.
One way to train a dog to stop barking is to use the clicker to reinforce when a dog doesn’t bark. The way to do this is to use the clicker and offer a treat when the dog doesn’t bark in a situation when he normally starts barking. Another way to do this is to combine the clicker with a command. If the dog starts to bark, give him a command, such as “quiet”. When the dog quiets down, use the clicker, and give him a treat.
An important aspect of clicker training is to reinforce good behavior and ignore bad behavior. If your pet doesn’t respond to the command, do not yell or punish him. Instead, patiently wait for the dog to stop and then try again.
Patience is one of the most important aspects of pet training. Your dog will not stop barking overnight. It will take many repeated training sessions for him to learn his new behavior and act on it consistently. If your dog backslides, don’t believe that he is not trainable or that you are a bad owner. It just means that you need to try again.
There may be a reason why your dog barks that you don’t understand. If you are working with your dog for a period and don’t see improvement, you may need to seek advice from a professional. Your family veterinarian may be able to help you because they are familiar with your dog’s personality. A professional dog trainer may also be able to determine the reasons behind why your dog barks and help you alter her behavior.
Pet training isn’t always easy, but it is rewarding. You and your dog will become closer and you will have a dog that others will enjoy as much as you do. You owe it to your companion to make sure his behavior is socially acceptable and he is a happy and positive member of the family.
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