Dog Barking: Are You Training Your Dog to Bark?

Believe it or not, dogs can be very manipulative. Many times, dogs bark for very selfish reasons: they want to force you to do something in their favor. When this happens, not only is the barking uncalled for; it can become extremely annoying. However, remember this important fact: Dog training occurs each and every time you and your pooch interact. He learns from your reactions to his behavior.

Now, let me give you an example of how your dog can use his voice in order to try to manipulate you. Imagine the following scenario: you’re sitting on your couch, reading the newspaper after a long day of work. All you want to do is relax, but you’re rambunctious pooch wants to play. She picks up her toy, comes beside you, and drops it in your lap. You’re in the middle of reading and pay no attention. After a few seconds of being ignored, your dog is frustrated and gives your hand a nudge with her nose while letting out a loud bark. You glance at her, and she is already in the play-bow stance (she has her elbows close to the floor, bottom in the air, and she is wagging her tail), and is panting. You continue to ignore her and keep reading the paper. She begins to bark again, but this time her barking is continuous and very, very loud. She’s decided that she’s not letting up until she gets her own way. After a few minutes of her noise, you put down the paper, pick up her toy, and take her outside to play. Now that she has gotten your attention and what she wanted (to go outside and play), she has stopped barking.

I think that we all know that respect is a very important aspect of our relationships with our dogs. You respect your dog by taking good care of her even though you may be inconvenienced, giving her healthy and tasty food, and showing her affection. To deserve your respect, however, she must show reverence to you, too. Remember, your dog is not your equal. When you own a dog You are the boss, and your dog is the pet. The roles should never be reversed. Dogs, unlike young children, are most comfortable and best-behaved when they know that you are the leader who is in control. In order to be a pet that is happy, well-adjusted, and well-behaved, your dog must first respect your leadership.

Now, in the example above, the dog was obviously disrespecting her master. She was not trying to kindly persuade her owner to play with her; rather, she was harassing him for his attention. The owner, by caving into his dog’s bad behavior, reinforced her barking. How? Well, by giving his pooch what she wanted (attention and playtime outside) he Rewarded the dog barking. So, what did the dog learn as a result? That it is OK to bark anytime she wants to because, in order to get what she wants, all she must do is make a lot of noise until she achieves her goal.

As a dog owner, reinforcing negative behavior is one of the worse mistakes that you can make. Affection and play-times are necessary; however, they must be given according to Your terms. If you unintentionally teach your dog that she is able to get her own way by barking and being a nuisance, then she will develop a very bad habit. To prevent your pet from developing this, as well as other dog behavior problems, you must show her that it is you who are the boss and that you cannot be manipulated.

Re-training Your Aggressive Dog to be Handled & Groomed

Retraining your dog is easiest when he is young. Always handle your puppy so that he becomes accustomed to being touched. When dogs are young, they usually like to be handled. Older dogs that were deprived of physical contact growing up sometimes have difficulty accepting physical affection. Start off gradually. For example, begin by just trying to touch your dog’s paws with the clipper, and build up the process each day, while giving constant praise an a small treat on occasion. A dog that has already had negative handling/grooming experiences will be harder to retrain. You will need to reverse the damage that has been caused by those bad experiences, and you can do this by starting off very slowly and making sure that your dog stays relaxed. If he begins to exhibit signs of stress, stop right away and allow him to calm down. Try your best to make it seem like a game: give your dog lots of attention and praise, pet him, and give him treats. Remember not to rush and not to insist if your dog shows anxious behavior.

Dogs display aggression for a purpose: they’re warning you to leave them alone, or pay the consequences. Although this is one way explaining how to rehabilitate aggressive behavior in a dog, if your dog just refuses to be groomed, despite all of your attempts, it would be a wise decision to let the professionals take over. The vet will clip your dog’s nails (be sure to tell the vet that your dog becomes aggressive when he sees clippers, so that he is prepared). You can also get your dog washed, brushed, etc by experienced professionals for a nominal fee (again, make them aware of your dog’s prior bad experiences with grooming beforehand!).

Understanding Dog Aggression and Aggressive Dog Training Tips

Every dog is in need of basic dog obedience training. Your canine, like a young child, must be taught how to behave. Many dogs have behavioral problems. There are those that show aggressive dog behavior, those that that have turned barking into a hobby, those that are constantly whining, etc. So, if you are having difficulties with your dog, don’t have a panic attack! You are not the only one with an unruly pet, and there are solutions to your dog’s problems.

Dog aggression is a typical problem that dog owners are confronted with. Bad dog behaviors such as this can be eliminated. If you wish to stop dog behavior problems, however, your first step is to understand what is causing them. Correcting aggressive dogs calls upon you to discover the root of the aggression. Does you dog behave aggressively towards members of the family, strangers, or both? You must ask yourself this critical question. The answer will influence treatment of the problem.

If your dog only acts aggressively towards strangers, then it is necessary for you to learn how to socialize your dog. If your dog exhibits aggressive behavior towards people in your family, you must learn how to deal with dog pack behavior and resource guarding. Mishandling or mistreating a dog may also cause a dog to show aggression towards family members. Hence, each person in the family should learn what types of handling/treatment can provoke aggressive dog behavior.

Aggressive dog training is a hard job to do without some form of help. Books on dog behavior are an excellent resource that can guide you through basic dog obedience training and help you learn how to stop dog behavior problems (for example, dog aggression). So, if you want to train your dog in the house and don’t want to spend a ton of money on training lessons, then a book on dog behavior is an excellent investment!

Here are 5 Tips that you can use to begin correcting aggressive dogs today!

  1. If he is still a puppy, expose your pet to as many new people and environments as possible.
  2. Handle your puppy frequently, in a nonthreatening manner, so that he gets used to being touched.
  3. Let your dog know that You are the boss, or head of the family, not him.
  4. Keep obedience training lessons brief, consistent, and frequent (Two 15 minute sessions a day).
  5. Use rewards (praise/treats) when your dog behaves and punishment (nothing harsh: time out) when he does not listen to your commands.

Different Types of Aggressive Behavior in Dogs

Dogs are supposed to be a “man’s best friend.” However, sometimes they can turn into his worst enemy. Why do dogs display aggressive behavior? Well, there are many reasons. Understanding the causes of dog aggression can help you avoid being viciously bitten or attacked by an angry dog.

Here are just some of the things that give rise to aggressive behavior in dogs:

  1. Dominance – Dogs have the instinct to act as if they are in a pack. A dog’s human family, in his eyes, is very similar to a dog pack; he views it as having a clear hierarchy. So, if he is not taught from an early age that he is NOT the head of the “family”, or pack, then he will assume this role and think that he can dominate the rest of the members. The dominant dog will abuse his sense of power and become violent when he fails to get his own way.
  2. Fear Induced Aggression– When a dog is frightened and another animal or person comes toward him, he may react in an aggressive manner if he feels trapped and unable to get away.
  3. A boo boo– When a dog is hurt, or in pain, and is he touched in a threatening way (or a way which causes him even more pain), he may react by bearing his teeth, growling, or even biting.
  4. After Giving Birth- A dog that has just given birth will become very aggressive if a person or animal comes near her newborn puppies in order to protect them.
  5. Natural Born Hunters– Well, dogs certainly are not vegetarians! They love meat and moving objects, and will go after just about anything that they view as prey, including animals or anything that can move fast. So, if you’re fleeing from a mad dog on foot, be careful as this type of behavior may make the dog display even more aggression.
  6. A Dog’s Territory– Dogs are very protective of and possessive over what they consider to be their property (their owner’s home, the front porch, a part of the yard, etc) So, when some person or animal invades it, they will not give a second thought about attacking the intruder.

Are You Unintentionally Encouraging Aggressive Dog Behavior?

Did you know that every single time you interact with your dog you are training him? Yes, the way you treat your canine, your reactions to his behavior, and even your body language have long lasting effects on how your dog will behave in the future. So, given this fact, it is important to know exactly what NOT to do to elicit aggressiveness in your dog. By becoming conscious of what things can trigger and foster aggressive dog behavior, you will take one step closer to prevention.

Here are the common mistakes that dog owners make when interacting with their dogs:

  1. Hitting A Dog When He Misbehaves                                                                                                                                

    You should never, ever use any sort of physical abuse or violence when punishing your dog. You cannot eliminate dog aggression by behaving in the same manner as your dog, i.e, as the aggressor. Any violence that you inflict on your dog will only backfire; he will become extremely fearful and even more aggressive and may even attack. When your dog misbehaves, an appropriate response from you would be a Firm “NO” or you could give him a “time out.”

  2. Playing “Pull and Tug” With Your Dog                                                                                                                                                                 Dogs, by the very nature, are aggressive animals. Dogs view the game of pull and tug as a struggle, or challenge, that they must overcome at any cost. Roughhousing with your dog in this manner will show him that it is okay to show aggression, as he may bite or maul you just to win the game. Instead of resorting to a game that promotes aggression, why not play ball with your energized dog or take him for a brisk walk? Exercise is always beneficial, and it will release endorphins in your dog’s brain, making him feel more relaxed and ultimately less aggressive.
  3. Keeping Your Dog Prisoner

    – Chaining up your dog for or keeping him in a cage for long periods of time is not only inhumane, it fosters aggression. Dogs are not loners. They have a need to be around people, and, like humans enjoy their freedom. Caging any animal will inevitably make it even more wild. However, if you have to temporarily put your dog in a cage or tie him up, make sure that he has all of his needs met (food, water, cleanliness, etc), and that it is not for more than a couple of hours.