Select Page


Dog Training Guidance
Book a Training Class

Tails from a Dog Trainer – Barking!

15 Sep, 2018

People often talk to me about barking dogs. Most people acknowledge that dogs don’t bark without good reason, but what are those reasons?

Simply put, when a dog is barking he is trying to communicate. Dogs have different pitches, the same as we have, which convey differing emotions. An excited “I want to play” bark is very different to “help, I’m locked out”.

Boredom (attention seeking) barking is most common in dogs that are under exercised or under stimulated on a daily basis. Pets in “working” breeds (Collies, Spaniels, Huskies) need to satisfy those breed inherent drives to herd, chase, retrieve etc. Adapting their exercise regime to ensure these needs are met is key to a happy and quiet dog. Canine Enrichment pages and blogs on social media are full of great ideas for keeping those brains busy.

Some dogs display territorial barking when people pass by their homes or gardens. Before dogs became pets many were used as “protection” for property and people, whether that be the Tibetan Terrier (bred to alert Temple guards) or the Doberman Pinscher (bred to protect a Tax Collector!). This type of barking normally subsides once the “threat” has passed. Barking works well (or so the dog believes) as that squirrel always runs away every time – which of course simply reinforces the behaviour and makes it more likely to occur!

Barking at unknown objects or people is frequently seen in puppies. Trying to invite a stuffed toy to play can be very frustrating when it doesn’t respond to your best play bow! Similarly, mops and vacuums need to be warned away. Nobody wants to be chased by something twice of the size of him or her making a loud buzzing noise!

And lastly, of course there is what I like to call “social media” barking. The “keeping up with the Joneses” evening bark to Trevor three doors down who also likes to share his thoughts about Wednesday night’s Coronation Street. Perhaps we need to develop an app for dogs to log in to – Facebark anyone?

Louise Burton IMDT
Hilton Dogs

dog listening

Protected: Can my dog sense human emotions

Password Protected

To view this protected post, enter the password below:

Can’t I just come to a training class?

Post pandemic, I have been frequently contacted by owners looking for help with their dogs.  In many instances, the behaviours they are experiencing - barking at other dogs, barking at strangers coming into the home, anxiety when being left or being overly keen to...

What does ‘positive’ dog training mean?

Positive dog training is a popular and effective method of training dogs that focuses on rewarding desired behavior rather than punishing undesirable behavior. This form of training is becoming increasingly popular among dog owners, trainers, and behaviorists who...

Top Tips for Halloween

  From late October, all manner of Halloween decorations will begin to appear on lawns and around homes. Puppies and older dogs can be easily spooked by new things appearing on their normal walk route. Here are some tips to help. 1) Listen to your dog and watch their...

What reward should you use for training?

What’s your reinforcement (reward) scoring against the environment you’re training in? It’s a question I often ask owners when they’re training skills such as recall, stay etc. Every dog is different, some will work for food, some for praise/interaction and others for...

How to make your dog’s life better

There are so many ways your dog’s health and wellbeing can be improved, here are just a few ideas… Know their body – Examining your dog’s body, coat colour, walking speed, teeth & gums, along with their normal temperature and breathing rate is so important to help...

Hot weather? What to do to keep them busy

Here's a brain dump of some fun things to do with your dog whilst the weather is hot:       Create a "tasting platter" - cut strawberries, watermelon, blueberries, cucumber, apple, banana and carrot and place them in small piles on a tray. Watch if your dog "chooses"...
Destroyed dog bed

Why “getting them done” may not be the answer

Neutering your dog can often be suggested as the “cure all” for many behavioural and training issues. In reality, there are very few unwanted behaviours that are likely to disappear simply as a result of de-sexing your dog. Note - For the purposes of clarity in this...

Want an Easy Peasy Puppy? – THE book you need to get!

The first thing you realise when you're planning to welcome a new puppy is just how much "advice" is out there.  Family, neighbours, Google, celebrity "dog experts", the guy down the pub or the lady down the road who's had dogs for 30 years.  But who do you listen to?...

Canine Enrichment – Get that brain trained!

  Canine Enrichment is all about provide mental stimulation for our dogs. Whilst physical exercise is an important part of our dog’s health, regular enrichment activities ensure that their brains also get a good workout, which leads to a longer, happier life for your...
This site uses cookies to enhance your experience. By continuing to the site you accept their use. More info in our cookies policy.     ACCEPT