Last Updated on July 17, 2023 by Dogs Vets
How Do I Stop Territorial Barking?
Ever come home after a rough day, dreaming of some peace and quiet, only to be greeted by your furry friend’s endless “woof woof”? That’s territorial barking for you! But, how can you bring this quite frankly annoying behavior to a halt?
Trust me, you can curtail territorial barking by gradually desensitizing your dog to things that trigger it, taking time to train them to be quiet, and putting up visual barriers.
Regular exercise and the use of bark collars or dog-appeasing pheromones can also be effective. For those particularly tricky situations, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.
Now, let’s dig a bit deeper into the nitty-gritty of how to hush that territorial barking, shall we?
Understanding Territorial Barking in Dogs
Territorial barking is a specific kind of vocalization dogs exhibit when they sense an intrusion into their perceived territory.
Rooted in their instinct to protect their domain and warn off potential trespassers, territorial barking acts primarily as an alert.
Territorial barking serves as a warning signal, notifying others that the barking dog is the owner of this territory.
It can include people, animals, or strange sounds or objects near their territory. Dogs engaging in territorial barking frequently exhibit repeating and persistent barking behaviors.
How to Stop Territorial Barking
To put an end to territorial barking, you can employ the effective methods outlined below:
Desensitize Your Dog to Triggers
Identify the causes of territorial barking in your dog. Once identified, gently introduce your dog to these triggers at a distance where they stay calm.
For example, if your dog exhibits territorial barking in front of strangers, show him recorded sounds and videos of strangers. Immediately give your dog a treat if it remains relaxed during the video so that the dog associates it as a positive experience.
Increase the volume and decrease the distance of the videos and gradually move towards strangers in real time. Desensitization is a long gradual process. It requires the owners’ consistency and patience.
Train Your Dog to Be Quiet
Like the commands of “sit” and “stand”, it’s time to teach your dog a new command i.e., “Quiet”. Here are the steps for it:
- Allow your dog to do territorial barking
- Say “Quiet” in a firm tone
- If the dog stops barking, reward them with favorite treat or a toy
- Use the “Quiet” command in different situations and environments.
Provide Visual Barriers
Providing visual barriers can prevent your dog from triggers that may induce territorial barking:
- Use window film, blinds, or curtain to minimize exposure to triggers
- Keep decorative items such as indoor plants and bookshelves close to windows.
- Use freestanding screens or pet gates, to limit your dog’s access to areas where they may see triggers
- Use white noise machines or soothing music to block out triggers that can cause your dog to bark in defense of his territory
- Your dog should have a special place or room in your home that they may go to when they feel stressed.
Provide Adequate Exercise
Dogs who get plenty of exercise and play are less likely to have surplus energy, which can lead to restlessness or reactive behavior, such as territorial barking. Exercise promotes a calmer and balanced state of mind by offering an outlet for their body energy.
Use Dog Appeasing Pheromones (DAP)
As territorial barking is induced by the fear of losing territory, use of DAPs can be helpful. DAP are the natural pheromones generated by breastfeeding mother dogs, which provide puppies with a sense of security.
They can soothe your dog’s anxiety and lessen territorial barking. DAPs are available as diffusers, sprays, or collars.
Use Bark Collars
Bark collars are also used by many dog owners to combat territorial barking. Use of electric bark collars may be controversial. Despite all the drawbacks, bark collar have certain advantages that make them viable over other options:
- Bark collar gives immediate correction to the dog which can help them relate the barking activity with an unpleasant outcome. It makes them more likely to avoid barking excessively.
- Bark collars operate without human involvement. This is useful when the dog is barking excessively and the owner is not there to address the behavior.
Seek Help From A Dog Behaviorist
Let me tell you, the real deal is in getting the expert view from a dog behaviorist.
These folks are like the wizards of doggy demeanor, teaching you the ABCs of dog communication and helping you understand Fido’s every wag and woof. And get this, they’re also your personal coach, making sure you’re hitting it right with the training techniques.
Here’s the bitter truth: curbing territorial barking feels like fighting a dragon with a toothpick. But fear not! With the right methodologies and practices, it is achievable.
Be sure to use the tips we’ve discussed above and consult a professional if all else fails. With consistency and a bit of patience, you too can have your very own army of quiet puppies.
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