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Stop Dog from Barking- Puppies and Older Dogs

Sep 5, 2008
Older dogs and puppies are different. Understanding this can help you spot what all the noise is about.

Older dogs
Just like people older dogs have health issues. Arthritis pain, feeling achy in cold weather, sensitivity to cold/heat/draughts and simply less tolerant and more irritable. This can cause barking at events that didn't bother them before such as other dogs, cars, trucks or planes. Vision and/or hearing can add to the problems by causing the dog to be startled. Some older dogs have bitten people they have been friendly with because they were startled. Afterwards they are often ashamed.

As hearing goes, he may often bark first and ask questions later on a better safe than sorry principle. Confusion and even dementia can cause sudden barking. If so there are drugs to help.
If he barks at specific things like cars and trucks find a way to not let him see them. Close curtains, build a fence or move the dog to different room. If a dog suddenly starts barking for no obvious reason, check his physical condition and the surroundings. If there's nothing obvious...go to a vet. Be empathetic...imagine how you would feel if you were the aging dog.

Puppies
Puppies are almost universally adorable but after a few days and nights of a puppy whimpering and barking ...it is decidedly not so cute. You must resolve puppy barking as it leads to adult barking.

If a puppy has been taken from their mother early, he will often bark when left alone. But several ideas have been used successfully to calm puppies: put a blanket or toy around the puppy that was used by the litter, play the radio on low, or put a small ticking clock in his bed (assumed to remind the puppy of his mum's heartbeat) or even something unwashed of yours can often work as a comforter.

A method of preventing a lonely puppy becoming an adult barker is to allow him to spend time alone while he's still a puppy. This can be very hard for people to do - as who doesn't feel the need to have the cute puppy at their side...but try and avoid this constant attention...train them to be independent with this alone time. Give him toys to play with alone. The key is not to spend every second with your dog, in a way it's training yourself (and him) to do your own thing. And relax a well-trained, well-behaved dog will still need and love you.

Give your dog a bed immediately (and not your bed) and walk him to it every night. This will pay off massively. It gives him his own place to sleep (or hide) but more importantly it gives YOU your own bed with no massive hound demanding your attention every minute! Not to mention no pools of drool to step in or wipe up. Many vets/trainers recommend using a crate rather than a bed however if you don't travel much, or your dog is well behaved, a pet bed will often do.

Puppies should start training at two months of age -don't wait. If your puppy barks try turning away and walking out. This will disconnect the link the puppy is trying which is that barking = attention (even if it's bad attention). You don't rush to him if he calls you. It may take a few weeks to ingrain that in his brain so keep going...if you give in, in his mind it will be "Hmmm if I just bark long enough and loud enough, I get attention" and that is bad for you.

Do not comfort a dog who is barking. Again by doing this you reinforce that barking = attention. I know I know you feel guilty sometimes but just don't do it. The habit will be harder to break when you try again.
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