Barking, it is the time of year for it!

Spring has sprung and nature is in its breeding season, this means more birds, possums, rabbits and many other small animals are on the increase around our homes.

This is of great interest to many of our dogs who will take great interest and enjoyment in barking at these little creatures that are making the most noise they do all year round. Of course the barking isn’t as welcome as our dogs think it may be and can bring with it sleepy dog owners, complaining neighbours, council letters and in some cases poisoned dogs.

We know this happens every year as our emails on barking go through the roof and so do bark collar sales, so this year were going to help you be proactive and avoid some of the problems that come at this time of year.

First we need to remember that barking is a natural behaviour for dogs and that I don’t suggest that anyone try to silence their dog that gives the occasional woof, this could actually lead to other psychological problems.

I also recommend considering the root cause of your dogs barking rather than just trying to suppress it, I certainly understand that complaints and compliance orders need to be kept at bay, but if your dog gets no exercise which is causing the dog to bark, perhaps up the exercise and play with your dog, observe what your dog is barking at rather than yell at it.

The more common reasons that dogs bark are: –

[list type=”info”]
  • Lack of exercise / stimulation
  • Boredom/frustration
  • No human companionship/loneliness
  • Discomfort, cold /hot, no bedding
  • Hungry or thirsty
  • Medical conditions or separation anxiety
  • Provocation from people, animals etc
  • Disturbances, sirens, cars, trucks
  • Change to family structure
  • Change of territory Inadequate yard space

Managing the barking

To reduce the dogs desire to engage with these small animals at night, you can crate train your dog and have your dog sleep inside at night inside a crate. Many dog owners do this normally including us at K9Pro and of course prevent any night time barking at small animals.

Keeping your dog well exercised can help too as they will of course be more tired and perhaps sleep through the chirping of birds and scurrying of possums.

Feeding a dog late at night will induce a deeper sleep also, so if you normally feed in the morning, you may find that feeding at night will help your dog sleep through more soundly.

Some people find that an Area Bark Deterrent not only deters their dog from barking but drives Away small animals too. These work by detecting barking / noise and emitting an Ultra Sonic sound pulse over your property which can only be heard by animals, not humans.

This is totally harmless to your dog and the animals around your home but poses as a distraction and deters barking. The effectiveness of this device does vary and in our experience and may struggle to deter a determined barker.

Anti barking collars

There are a range of anti barking collars on the market and we have a number of types that use various deterrent methods, ranging from an Ultra Sonic pulse through to a static pulse.

The effectiveness of these methods does vary from dog to dog but we have listed on each product page which units in our own experience and tests rate the lowest success through to the highest success.

Looking at our star rating system you will see up to a 5 star rating, the more determined your dog is at barking the higher in the rating we recommend you do. You may also want to start at the top if you are facing angry neighbours or council pressure so you can ensure that the barking stops instantly.

I have my own preferences for which units I recommend in my behaviour consults, we have a number of other units available as well as many people request certain models or brands they have used previously.

This table below shows which units I would use and the star rating.

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  1. My dogs would drive everyone nuts with their barking at night so we let them sleep in the house. As our dogs are yarded separately during the day this gives them each others company at night, and means they are more likely to sleep rather than answer all of the neighbours dogs barks.
    No amount of yelling, punishment or anything else works nearly as well as simply bringing them indoors. They are confined in the laundry with appropriate bedding and we all get a good night’s sleep.

    • I also sleep my dogs inside Cheryl, and for those of us that can that may be ideal, but some people make a choice to keep their dogs outside, they may rent and not be allowed dogs inside.

      Some dogs don’t wait until night time to bark either, they will bark all day and of course they can’t be locked inside 24/7.

      So whilst some will be unstimulated and happy sleeping inside, this wont solve every problem.

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