All dogs will inevitably succumb to annoying habits. Most of these habits are habits which affect you, the dog's owner, and not everyone else. However, if you have a dog who continuously barks, day in and day out, this is definitely a habit that will affect many more than just yourself. This is a habit that may come to such an out-of-control point in which your neighbors may become quite perturbed, and this habit may even lead to some run-ins with your local police force, which is definitely not something you want to have to deal with.
Initially, people began domesticating dogs in order to use them as security or alert systems to give protection to the family who owned them. Now, such habits can become quite bothersome, especially in a dog who barks all of the time. The best time to teach your dog when and where barking is appropriate is when your dog is still a puppy, and before the barking becomes completely out-of-control. There are many reasons why dogs bark. They bark if they are full of energy, if they are worried or tired, if they are alerting you to something or someone, and they also bark at strangers and other animals.
Think of it this way. We, as humans, can say, "I'm tired," or "I'm scared," but dogs have no other way of vocally communicating, so this is their way of doing so. The key is to teach your dog other ways of communicating with you. One of the main reasons dogs bark is for attention, especially dogs who are left by themselves for long periods of time, and then ignored when their humans return. Many dogs, such as terriers, are naturally lively and energetic dogs, and these breeds tend to bark far more frequently than others.
Dogs, like humans, need interaction, love, attention, and relationships with their human owners. There is no point in owning a dog if you are simply going to leave it out in the dog house all day, only to feed it and yell at it when it barks too much. However, due to work or other circumstances, it is understandable that many dogs are left at home by themselves for long periods of time during the day or even night. This is okay if you find a way to interact with your dog when you are around.
There are a few, easy ways of doing this. First of all, try to help your dog get used to the idea that you do have to leave, but that you will always return. Start by leaving for short periods of time, and upon arrival each time, give him a minute or two of undivided attention, such as petting or playing. As your dog becomes used to this, gradually extend the periods of time in which you are gone. If you get your puppy the day before the weekend, for example, you could use the entire weekend to do this so that, come Monday when you have to go to work, your puppy will know that, although you will be gone for a while, you will come home. Another idea is to keep your dog from succumbing to the tediousness of being along.
Leave him with playthings, such as balls, squeak toys, stuffed animal companions, or something stuffed with kibble. All of these things will help to keep your dog busy during his day alone, and this will surely help to stifle some of the "boredom" barking that can be a result of loneliness.
Patrick Carpen is the designer, writer and owner of the website http://dogtraining.infobay.ws/ Infobay.ws is a content based, consumer oriented website that provides professionally researched, and up to the minute content on selected subjects.