Most people agree that puppies are cute, loveable creatures that make great companions in life. However, when a puppy first arrives into its new home, it needs to be taught the rules and broken of its puppy tendencies. One of the most troublesome habits that some pet owners (and their close neighbors) encounter, is barking.
The key to silencing the yips is not immediately yelling, like some owners tend to react, it’s understanding what the puppy wants and working to satisfy its needs as well as teaching it what’s right and wrong. Here are five common reasons why a puppy barks, and some helpful hints to cope.
1. Boredom (the whiney bark) – Just like human children, puppies get bored quickly. They bark because they want to get their owner’s attention, usually looking to play. Puppies need to be played with often and kept as active as possible. Avoid keeping the puppy tied or kept somewhere by itself. Frequent interactions are important for a happy, quiet puppy.
2. Lack of exercise (the impatient bark) – Puppies are balls of energy and need exercise. However, they also get tired out more quickly than older dogs. Owners should use this opportunity to start training the puppy to walk on a leash or fetch. This tires the puppy out while teaching it valuable skills.
3. Fear (the entirely-too-loud bark) – Again, just like human children, puppies get scared. Common fears are vacuum cleaners and thunderstorms. Owners should comfort puppies as they would comfort small children.
4. Defending territory (the mean bark) – A puppy will think it’s a full grown dog way before it actually is and will establish an area around the home that it will “defend.” It barks when it sees any living thing enter the area, or even just walk by.
To make sure the puppy isn’t barking at the wrong people, owners should introduce the puppy early to people or animals that will enter the home or yard frequently. This may include family members, older pets and the mail carrier. Not only will the other animals and people become comfortable with the new pet, the puppy will recognize them and hopefully cut down on the verbal aggression.
5. Lack of attention (the demanding bark) – This is arguably the key reason why a puppy barks. Puppies adore their owners and crave love and attention. In relation to boredom and lack of exercise, quality time with the puppy should satisfy this need to bark, and again, is an opportune chance to start teaching the vital dos and don’ts.
Recognizing these five symptoms and following the suggestions should ensure that a puppy’s barking will decrease to a manageable level, and eventually be a long lost habit proudly broken early.