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Barking can be a major problem for dog owners; as well as being frustrating and noisy, it can also make you unpopular with the neighbours.
Here are three first-hand experiences of readers whose dogs bark excessively, and our experts' advice.
Dave Newton, from Riding Mill, Northumberland, has a problem with his daughter’s Rottweiler-cross, Max, constantly barking.
The family have tried giving Max a calming supplement, which Dave explained helps to soothe anxiety and nervousness in dogs, as well as using an ultrasonic training device designed to stop dogs barking.
If your dog barks excessively and you want to stop him, you need to work out what he’s trying to say. Owner Sally Comer described the three-year-old as manic and energetic, and apart from occasionally putting him in the kitchen so he can’t see people walking past, Sally’s unsure how to tackle his barking. Dave said that four-year-old rescue dog Max barks at him when he tries to quieten him down.

There’s more going on than just the barking — especially as he’s described as being ‘full of nervous energy and really tense’. First of all, Sally should make sure he’s getting enough exercise and stimulation — she should consider getting involved in one of the dog sports, such as agility. Dogs can’t tell who needs to be barked at and who doesn’t, so it’s unrealistic to want a dog to be a guard dog but not bark at everyone. If his mouth is full of toy and his head’s wondering what she’s going to ask him to do next, he won’t be barking. It’s usual for a dog’s behaviour to change when a new baby arrives, since the family’s attention is often more focused on the baby, which can result in the dog feeling more insecure. We have three great offers to suit all budgets this year and we believe a Your Dog magazine subscription is the best gift any dog lover could want! The subscription will start with the February 2016 issue of Your Dog (out on January 6th, so not long to wait!) and all future issues will be sent every month (free delivery included).

All these things will stimulate your dog’s brain, help to make life more exciting, and prevent boredom. The secret to stopping the barking is to find out what they want and do something about it. Hearing the car backing out of the drive, he might bark to encourage his owners to come back: the rapid ‘woof-woof-woof’ of alarm barking might have brought his owners running in the past.
Your Dog is the ideal companion to any dog lover, with practical advice, training ideas, dog features, news, competitions and plenty more.

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