Roger Salmon column

Roger Salmon.
Roger Salmon.

Barking dogs don’t just affect you and your dog, there are legal implications and responsibilities to face up to.

If you have a dog who barks persistently at all hours, it is going to upset your neighbours.

Dogs that bark act as an early warning system, alerting their handlers to intruders or attack but many people do not appreciate this fact.

People who live in built up areas need to consider which breed would be suitable as some breeds such as the herding dogs, terriers and some of the Spitz types tend to be more vocal.

Generally there are six types of barking.

Watchdog barking – guarding either the owner or the territory (this includes reacting to people walking past the house, postmen and neighbours moving around).

“I want something” Boredom barking

Separation related barking.

Once you can work out why your dog is barking you are well on your way to solving the problem.

Watchdog barking can often be managed by using baby gates to prevent the dog having access to windows or glass doors so he can’t see people walking past. If you need to leave your dog then leave the radio on so he is less likely to focus on strange sounds.

Watchdog barking often becomes a problem in dogs who aren’t given enough mental stimulation and so protecting the house becomes the only highlight of the day.

It is important that these dogs get plenty of exercise before you leave them and that you give them plenty of things to occupy their minds.

“I want something barking” often happens when you are at home and your dog wants food, contact, a walk or a game.

Many people want their dog to sit quietly but don’t realise he is full of energy and gets frustrated.

Make sure he only gets what he wants when he stops barking otherwise he will think that barking gets what he wants and this will be self perpetuating.

Worried barking is harder to deal with and you really need help from a professional behaviourist who can observe your dog and work out what is causing the fears and worries.