Don't Let the Dog Barking Sounds Keep You Up at Night!
Few things are more annoying than dog barking sounds in the middle of the night. A close runner-up (or for some, a sure winner) are cats making caterwauling sounds. If the dogs and the cats are not yours, and you can't exactly throw things at them or shout at them to make them stop, you tend to feel powerless to stop the noise. And if the dogs and cats happen to be yours, you shouldn't exactly throw things at them or shout, either.
Dog barking sounds come in like gunshots, startling you awake and keeping you awake. Your other family members are not immune either, so ignoring them is definitely not a good idea. Should you have a baby in the house, loud barking could wake her and disrupt the evening sleep she very badly needs in order to grow up strong and healthy. Having a sick person in the house would not be good either - losing sleep at night could be medically aggravating. Don't let this happen to the people you care about!
But at the same time, don't resort to extreme means to make your cats stop wailing or your dogs stop barking. Dogs, especially, are sensitive to negative treatment, so hitting them may stop the barking, but it will also make them fear or hate you. This is where careful training comes in. The "positive reinforcement" technique - otherwise known as the "reward incentive" - ought to be the best method to use on puppies. When your young dog starts to bark, say "No!" or "Stop!" in your normal tone of voice. Reward your pet with a treat - a cookie or a jerky would be good - if he stops barking. But if he starts up again, say "NO!" in a much louder voice. This will surprise your puppy and make it clear to him that you are displeased. Holding your puppy's jaws shut while saying "No" repeatedly until he calms down is another non-harmful, but effective method to teach your puppy that your "No!" means business.
For older dogs, training collars work to your advantage. Avoid extreme shock collars, though! If you're just teaching your domesticated dog how to be silent, tone collars or vibrating collars ought to serve your purpose. As soon as you realize that your pet is barking for no reason, activate the collar. Being present to actually say "No!" to your pet adds to the collars' effectiveness.
But before you resort to ANY sort of corrective measure to keep your pet from making dog barking sounds, make sure that your pet really doesn't have anything to bark about. Dogs with new owners bark ceaselessly because they're lonely, or they're restless. But sometimes dogs learn early on that they have to bark because they sense danger!
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