Barking at nothing. (Or shall we say - "barking at
Excessive barking is one noise nuisance you and your neighbours do not need to suffer.
Dogs bark for various reasons - to warn off intruders from their turf, to try
and communicate a need to their owner, to have a wobbly when they are not getting their own way, because their adrenalin is running too high or because they are suffering separation anxiety,
Only when you understand what the actual reason for your dog's barking is, can you cure it, and Natural Dog Training teaches dog ownes to shift their perspective and see things the way dogs do. For example - when we command them to stop barking, they (not being human) are receiving signals that inform their instincts that we are barking with them. "After all", says one of the greates British writers, Ian McEwan "Imagining what it is like to be someone other than yourself is at the core of our humamnity. It is the essence of compassion". And what is dog owning without compassion?
Indeed, what is any behaviour modification or dog training without it? Insensitive to the dog's feelings, and not nearly as effective.
Imagining what it is like to be a dog enables the Natural Dog
Training programme to actually remove the underlying cause of all unecessary barking. It is therefore both kind and easy for both dog and owner, and the results are immediate as well as long term.
Pam Whyte was approached by a vet at
the Animal Protection Institute in the USA to write a paper for them on curing excessive barking in the domestic dog for the holistic vets,
as they stated that her natural approach was the only non-pharmaceutical, non-surgical solution to the problem.
This is achieved by removing the root cause of the problem - rather than by simply treating the superficial symptom by disciplining, so-called
"positive reinforcement" with treats, (which dogs quickly learn to train their owners to dish up) and so called "negative reinforcement" by making a loud noise, which in theory the dog is supposed to "associate with barking" and therefore not bark, but which actually frequently excites the dog, causing him to bark more. and if it does work, in reality the dog (who is not a machine but has feelings) actually associates this fear-inducing reaction with his owner and this, sadly, can cause him to lose his trust in her/him. Naturally!
Then there are anti-bark citronella spray collars and other torture equipment like electric collars. The citronella spray collars are not regarded as cruel to the dogs because they do not inflict pain. But there are other ways of inflicting suffering - these collars block the dog's access to oxygen for a while, causing him such intense anxiety that he dare not bark again. Not only is this very inhumane, but what if a burglar comes? Cutting the dog's vocal cords, of course is mutilation.
Which are all not dissimilar to stifling a baby's
cry to silence her or him, rather than attending to the need that they are trying to communicate to their parents! Natural Dog Training - as the holistic vets in the USA point out - is kind because it teaches dog ownes to determine exactly why their dog is barking, and as with a crying baby - to attend to what he or she is trying to communicate to their owner. A dog is a sentient being who needs to be heard and to be understood. Not to be treated like a piece of machinery with an on and an off switch - without any emotions - which is what so many dog professionals are taught to believe. If dogs had no feelings, might as well live with pet rocks.
Dogs also bark because we bark! Yes - even though we are unaware of the fact. This is because dogs are aliens, remember! So, because dogs do not command each other, when we command them to stop barking, they think we are also barking! (And we think
they are disobedient!) I don't know what they think - perhaps it's better not to know.
So how do we stop our dogs barking for nothing!? Dog
Training the Natural Way will give you a simple solution. Through knowing why our dog is barking, you can remove the actual cause of the problem, so the dog no longer feels compelled to draw attention to his need, to his stress, or to his confusion. Or to himself.
Dogs that go to
obedience training bark at the next door dog, at dogs on their walk, at people that pass by. This is because dogs at dog training learn to bark. Dogs learn by example - so this is what they are learning from other dogs. (And from the trainers.) this is what they are actually learning. And because a command is also a sharp, loud outburst - they think their owners are barking too. And as we know, barking spreads from dog to another...
If their dog then stops
barking, the owner thinks that her or his dog is obedient - but in reality, there is no need for the dog to continue barking because he has accomplished his mission. Provoked a reaction from his owner. I.e. - made them bark. (Owners are never disobedient.) If he hadn't been to
obedience training - he would not have learnt how to train his owner to "bark"… (In human lingo, to tell him to stop - in dog lingo, to bark too.) Once you have learnt to look at yourself through the eyes of your dog, it is all so easy. Just child's play.
Excessive barking can also result from dogs grieving when their owners go out. This does not mean that you must never go out in order to keep your dog happy!
It means that your dog needs to be more adaptable and to develop self sufficiency.
Pam Whyte points out how dogs that bark whenever they don't get their own way are dogs that have become "attention junkies" and want to be the centre of
attention all the time, so when they are not the main attraction, they have a "barking tantrum". Dog Training the Natural Way takes you gently through a
programme that shows you how to stabilize your dog's emotions, which gives him peace of mind, thus removing the urge to demand attention whenever he is not getting his own way.
(Yes, it does work for children too. So Pam's clients tell her - and they should know.)
Natural Dog Training has a proven solution. Pam's house calls, Living with an Alien, her Home Training Kit and booklet on adrenalin-related problems
all give very high success rates. (And families, dogs and neighbours peace of mind.)
Whether your dog barks "for nothing", "barks all the time", "barks at nothing"' barks excessively", doesn't bark, barks at everything,
barks at everything that moves, never stops barking, barks at everyone that passes, barks at visitors, barks at children, barks at every sound,
barks at (and with) the next door dog, barks at cats…. (which gives rise to legislation against barking dogs) Dog Training the Natural Way will give you all the solutions! This will also make your dog a far better watchdog, because then you will know that when he is barking, there is a
valid reason for it.
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Pam was asked by an animal protection association in America to write an article for vets who practice holistically, as, they said, she is the only animal behaviorist who can cure excessive barking non surgically and non pharmacuetically. In other words, without either drugging the dog or cutting his vocal cords.
Which are in reality not at all ethical, although they are both widely practiced - and even regarded by the mainstream as standard practice, because they are far more profitable than listening to, understanding, and responding to what our dog is trying to communicate to us.
This easy, inexpensive and humane information is therefore regarded as "unscientific", because it contains facts that come from research which has has been conducted in real life - and not in [artificial] laboratories.
Saving Money by Curing Excessive Barking in the Domestic Dog.
by Pam Whyte.
1) To warn intruders off
2) To draw attention to themselves or have a tantrum
3) Due to overreaction or fear
4) They are frustrated or stressed
5) Separation Anxiety.
6) They are bored.
7) Dogs bark in order to train their owners!
8) Because they have been to dog training
9) Because their steroids are up.
1) To warn intruders off. If a dog is to know the difference between normal and abnormal, friend or foe, right and wrong, he has to have mental clarity. Which is basically what this pamphlet is about.
2) To draw attention to themselves, or to have a tantrum. This means that the dog is getting too much attention, so that when they are not the centre of attention, they have a barking wobbly. How much attention to give a dog is roughly the amount of attention one would normally give to a 12 year old child. (That’s not a movie star.)
3) Due to overreaction or fear. A dog that barks through fear usually cannot see out, or does not get out of his property. Allowing our dog to see out of his property gives him a frame of reference for visitors and life in general, contributing to the dog’s (vital) mental soundness.
If, first of all, a dog is given a view out onto the street, (if he barks at everything he sees, his adrenalin is running too high – see later); and second gets taken onto his pavement for 5 minutes a day to sniff and stare at this “big new world”, he does not over react to everyone who comes in. This enables him to distinguish between friend and foe.
Trying to reassure a dog that barks at visitors thinks they are asking him for help. If everyone turns their back on a dog that is barking through fear of visitors, the barking behaviour is not reinforced. He then gets the message that all is well and he does not need to panic anymore. Trying to reassure him only compounds the problem as the dog simply thinks their owners are asking him to rescue them. Dogs do not reason the way we do.
This is because all dogs are genetically programmed for survival in the wild. And because these scientific facts are totally overlooked by both dog owners and dog professionals, the result is – a lack of ability to control our pet dogs, “disobedience” and behaviour problems. So because dog owners are not understanding their dogs, the widely held belief that that dogs “need” training persists, and they try different types of training and one new gimmick after another, (clickers, crates, water pistols, electric collars, etc.) as the new flavour of the month appear on the market to confuse dog owners (and delight the behaviour problem industry” even further.
4) They are frustrated and/or stressed.
Our domestic dog needs to be given the opportunity to be understood, and to adjust to his lifestyle and to us in order to have peace of mind, so that he does not bark in order to express his stress and frustration. This makes him easy to control and a pleasure to live with. Dogs cannot speak or attend to their own needs, so they bark in order to “cry for help”. Disciplining or punishing them does not solve their problem. Which is:
i) Hunger. Dogs howl and bark for the same reason that babies cry - they need to be heard and understood. As people, we dod not recognise a dog's "cry" for food. Our obsession with our dog's shape causes more than 79.4% of lived, privileged, domestic pets to experience incessant hunger pangs - with no way of telling us other than barking "for nothing", cbeing destructive, hyperactive, etc. The current trend to treat dogs as specimens and trophies is making dogs increasisngly difficult to live with noisy, restless, "disobedient" dogs as they try and communiate their distress to ther families, and their famlies do not understand them. Putting electric collars on our dogs and spraying them with citronella spray when they are asking for food is as civilized and humane as punishing a baby becuase it is hungry.
Shifting the focus from the dog’s outward appearance to his feelings, and to our relationship with him removes the need to bark as a result of hunger. Like with ourselves, only the dog himself knows when his hunger is satisfied. Every dog has a different fuel requirement and this varies with such factors as the temperature of the day, the size property he lives on and his individual metabolism.
Like with ourselves, our dog needs to eat an enjoyable meal twice a day until he leaves food behind in his bowl. The carnivore continues hunting until there is food left behind for scavengers. He brings home excess food for the rest of the pack and for his food caches. Until our dog is taking in as much fuel as he is burning out, he is living under famine conditions. We have no right to dictate what shape a dog should be.
Sturdy, well fed dogs that are not anorexic are child-friendly, neighbour friendly, garden-friendly, cannot be bribed by intruders and save an arm and a leg on vet bills. Many a family has been burgled, and many a dog has been poisoned after the dog was put on diet.
If you would like to receive a copy of the new research findings into this very important subject, email Paul at paul@TrustWorthyDogs.com he will send you a copy free of charge.
ii) Loneliness . Our dog may also bark becasue he is lonely. The compatible companion of another dog of similar strength and preferably opposite sex will reliefe loneliness. Dogs are social animals and do not cope spending long hours alone day after day. If your dog has a behaviour problem that you do not want him or her to teach another dog, like barking "for nothing" - Dog Training Nature's Way will cure the problem in both dogs easily and kindly.
iii) Isolation from the outside world . Dogs may bark excessively when they cannot see out of their property. Point 3) shows you how to cure this.
5) Separation Anxiety. A dog that is over dependent on their owner cannot cope with separation from them, and this leads to barking non stop and howling. The easy, inexpensive and proven cure for this is described above and in detail in Pam’s book on The Language of the Pack – Living with an Alien”. This simple cure is now used by holistic vets in USA.
6) Because they are bored. Toys do not relieve boredom. They wind dogs up and stimulate their adrenalin secretions – and adrenalin causes inappropriate (hunting) barking. Cow hooves that have not been over sterilized (so that they still have their vitamin B) have a calming effect on the dog.
Other calming chewies are pig ears, ostrich tendons and marrow bones. At the end of a hunt, dogs chew on bones, horns and hooves, and this activity brings their hunting steroids down again so that they can show affection and express social behaviour again. Which does not take place during a hunt.
7) Dogs bark in order to train their owners! Yes, dogs are far more successful at training humans than humans are at training dogs. All a dog needs to do is say “Woof!” to condition his owner to:
i) Come when called;
ii) Look at him;
iii) Say his name;
iv) Score "ego-points" off you.
This system takes its rules from the army which has nothing whatever to do with the wolf pack. Sergeant majors command their platoons – Alpha dogs don’t command their pack. So because this is an artificial system, when we command our dog, he thinks we are barking as well. (Both a bark and a command are a sharp, loud outburst, impacting on the dog’s instincts as a call to an emergency.) You only need to listen to the neighbourhood networking system to realise thatit only takes one dog to set all the others off. So our knee jerk reaction to our dog parking is therefore perceived by their instincts as us joining in the neighbourhood networking system as well. (They’re dogs, and that is the way they are genetically programmed to reason.) So if you don’t network with your dog (“bark” as well), this chain reaction between you and him will automatically stop.
ii) At dog training, the dogs all bark, and their owners “bark” too. So dogs think that they all gather at training in order to bark. (They are only dogs, they don’t reason like we do.) The trainers also bark – in fact they bark at the owners as well.
Dogs learn by example. So it’s no good exposing a dog to a lot of barking dogs in order to teach him not to bark — he just brings these habits home with him. In fact, they have now become the norm.
Until eventually, many of these dogs get sent to a farm. Where they kill sheep. And are then sent back to the city, where their owners are told “They need lots of exercise…” So their new owners buy their new dog a new electric collar, which the dog soon gets used to. So he has his bark cut out, and this causes breathing complications, with further operations, and so these misinformed dog owners are caught up in the “consumer loop”, which is propped up by so many (completely unproven) myths and old wives tales about dogs, which are perpetuated by laymen and dog professionals alike.
9) Their adrenalin is running too high. Our obsession with our dog’s fitness causes many dogs to be too fit for their lifestyle. Excessive exercise causes dogs, like humans, to become addicted to their "happy hormones", then when they go cold turkey for a “fix” – they bark. Dog owners (and mainstream dog professionals then mistakenly think that their dogs are“getting rid of their energy” – whereas they are actually getting a "happy hormone" fix, which makes them peaceful again - like any addict that is no longer cold turkey. For a short while. As well as fitter, so that he now needs to run further to get the same endorpphin rush. ...And can no longer cope with the size property that he lives on. He then barks because he is no longer contnted, but is stressed and frustrated. So he is sent to a farm. (Then sent back to the city after chasing and killing sheep...) We know, because we get the emails from the new owners!
Dogs that bark incessantly because they are high on endorphins are not as good watch dogs because their families are so used to their dog barking that when the dog barks for a valid reason, he is told to be quiet and ignored. Many also even think that the intruder has come to throw their ball for them. Or they are so busy chasing the next door cat up a tree that they don’t even notice the burglar.
Dogs get plenty of exercise running to and fro in their homes – what they are needing is mental health. Mentally healthy dogs do not bark for nothing. Do not run up high vet bills. Are automatically obedient. Automatically protect their owners. Don’t pull on the lead (especially when they are being walked on Pam's No-Pull Dog Leads), chew possessions, or dig in the garden. Are loyal and trustworthy friends. Our dogs have brilliant minds, thrilling intuition, an already inbuilt desire to please their owners, plus their own inbuilt language. Dog owners are being short changed, as they are not being given the opportunity to get the full value out of their (truly amazing, and very underestimated) dogs.
More good news… All carnivores in the wild rest a lot in order to conserve energy - making dog owning much easier. When we disturb this natural rhythm that is built into the DNA of our dogs, we get so called behaviour problems, high vet bills, disobedience, incessant barking, dog fights, chasing the cat, bolting out of the gate and running down the street... and possibly illness through burnout. When a dog is pumped full of endorphins through overstimulation, anger outbursts, pulling on the lead, over-exercise, etc. he then barks to call other dogs in the neighbourhood to his perceived hunt to pack with him, because his innate instincts have received what they perceive to be hunting signals. So (being a pack animal, and fences not being sound proof) he calls the dogs in the neighbourhood to join in his "hunt".
So instead of cutting out our dog's bark or drugging him, (so that he sleeps through a burglary), all we need to do is shut down his hunt the way it would be in the wild by removing the source of the steroids which stimulate barking behaviour.
A study conducted by an Australian Medical Journal revealed that 87% of all dog owners admitted to experiencing behaviour problems with their pet dogs. The reason for this - the current mindset toward dogs is focusing on turning dogs into Olympic Champions instead of developing healthy and rewarding relationships with them. Which removes their actual compulsion to bark, disobey, not come when they are called, pull on their lead, etc.