Barking Dogs

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There's been a complaint made

This can be a very distressing time for the owner of a dog that has had a complaint made about it. It’s important to know that we, as Rangers are here to help you get to the bottom of this problem. We are not here to remove your animal or tell you to re-home your animal but to hopefully make suggestions that you find helpful & constructive. There are many ways of combating a barking problem, some of which are listed below.

Start at the bottom and work to the top

Barking is a natural behaviour for dogs; it is one way they communicate. But excessive barking is often a sign that something is “wrong”. It may be something simple that helps to control your dog’s barking. Listed below are things that you could try:

  • If your dog starts barking after you leave for work, you could try changing his feeding routine, so that you are feeding him just before you leave the house. Perhaps leaving him with a big raw meaty bone to chew on might help.
  • If your dog eats dry dog biscuits - you could try scattering the food in the yard so your dog can exercise his sense of smell to seek out the food. Other suggestions could include balls, rawhide chews, a small paddling pool or perhaps even a sand pit to dig in.If your dog barks at people walking past your gate, you could try placing the dog in a section of your yard where he can’t see the street or perhaps placing shade-cloth on the gate to create a visual barrier so he no longer feels the need to bark at people walking past.Sometimes a dog just needs to hear a human voice—a radio could provide this.
  • If your dog is barking from boredom, you could try giving it toys to play with while you are out. Some good examples are KongsTM or Buster CubesTM which you can fill with treats and as your dog plays with them the treats fall out & the dog is rewarded.

Barking Dog Collars

Citronella Barking Dog Collars are collars that are fitted with a voice activated citronella spray.  The collar is placed around the dog’s neck and the spray is activated by the dog barking. When the dog barks a burst of citronella spray is delivered into the dog’s face. Citronella Barking Dog Collars can be purchased through pet suppliers.

As a general rule dogs have a natural aversion to the smell of citronella and therefore associate the unpleasant smell with the act of barking. Citronella collars are not always effective but are definitely worth a try when other methods haven’t achieved a desirable result.

Another type of Barking dog collar that is available for sale though pet suppliers is the “Beeping” Collar. When the dog barks a high pitch beep is emitted which is designed to distract the dog from barking. See your nearest pet supplier for further details.

Problems with neighbours

The Community Justice Centre (CJC) provides free advice to help neighbours sort out problems such as barking dogs. Council Rangers recommend that you contact a Community Justice Centre which will provide mediation and conflict management services to help resolve the problem. Their service is free, confidential, voluntary, timely and easy to use. You can contact them by phoning: 1800 990 777.

A bit of Education

Sometimes keeping your dog active can help curb his barking problem, going for a walk everyday and incorporating some obedience into its routine may be all your dog needs to help keep it on the straight and narrow.There are many local Dog Obedience Training Clubs in Queanbeyan and ACT that provide experienced Obedience Instructors to help train your dog in a group environment.

If you would prefer more personalised training there are a number of trainers to choose from who are professionals at dealing with problems such as barking and separation anxiety etc:

When all else fails

It may be worthwhile considering that your pet has an underlying medical condition that may be contributing to its barking problem and therefore a trip to your local Veterinarian for a general health check may be warranted. If everything appears to be OK in the health department, it may be time, in conjunction with your Vet, to organise a consultation with an Animal Behaviourist, who is a specialist in dealing with difficult dog problems.