"What, You Want me to stop barking?....
But it's what I do"
Continued from previous article....
Since dogs bark for many different reasons and are hard-wired to do so, it is one of the most difficult behaviors to get complete control over. And as I stated on page one of Teaching Your Dog Not to Bark, your Miniature Schnauzer really is after all, just a dog and that's what dogs do, they bark. So you can't expect your Miniature Schnauzer to stop barking completely because it's an instinctual innate behavior for him.
But there is good news.... You can train your dog to be quiet, at least for a while.
There are several different types of barking. And you probably can tell the difference with your own dog.
For instance, dogs bark during play, when they're excited, if the want attention, or if they're bored, and many other reasons.
ALERT BARK >
This is usually welcomed by us and our dogs do it to make us aware of something or alert us to a situation.
For example: Let’s say your Miniature Schnauzer is sitting in front of the window looking out and begins barking. If after a few moments the barking continues, go see what the fuss is all about. You may notice the UPS truck, a kid riding his bike, whatever it is, your Miniature Schnauzer is conveying an alert bark. And you should welcome this.
This happens at my house all the time and it is easily corrected when I go see what all the fuss is about. I simply go to the window and look out and say something like... "Oh I see, It's Okay, Thank You"... and then I return to whatever I was doing before.
I think it’s important to acknowledge the bark because I want my Miniature Schnauzer to communicate with me. I want him to alert me or put me on notice that something’s amiss. I can then decide if it's something important or not. And once I acknowledge what it is my Schnauzer is trying to tell me, the barking stops.
Another type of barking is non-stop excessive type and that can drive you mad.
EXCESSIVE BARKING >
This type of barking is usually brought about because the dog has pent-up energy and is bored. The best solution for this type of barking is exercise. Take your dog for a brisk walk around the neighborhood or go out back for a game of fetch.
Notice both activities mentioned include you. So don't just open the back door and let your dog outside. This is not exercise. In fact he will probably start barking outside which will drive your neighbors crazy. And that might even have them notify the authorities.
Making sure your dog gets enough physical and mental exercise is the key and will greatly improve your dog's overall behavior.
If despite all your efforts, your Schnauzer never seems to settle down, you might want to consult your veterinarian or a professional trainer to help you get the situation under control.
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