There is a time and place for barking dogs to let themselves be heard. In the field is one such place during sporting events that require it. A security situation is another occurrence where pit bull barking is essential to alerting a home owner to the possibility of an intruder. What you must know, however, is that there is only so much you can do about the problem. After all, almost all dogs instinctively bark.
There are some things you can do once you understand why dogs bark in the first place. Once you understand why they bark, you can begin to exercise some control over the when they bark.
Why Pit Bulls Bark
Pit bull barking occurs for many reasons. Most of the reasons are emotional and are based on feelings that include anger, fear, and excitement. In fact, dogs aren’t too different from us. For instance :
- People like to possess things like land, cars, homes, and other possessions. We go to great lengths to protect our territories. Dogs bark to let others know what they consider to be their territory.
- Just as we shout to others to “watch out”, so dogs bark in alarm.
- Who doesn’t like attention? Dogs bark for it.
- When our loved ones come home from work, or school, or from wherever, the first thing we do is say hello and greet them warmly. Pit bulls can’t enunciate “hello”, so they bark or growl instead.
And just like people “barking”, pit bull barking happens out of frustration, injury, and compulsion.
The thing is, dogs can no more bottle up all of their emotions any more than you or I can. We all have to let go sometimes, so expecting a dog to be quiet all the time is unreasonable; and making them so, pretty much impossible. So what can be done?
Stopping Pit Bull Barking
Like most questionable habits, excess barking can be controlled. First It has to be determined what the excess is, when it is excessive, and what the trigger is for the excess.
Before we get into the details of reducing barking it is important to understand that becoming the alpha leader, and maintaining alpha leadership in your home is key to solving many dog related problems including barking. Also, constant socialization of your pet will lower its fear and wariness of others.
Having said that, issues of territoriality and alarm can be reduced greatly by showing your dog that you are the one responsible for, and in control of the home. You, as alpha dog, give your pet peace of mind by making it clear that you are in charge of home defense and safety.
In addition to being the leader of the pack, you can apply physical techniques around the house to eliminate possible exposure to pit bull barking triggers. Lowering blinds can stop your pit from seeing delivery people and passers by. A fence to partially block sight of the neighbors can be helpful.
Stop Barking in Anxious Dogs
Anxious dogs are often created by unwittingly strengthening their anxiety through a system of rewards. This is done by “spoiling”your dog whenever he begs for attention. For instance, you come home after being away for a while and your dog is jumping, barking, and generally excited, so you show him attention to satisfy him.
Rewarding this excited behavior just causes the dog to want more, and more. Pretty soon the once cute behavior becomes a bad habit. The dog starts to whine and bark until it gets what it wants. To nip this in the bud you’ll need to ignore your dog after you get home until he’s calm so they stop associating your return with attention.
Dogs really enjoy learning and most love to please. Teaching your pit bull to speak and to be quiet serves a dual purpose. Your pet gets to learn new tricks, which pleases its master, and this learned behavior reduces pit bull barking by providing situational control when necessary.
Nothing seems to get the neighborhood up in arms faster than a dog that will not stop barking. Addressed early on, pit bull barking can be curbed so that the neighbors will compliment you on her behavior instead of condemning a breed that doesn’t need any more bad press.