Its all about Symptons and Causes

As with all behavior that the dog shows that does not suit us, we must distinguish between symptoms and the causes. We must be aware that behavior that we may say is undesired always has a reason in the dog world. The dog behaves dog-like and according to his nature and his needs, dogs are absolutely authentic to their nature. Only from our own human perspective do we place the behavior of the dog as right or wrong. On the contrary, everything a dog does always has a communicative part, so we should try understand what the dog is trying to tell us. By the way, this is not only true for dogs, but for almost every living being in the world, including us humans. The great advantage that our dogs provide us is that they are very honest , they do not pretend, but act according to their needs. Accordingly, the behavior that we perceive is only a symptom that points to a cause.

Fighting the symptoms

If we now want to stop the symptom, in this case the barking, we should not scold the dog everytime he barks as this will bring little succes in our relationship with our dog. We can at best stop him barking for a very short time but this can also lead to deviant behaviour at other times, in other places. The worst thing that can happen is that we become so massive in our actions and interventions that the dog no longer dares to bark. This then has extremely negative effects on the relationship between us and our dogs. In this case we may have helped only ourselves, the dog however has a problem, it is now left alone and now is not allowed communicate at all. This is classical suppression of the dog and nowadays we have much better ways of finding out why the dog is barking all the time.

Find the causes

The much nicer way, which always has a very positive effect on the dog-human relationship, is the search for the cause with the knowledge that every behavior has a cause.

Why my dog barks can have many reasons, it can be an insecurity, an unclear role between man and dog or simply stress. This is of course is triggered in the dog in certain situations. It is important to understand this behavior in the context of the situation.

  • If your dog starts barking in a stressful situation then it is best to remove him from the stressful situation instead of shouting at him for barking, this will only increase his stress.
  • If your dog doesn’t understand that you are the leader and you are there to protect him then his understanding of the his role is confused.
  • This is the same as the point above, you as the leader must take away his insecurity and make him feel secure at all times.

 

To get more clarity in certain cases and to learn to understand his dog better, it is often the best way to ask a dog trainer or behaviorial consultant, for help. Because if we know the why, we can solve the cause of the behavior. The dog perceives the care that resonates in this interaction and quite automatically we become more important for our dog and rise in his esteem. Furthermore the barking is lastingly “turned off”, because we removed the dog from the reason to bark.

So it always needs two things, first we need to know the cause and then how we can influence and solve the cause and not the symptom. It is very important choose our trainer according to this criteria, he solves causes and does not try to suppress behavior with punishments!

No stress no barking
Stress free dogs

A crucial tip!

If you have a dog that exhibits too much barking, ask yourself what impact your dog’s barking has on you. What feelings does your dog’s barking trigger in you?

For us humans, behavior like barking is often very unpleasant and embarrassing. And if we take a closer look at why we are embarrassed by this behavior, the answer is that it is often because of other people. Others might think how untrained our dog is or that he is even aggressive. We fear being devalued by other people because of our dog’s behavior. Exactly these unconscious thoughts, trigger in us stress.

So because we get stressed with this barking this is then transfered by our actions to our dogs which of keeps keeps him stressed and therefore keeps on barking!

If we keep relaxed, keep calm and keep our nerve, we can make a positive influence on your dog and he has now the chance to calm down and stop barking. One speaks here of group dynamics, this also plays itself out on the energy level. Our house dogs are very sensitive to energy levels and we humans actually are too but not always so aware of it.

As humans, however, we have the great advantage of becoming aware of such processes through targeted questioning, thus influencing our own energy and the way we react to the situation. Dogs cannot do this!

NB! In the calm lies the power and sometimes even the solution.