A dog barking is one of the most (normal) dog behaviors for most people. Part of it is because of how stressful noise is in general and in part frankly because we fail to understand what barking is all about.
Barking is not simply just noise coming from our dogs or embedded with one significance. Once again we need to look at what is going around to help us determine what is behind the barking.
Let me expand:
A dog might bark because they want to create distance from something that concerns him, dogs bark because they are playing and wanting attention, because they need help with something like getting food out of a Kong that proves too difficult for them.
Overall a dog barking serves as communication, and as such, the frequency and pitch also varies depending on why the dog is barking. As you can probably tell there is so much more to barking than “let’s just annoy the humans”.
My friend Luren shows up for the agility class with her pup Elsa- who is pictured in this blog. Elsa has two main reasons why she barks- at least in the context of attending a class. She is concerned about new people and their proximity as well as the general movement of people. She also barks because she wants attention and hopefully a treat. No, she does not get a treat for barking, people! Luren is a very savvy pet parent to Elsa and knows exactly how to teach Elsa that barking for attention is a no go.
Luren and I work together using a TTouch Calming band. You can see Elsa wearing it in the picture.
The calming band does not prevent the dog from barking, drinking water, eating treats or even tugging!
What it does do is to bring “awareness” to the dog’s muzzle/mouth area.
There is more to this than I will comment on as to how this works but what is important is that it does.
What we saw with Elsa was quite remarkable! Once she was comfortable with the calming band around her muzzle – which did not take that long to adjust to, we noticed that Elsa was able to “settle” more easily and to just observe what was going on around her without barking. We continue to work with the agility exercises we were previously working on and again Elsa was able to work with Luren.
Luren continued having Elsa wear the Calming band throughout the week on walks as well as when Elsa was contently enjoying a chewy.
There is so much that the Tellington TTouch method can offer you in helping your pup settle, relax and just be more confident overall. If you are curious you can go to www.ttouch.com or contact me would love to tell you more.