Any dog owner will tell you their pet loves to bark, but small breeds tend to exhibit dog barking even more than larger ones. There isn’t a conclusive cause for why breeds like Papillons and terriers bark more—maybe it is just to get your attention. Maybe it is to make them seem bigger than their diminutive size. There are abundant explanations why dogs of all kinds bark. Getting some insight into what causes dog barking will help manage your dog’s barking to keep both your sanity and that of your neighbours.
There are innumerable explanations of why dogs bark and there is no one root cause. First of all, it is a dog’s primary method of communication between dogs, you and with their environment. We may not understand why dogs bark but we generally tend to think we know why once we hear it. It could be they want to go inside or outside, want food or sense a threat.
Here is a list of a few more reasons why dogs may bark:
+ Lack of exercise – your pet may need more exercise and get restless
+Boredom, loneliness or frustration – similarly, your pet may be restless from lack of simulation
+Separation anxiety – dogs often vocalize when they miss their owners or any human contact, especially small family dogs like Papillons.
+Play or excitement from people or other animals – dog barking is one way for them to communicate that they want to play, or worse, fight
+Territorial protection – dogs will bark at one another and at other creatures to let them know that where they are is their territory
+Attention seeking behavior – related to boredom, dogs will sometimes bark to get attention and whatever else they may want.
+Being trained to bark while performing their duties, like hunting or herding dogs – often hunting dogs will bark when they have found prey or to signal for help in the case of rescue dogs. Dog barking may be a lay over from this behavior
If your dog is barking when you don’t want it to, it’s important to correct the behavior immediately. However don’t do it in a way that is harmful to your pet’s health or psyche. Firm voice commands, correcting it with a quick shush or other subtle behavior will get your pet’s attention without bringing a negative connotation.
Positive reinforcement is generally a good idea when training a dog to do anything and negative reinforcement is a bad idea. Don’t’ jump to yelling, shouting or hitting your pet. They may not understand why they are being punished or bark back to counter such behavior.
If you’d like to take professional obedience training courses to help manage your dog’s barking, there are likely a large number of classes in your area. Your veterinarian, breeder or local humane society can provide the name of a reputable trainer in your region and it may even be one of them! Trainers may have their own unique method of training dogs to stop barking, which is proprietary to them, but there are general principles that all will practice: consistency, patience, and regularity.
If you want to correct your Papillon’s behavior, you’ll need to use the same commands each time and correct the behavior immediately after the dog barking happens. A dog doesn’t necessarily have a long attention span or recognize that getting reprimanded is related to the barking that happened minutes ago.
If you’d rather save some money while training your pet, that’s understandable and there are countless resources to choose from. Your local library will likely have a variety of dog training or breed information books available to check out and reference. In addition, websites like YouTube, the Animal Planet’s site and others include videos on how to train a dog and for any number of things, including dog barking.
If you start a training regimen to help manage your Papillon’s barking, always remember to be consistent and regular. Regardless of what trainer you go to or what videos you reference, being regular, kind and consistent in your training will influence your dog’s behavior in the quickest and most efficient way.