Some dogs just love the sound of their own voices which can not only be a bit annoying for their owners, but for the neighbours too. For some dogs this is a behavioural problem learnt over time, whereas for others, it's part of their natures which is particularly true of guard dogs and other breeds that are known to be very territorial.
However, two real issues many dog owners have to put up with and which they do their level best to stop, are dogs that bark for no reason when they are in the back garden and dogs that bark at anything no matter where they happen to be whether in the house, car or out on a walk.
Breeds like terriers tend to be very territorial and react quickly to anything they perceive as being threatening. This is especially true if they can hear something but not actually see it. The problem is that most people like it when their dogs bark when someone arrives at their houses because it lets them know they are there, but what owners don't need, is for their canine companions to bark when a person arrives at a neighbours house or at anything else that's going on outside.
Many behaviourists recommend that owners let their dogs out into the garden on an extended lead so that when they bark for no reason or when someone approaches a neighbours door, they can retract the lead and make their pets come back inside the house. The key to this working is to never say anything to your dog and to always use a lead. The other thing to bear in mind is that you need to react to them barking instantly making your pet come back inside the house the moment they start barking.
Once your dog is in the house and has calmed down, you can let them back out into the garden, but if they bark, you need to repeat the process. This needs to be done every time your dogs get vocal when let out and although it may take a bit of time for the penny to drop, they will eventually make the connection that barking means coming back indoors, being quiet means getting to stay outside in the garden.
However, you have to be consistent for this type of training to work effectively, which means you should not allow your dog out into the back garden on their own but rather be there each time they are allowed out. This allows you to reward good behaviour and react instantly to unwanted bad behaviour, namely barking.
If you find this training technique has no effect whatsoever, it could be that your canine companion prefers to be indoors or it could be that you are not acting quickly enough to make them come back indoors.
If your dog insists on barking at everything they see out of the window or hear when they are inside the house, it can prove to be a real nuisance for everyone concerned whether it's the family or neighbours. Nuisance barking includes when the telephone rings, people passing by in the street, when anyone comes to the front door (including the postman) and just about anything else.
Some breeds are more prone to nuisance barking than others and some were bred to do just this which, as previously mentioned includes terriers. However, dogs that bark excessively could also have learnt to do this through boredom or even through frustration.
You need to first establish just why your dog insists on barking at everything which means making a note of things that set them off. This enables you to see what triggers the most reaction. You then need to ask yourself the following questions:
Once you rule out any of the above as being the reason why your dog barks at everything when they are in the house, the next step is to watch them closely. If you find that your four-legged friend just gets too excited at anything they can see out of the window, close the curtains or pull down the blinds so you effectively bar their view.
To stop your dog from barking every time someone comes to your front door, the best thing to do is make them go to their bed having buried a few of their favourite treats in it which will keep them amused and occupied while you answer the door. Ask one of the family or a friend to be the person who comes to your front door to either knock or ring the bell. You need to make sure your dog goes to their bed and stays there before you answer the door. If they get up, you have to wait until the settle back down before opening the door.
You need to be very consistent in your training for this to be effective but if all goes well, when your pet does hear someone at the door, they will automatically go to their beds to search for their treats. The same training can be applied to dogs that bark as soon as the phone rings, but the key is to never jump up to answer the phone because your pooch will think this is just too exciting and want to join in. It's always better to do everything slowly and calmly so your pet to get the right message.