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Dear Dish-It: My Dog Keeps Barking!

Dear Dish-It,

My dog just won’t stop barking! Ever since I got my 2010 calendar with dogs on each month, my dog keeps growling and crying and yelping at every single poster or picture in the house. What do I do?

Jenny


Dear Jenny,


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Some dogs naturally like to bark more than others – it sounds like your dog is a big fan of barking! Luckily, it’s totally normal. Dogs are known not only to bark and make noises when they see another dog in real life, but also when they see or hear a dog on TV or in a photo. The other good news is you can train your dog not to bark by following these steps.




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The first thing to know is that when dogs bark excessively (that means a lot or too much) at other dogs, whether in real life or dogs they see on TV or in photos, it’s probably for a reason. Most dog experts will tell you that either your dog is not getting enough social time or he’s trying to protect you. The trick is to figure out which of these two things – socialization or protection – your dog is trying to tell you about when he barks.


Barking To Protect You

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Dogs mostly bark when they see something strange or new, like another dog, and want to let everyone around them know that this could possibly be a problem. Basically, he is trying to protect you by warning you through his bark. This type of barking is easy to identify: listen for two or three quick barks in a row. If that’s what you hear, then you’re dog is trying to protect you from a new dog he thinks is a threat (because he doesn’t know the dog is just in a picture).


The worst thing you can do if this is the case is to respond to your dog by saying something like “No! Stop that! Bad dog!” To a dog, those short, quick, loud words sound the same as his own short, quick, two or three barks in a row, and therefore they mean “Quick! There’s a problem! Strange dog!” rather than “No! Stop that! Bad dog!” (Remember, dogs don’t speak English. They don’t hear the words you say to them, just the sounds.) Basically, by yelling, you’re just making your dog feel like he’s right, because you just repeated what he was telling you!


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Basically, when your dog gives two or three quick, short, loud barks in a row (so you know he’s trying to protect you), the right thing to do is to hear his message (even though you know it’s just a poster and nothing is really wrong) and show him you understand what he’s saying and barking at. Walk over to him, look at the poster or picture, make sure he’s watching you, and, with a soft and normal voice, say something like, “Good guarding, nothing is wrong, everything is OK.” Then walk him away from the picture to a quiet area and have him lie down. Keep repeating this until your dog understands that everything is safe and he doesn’t need to bark at the pictures of dogs in your house anymore.


Barking For Socialization

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If the barking you hear isn’t two or three short barks in a row, then your dog isn’t trying to protect you from the dog he sees in the picture – he’s trying to tell you he wants to play with that dog! Make sure you walk your dog two or three times a day. A great way to socialize your dog is to find a dog park close to your home and take your dog there as often as you can to run around and play with other dogs. If there’s no park nearby, find out if there are other dogs in your neighborhood who would like to meet from time to time to play together. Or, just walk with your dog regularly and, when you see another dog being walked at the same time, ask its owner if you can introduce your dog to the other dog.


Remember, dogs are very social animals and they like being with you and with other dogs. The other thing they love more than anything in the world is to be outside, running and playing and rolling around in the grass. Make sure you’re giving your dog enough exercise and play time outside and you’ll probably find that he won’t bark as much when he’s indoors.



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  • 26 Comments

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    Dear Dish-It In The Forums

    labimba
    labimba posted in Style:
    Neko girl I have to get back in shape for September if u want we can be training buddies!  :)  
    reply 1 day
    animallover468
    animallover468 posted in Style:
    EndlessDream is right. Skipping breakfast and lunch can result in stomach ulcers and sudden weight gain (had personal experience...), ESPECIALLY skipping breakfast! You have to incorporate exercise in your daily routine. Stomach and body fat is mostly caused by lack of exercise, and maybe that means you need to do toning exercises. Try doing simple exercise videos like the 3-mile powerwalk on YouTube (trust me, I sweat like crazy when I do those workouts). Anything that gets you sweating, is the kind of exercise you need to do.  I hated working out when I first started my weight loss journey too. I would always start wheezing every time I started working out. But after pushing through everyday, I think working out is one of the best stress busters I've ever had!  If you want to lower your appetite though, I suggest eating a full lunch and breakfast and skipping your dinner. If you can't skip dinner, then at least try aiming for an early dinner, around 5:30 or 6:00. Your body needs time to digest at least 4 hours before you sleep. I started gaining weight around puberty when I was 12, it could be the same for you too.  But honestly, there's nothing wrong with having consciousness about your weight. Now starving yourself and dieting is BAD, but there's nothing wrong with changing your lifestyle in order to be fit. It's a good thing that kids start caring about their health, and the earlier you start, the better off you are. 
    reply 1 day
    EndlessDream
    EndlessDream posted in Style:
    You need breakfast and lunch. Starving yourself, even if you aren't hungry, makes you loose energy to the point you could pass out from not eating. Keep your diet healthy. For breakfast, at least have yogurt, fruit, and juice. Drink at least 4 full glasses of water a day. Trim down on the snacks. Everyone has different bodies and build. You may just be large-boned. And that's not bad! That makes you stronger and higher ability to gain muscle. Loosing weight doesn't happen over night. It can take months. 
    reply 2 days
    Nekogirl101
    Nekogirl101 posted in Style:
    For years my parents would tell me I'm skinny but compared to other people, my waist was bigger and I would always hide it. Though it was obvious I weighed more, I've only been doing this for a week and I didn't ever tell anyone what I was doing until my parents found out. I would skip lunch and breakfast and say I was full. I only ate a big dinner every night. Once my parents found out, they said it was unhealthy and if I didn't  stop, I would develop an eating disorder. I obviously listened to them, but I've tried as best as I can so far. I have barely lost any weight from exercise and my parents won't let me go on a diet because I already 'eat healthy enough'. I want to lose weight without exercising being 3/4s of my lifestyle. I know, I'm a lazy idiot for saying all this.
    reply 2 days
    rainbowpoptart
    Yes, purely for the fact that you should not "hate" your sister (or anyone, for that matter).  I'm guessing by "get in trouble for her", you mean she does something wrong and the blame is all put on you? Yeah, little siblings tend to do that a lot. My brother did for the longest time, until my parents found out how much a liar he is. She, hopefully, will grow out of this eventually. Either that, or your parent[s]/guardian[s] will eventually see through her. You lose your friends to her? By this do you mean your friends want to hang out with her and they want you to tag along and you don't? Or do you mean your friends chose your sister over you? If it's the latter, then perhaps you shouldn't have ever referred to those people as friends. You'll find friends who'll prefer you over your sister, I'm sure of it. The only thing I can tell you to do is try to get along with your sister. Every group of siblings has their cats and dogs moment in life, but they grow out of it (most of the time; there are, of course, circumstances where it doesn't work out that way). Please be grateful for your sister, even if you two fight a lot. You never know how much you need something until it's gone.
    reply 3 days