Saturday, January 30, 2010

Bichon Frise: Why Do Dogs Bark and How To Help Prevent or Control Excessive Barking

It's only natural, dogs bark to communicate with humans and other animals. It is important for your Bichon Frise to understand when to bark and when to be quiet. Dogs will bark for several different reasons. It's their way of communicating and expressing themselves. Listed below are some common reasons why dogs bark.

To Get Attention: They may start young as puppies with a little crying or whining sound to communicate with their mom and family litter. Puppies or grown dogs may whine when they want something like food, or when they are frustrated or scared, or just when they want some attention. It is common for a new Bichon Frise puppy to whine at night because they may be lonely or scared. Sometimes we may not realize it at first, but we may actually reward the puppy for whining by giving the puppy the attention he wants. It may be helpful not to reward a puppy or grown dog that may be whining just for attention, but when he is quiet and relaxed you may wish to reward him with nice praise or a favorite treat. It is important to remember that teaching your Bichon Frise puppy appropriate behavior from the start is easier than changing undesirable behavior later on.

Socializing the Bichon Frise puppy is very important. You may want to introduce the puppy to situations that may cause anxiety later on. It is helpful for puppies to learn how to cope with their environment in a healthy and positive way. Positive influence in the early weeks of the puppy's life can be very beneficial.

You can go slow and gradually introduce your Bichon Frise puppy to a variety of items and sounds that are routinely around the house so they become a little familiar to them. Some sounds that may be new to your puppy are the following: doorbell ringing, telephone ringing, sound of the TV, or any music playing, and also the noise from a vacuum cleaner.

Barks from Playful Happiness or Happy Excitement: The dog or puppy may be so happy about playing outside or going for a nice walk or ride in a car, or he may be excited because he sees one of his favorite relatives or friends of the family coming over to visit.

Barking when He Hears Other Dogs Bark: Your Bichon Frise may be barking to respond to other dogs he hears barking in the neighborhood.

Warning Bark: The dog may bark if he sees a stranger approaching the house. Dogs often bark at mail carriers, joggers, or people riding bikes on the street by the house.

Bored Barkers: It is important to routinely provide enough appropriate exercise and attention for your dog. Dogs who are bored need something to do besides barking.

Separation Anxiety: You may need to understand that chances are you are probably the most important thing in your dogs life. You may now begin to realize that when a Bichon Frise that is routinely used to constant human companionship and attention is left alone, the dog can experience some anxiety about where their owner might be going. Your dog may not understand why he cannot go with you and he may worry about whether or not you will be coming back home to be with him. Your dog may bark, whine, cry or howl when he is experiencing separation anxiety.

Some ideas that may possibly help minor separation anxiety:

Don't be very dramatic when you are leaving or returning to your home. When you return back home you can calmly pet your dog and reassure him.

When you have to leave your Bichon Frise in the house, you can let him have something of yours like a piece of clothing that smells like you.

You can make a reassuring habit of using a certain word that you routinely use every time you leave that tells your dog you will be coming back home.

Possibly, if the dog could hear the sound of a radio or television, it may be calming.

Sometimes having their safe and appropriate dog toys available for them will be a little distraction for them and help to keep them busy.

Ideas To Help Prevent Excessive Barking:
1. Try to have the dog get enough routine daily attention.
2. The dog should get adequate appropriate exercise.
3. Try the methods listed above to help separation anxiety.
4. Try not to give positive reinforcement to the dog or puppy when he is only barking or whining just for attention. You can reward the quiet, relaxed behavior instead.