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Article: Understanding Why Dogs Bark
Ten thousand years ago, the wolf ancestors of modern dogs roamed wild and free. But soon, these clever and adaptable animals found an advantage in associating with humans. Thus, an unspoken bargain was formed: food, water, and shelter, in exchange for companionship.
Eventually man learned to exaggerate the natural instincts and talents of the wolf through selective breeding. Dogs evolved into separate breeds used by man for different useful tasks, such as herding livestock, hunting wild game and even fighting crime. But even though man was able to exaggerate certain instincts and abilities, we have not been able to eliminate certain unwanted traits such as continuous barking.

The problem comes from the fact that dogs were bred to work! Many modern dogs are bored because they have no outlet for the mental and physical energy for which they were bred. As a consequence of this boredom, modern dogs have developed behavioral problems. Often this behavior is exhibited through barking. This is sometimes useful behavior, such as when chasing off a prowler. Other times it can be bothersome and inconvenient. And let's not forget the legal ramifications. In many communities, a barking dog can mean fines and even time in court!

So know that you know barking is a problem, how do you correct the problem? If you shout at the dog, the dog will simply assume you are barking too, and continue its tirade. After all, the dog doesn't understand English any better than you understand doggish! Some dogs may start to bark for no other reason than to attract the attention of their owners. Which is why some dogs will bark when their owners have left home. They are attempting to call them back. When the owner eventually does come home, the dog thinks that its barking ploy has worked!

So we can imagine one way to deter barking would be to ignore the dog. Eventually you can hope that the dog will become tired of barking after not getting the attention it wants. Another way to keep your dog from barking at night or while you're away, is to play with it before hand. Hopefully this will expend that playful energy, calming and quieting the dog. We do offer a full line of bark control products that can quickly and safely curb problem barking, helping you enjoy your pet even more.

reprint courtesy of Innotek Pet-Products

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