How To Stop Springer Spaniel Barking - Is It A Problem In Your Home?

Published: 03rd June 2011
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Does your springer spaniel bark excessively? These great dogs are not noted for having barking problems, though they can get excited at times. You do need them to bark when there's a stranger outside your home, or with excitement when the kids get in from school, and of course, when nature calls! But annoying the neighbours? No, you really don't want that.

The good news is that there are several solutions to the problem, depending on what the reason for the barking is. Knowing why might lead you to the best solution. Remember that dogs bark as we talk. I bet that even you talk to yourself on occasion when by yourself! I do, anyway.

Reasons

Besides communication with other dogs (and you), other reasons are::

- hunger

- attack

- defence

- loneliness

- as a warning

- boredom

- fear

The key thing is that you want them to bark under certain conditions only, and you want them to stop when you tell them.

Let's assume that

1. Your springer is checked at least monthly when you groom him (or her).

2. That your dog gets checked annually by the so that any health problem is eliminated.

3. That the basket/sleeping area is not too hot or too cold.

4. That he gets enough exercise to keep him relatively fit and tired and enough 'relief' opportunities (or has a litter tray in the house when you are at work).

5. That in fact you do not have many strangers knocking the door, and that there are few, if any foxes or raccoons in your yard at night (get the idea)?

Does your springer only bark when he's alone and you are in work, and the neighbours complain about it (I had that problem myself once)? If he's not messing in the house then it could be loneliness.

Dogs do suffer from poor hearing, even deafness , and it's essential to check regularly that your springer's ears are clean. After all, he might not hear you telling him to stop barking.

Is the problem new?

If the barking has developed recently, then that is a signal that something has changed - it could be his health or age, it could be that your daughter (he's been her favourite) now has her first boyfriend visit..well, how long is a piece of string?

Have you changed her diet? Moved home? thrown out his favourite toy - well, it was worn out anyway (but not for him)?

So, does he have anything to complain about - because they are smart dogs and they will complain if they are not happy. One of my springers didn't bark when he was unhappy or I scolded him - he grunted like an old man.

What's the Answer?

OK, so you've worked through all the obvious possibilities. Maybe your pup is now 9 months old and the barking problem still persists. Training is going well, the dog is now following the basic commands and walking to heel, you have maybe started the 'fetch' training, yet the problem still persists.

Maybe you've got a rescue dog and not a pup. He might have had a tough life so far. Did you check with the staff at the rescue centre if he barked excessively? It's not always a sure guide, as there's nearly always a lot of barking at these centres anyway - the staff have no choice over which dogs arrive at their gates.

There are solutions to the barking problem (depending on the reason), but first of all, don't reinforce the bad behaviour. If your dog barks, then don't give her a cuddle - it doesn't work with kids and will not work with her.

Some people favour electric collars - that's an old Pavlovian approach and not in keeping with best practice. The key to curing is understanding, and if you've looked at the problem from all angles, then you might benefit from professional advice.


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Phil has kept springer spaniels - both
Welsh and English for many years, including rescue dogs. Discover more about springer spaniel barking and lots more about springer spaniel training in general at ==>
www.springerspanieladvice.com/training

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