The barking of dogs
Contrary to what is commonly thought, barking in dogs is not a language. It is an emotional manifestation in posture reinforcement.
Nonverbal communication constitutes a specific reference pattern for those who live with a dog. Each dog has a series of body signals that if we interpret them correctly we can know the emotion that is trying to communicate. It may be submission, a game request, body contact, an interrogation, etc. They are visible signs that not only involve facial or body gestures; growls, groans, gasps, howls and barks, give us other clues, convey emotions and frustrations.
The origin of vocalizations is genetically influenced by the environment and learning in the period of behavioral transition development. It responds to environmental stimuli that depend accordingly and notably on the relationship established between the dog and its owner.
Many animal owners tend to treat them like children, pamper them and develop problems accordingly, such as the so-called “hyperactive syndrome” or separation anxiety. They are usually dogs that sleep in the same room of the masters or eat their same food and at the same time, and that when their owners are absent they can get to trigger destructive behaviors, especially with those objects that have a relationship with the subject of attachment . And that as a corollary they devote themselves to barking obsessively when they are left alone. With an early socialization during the first months of life, a correct education and social location of the dog in the family we will avoid this type of problems. But first of all we must be able to recognize antisocial behaviors in time and correct them with due professional advice. The period of the most important development in a dog is precisely that of “socialization.” This stage is attributed to the genesis of behavioral problems, essentially due to impoverishment or a disturbance of behavioral development: insufficient socialization to the canine species or the human species, fears, phobias or anxiety before various stimuli. The socialization period takes place from 21 days to 21 weeks. If at this stage the dog does not have enough contacts with a child, with other dogs, with traffic, as an adult it will manifest fear or aggressiveness towards these situations.
Educating a dog does not have to represent an exercise that takes more time than the owner of the animal has to deal with it. It must represent a pleasant moment where the game will be combined with reinforcement (prizes, caresses or claps) and walks that can be enjoyed.
Barking is not a defect that must be eradicated, it is a form of expression that we must model. It must be taken into account that it is not always a blackmail mechanism to achieve an objective or a way of telling us not to leave him alone; It can respond to pain, illness or imminent danger and we must know how to differentiate them. Nowadays and fundamentally in the cities it has become a reason for important neighborhood conflicts. They represent the second cause of discomfort from hearing contamination after vehicular traffic.
Each case has its origin, its forms of control and its specific therapies, but there are some general rules that should be kept in mind; Do not hit, do not shout and do not give in with prizes or treats to your claims.
Lately, a series of devices have emerged on the market that can help in cases of excessive vocalizations, specifically the so-called anti-drip collars have caught our attention