How do I get my Australian Shepherd to stop barking?
Australian Shepherds are naturally friendly and affectionate. They are good with kids and could get along well with other animals and even other dogs breeds. They have an athletic built which makes them the companion of choice by ranch owners and herders. Nowadays, Australian Shepherds are not just anymore found in a ranch. Their loyalty and protectiveness make families want them to be part of their own.
One exceptional trait of Australian Shepherds is their bark. Like other dog breeds, they bark at anything they find threatening in their territory. They bark at strangers and sometimes they bark even if they are just happy. However, if you haven’t noticed it yet, unlike other dogs, the bark of an Australian Shepherd could be exceptionally loud and passionate. Sometimes, it could even be non-stop. But why do they do this? The reason could be traced from their roots of being a ranch dog with the responsibility of corralling the livestock. This is how they establish themselves as a dog-in-command or alpha dog as they lead their herd to their destination. It can be unnerving sometimes especially if you live in a quiet neighborhood, however, with proper training, their constant barking could be curved.
One way to stop your Australian Shepherd from barking too much is through obedience training. Make it respond to your cue word such as “stop” or “quiet.” Positive reinforcement and clicker training could help you out in this endeavor. This is when you reward your furbaby for its every good response to motivate it to practice good behavior at all times. It will take patience and hard work until your Aussie could learn to associate your cue to the correct response but the reward could be fulfilling.
Australian Shepherds are very energetic and sometimes, they bark to release their excess energy and to express their boredom. You can help stop them from incessantly barking by providing them exercises and other similar activities. Ideally, they need at least 30 minutes of exercise daily. You can play fetch with them during this time and even just give them a good walk in your neighborhood. In that way, not only would you help your Aussie to not feel bored, but they can get a good activity as well in the process. This would also help enforce a stronger bond between you and your Aussie which would help it respond to you more positively if ever you’re thinking of teaching it obedience training.
There are instances when you think you’ve done it all already and you are still not making any difference. If you’ve arrived at this point, then maybe you should also consider having your Aussie checked by a vet. Sometimes, barking could be associated with discomfort and pain. It could mean unwellness that is not always visible to the eyes. It is best to explore this possibility if the barking of your Australian Shepherd becomes insistent and non-stop.