A few days ago, I came across an advertisement on Facebook that deeply impressed me. It advertised a product that, by sending acoustic or electric signals – I did not examine in depth – to the dog, promised to stop him from barking. In the video, there were dogs that were silenced with this device by satisfied owners. Personally, I was horrified by the scenes I saw: I strongly believe that barking is a sacred right of every dog, just as we have the right to speak.
Why does the dog barks?
Before trying to repress a behavior, it is necessary to understand why the dog behaves like this. I had already talked about this in another article, which you can find here, but even in this case, it is useful to go through this topic again. The dog always barks to communicate something. What, it’s up to us to understand. It can be boredom, excitement, response to an external solicitation (such as loud noise), fear, anxiety, stress. In short, behind a bark there is a whole world and it is up to us owners to interpret and understand our dog. Resolving what lies behind the bark, we could even manage to reduce it because in some circumstances the bark can become a problem.
But what a conscientious owner cannot do, in my opinion, is pushing a button and inhibiting a dog’s behavior. Let’s put the case in which the dog is barking because he is afraid or stressed. He will hear this whistle or worse feel an electric shock, and his fear will only increase because he will feel inhibited and will experience pain and discomfort. Is really this the life we want to give our dog? Perhaps then, it was better not to take a dog at all.
To a right, always corresponds a duty
If the dog has the right to bark, our neighbors and the people around us are also entitled not to be disturbed. As always, more than white and black, gray must prevail. For this, we must also be responsible and try to reduce the stimulation during the hours of rest. As much as possible, we must also work to try to reduce the barks, especially if they result from a psychological discomfort of our dog. Not only will we make the neighbors happy, but (above all) we will make our dog feel better. For example, consider those cases in which the dog barks when he is alone. As I wrote in this article, there are strategies that can be put into practice to reduce the dog’s separation anxiety, working with the help of a dog educator to solve the problem.
What is your opinion about it? Would you ever put an anti-bark collar on your dog?