A few weeks ago I shared with you that Penny has developed a bit of a barking pattern, and I wasn't really sure how to address it. She has become super vocal in the presence of our dog walking group, and it seems that her boisterous bark is only amplified when I have Luna by my side. Now keep in mind, Penny is an extremely friendly, outgoing dog, and she loves to say hi to everyone (and dog) in our pack, but she reminds me of a kid who is hopped up on too much sugar and can’t settle down.
Talking with other Dachshund owners leads me to believe that these could be possible reasons contributing to Penny’s excessive barking:
- Greeting/Play: Dogs often bark when greeting people or other animals. It’s usually a happy bark, accompanied by tail wagging and sometimes jumping.
- Attention Seeking: Dogs often bark when they want something, such as a trip outside, to play, or to get a treat.
- Over-stimulation: When playing, just through sheer excitement.
I do not feel Penny is being protective or barking out of fear, because her body language and her interaction with others don’t support either of those conclusions. So how do I tame this excessive barking?
I have started using a verbal/sign command while also saying ‘quiet’ in a calm, firm voice - then treating her when she gets the command right. I am also trying to keep Penny focused on me or an object (like a piece of kibble hidden in my hand) and have been keeping her busy during the time spent waiting around – which is usually when the barking occurs. I have also decided that I am going to alternate taking Luna and Penny at the group because walking them both is turning out to be a circus. When did I become that person who can’t manage both of her dogs?
I know it’s unreasonable of me to expect Penny to remain quiet on our dog walks, as that is just not her personality. She is a vivacious, happy, energetic dog that is happy to let the world know she loves life; however her excessive barking is being triggered by something and I just need to figure out what it is!
Have you ever experienced anything like this before?