Why Your Dog Barks

Dogs bark because we humans want our dogs to bark. For years our domestication process and selective breeding has allowed our dogs to develop their barking abilities. Wolves don't bark. Barking was further developed in dogs in order to scare intruders or to help the master out (i.e. on farms to assist in gathering the sheep). 

Most dogs simply bark to communicate, to get attention, or simply to show their excitement. Training and lifestyle are important factors in teaching the dog how to communicate with its master. If you reward your dog for barking, he will continue to do so.  The best thing is to figure out what your dog is trying to tell you and go from there.

If you have a dog that barks excessively, try to figure out what he is trying to tell you.  If it is out of need for attention, the way to break the cycle is to wait for him to be quiet and then give him the attention he needs.  By acknowledging the barking, you reinforce it.  Waiting until he quiets will teach him that he gets attention when he is not barking.

Some dogs are extremely territorial.  They will bark at not only a person approaching, but someone they see walking across the street or on the next block.  The best way to stop this is to distract him when he starts to bark.  Catch his attention with a treat or by playing.  Every time the bark cycle is broken, it sends the message that quiet will get the most reward.


Taking the time to discover what your dog is communicating will result in less stress for both you and him.  He will get much needed attention and you will get quiet.  It’s a situation you both win.


Win Over a Nervous Cat



When you first got your cat, you probably envisioned a cuddly little ball of fur that was ready and willing to accept affection whenever you chose to give it.  There are some cats who are, however, very shy by nature.  These ones will hide and act scared of you if you look at them.  Below are a couple suggestions to help.

It is usual for a cat to be cautious and timid for the first week or so in its new home. The more contact a cat has had with humans, the less timid it will be.  Give your cat a little space and don’t force the issue.  It is very likely he will approach you once he becomes sure of his new surroundings.



One way to gradually get a nervous cat used to petting is to gently wrap your pet in a thick towel, to prevent it from scratching you, and gently stroke its head. Talk to your cat softly as you do so. Set aside a time each day to perform this bonding ritual and your shy cat may grow to trust you enough to stroke it without the towel, remember patience pays. 

Bribery can often work wonders with nervous cats. Try a offering a tempting healthy treat, if your cat is hungry enough to overcome its fear and stay still to eat its treat, stroke it gently, don't make sudden movements! You may have to persevere, but often your pet will eventually accept and enjoy your petting. 

Never lose patience, and remember that your nervous cat is not rejecting you, it is just an in built protective reaction to something that has given kitty cause to be wary of humans. Love and perseverance will often win the day, and you will be rewarded by your cat's affection.

Chitika