Excessive Barking Howling

Barking and howling are characteristics that are inherent to wolves. It is their mode of communication in the wild. Now dogs are believed to be descendants of wolves. So they too bark and howl since it is their natural behavior and mode of communication with their own kind.

However, excessive barking or howling when living among human society is just not acceptable to the human race. Your neighbors are sure to object if your Lab starts howling continuously at any part of the day or night. So you have to find ways and means of refraining him from making unwelcome sounds.

This problem can be tackled in numerous ways. It all depends on the nature of your pet. Your pet is like a little child; he needs constant love, care, and attention. He also needs to be told what to do.

A domestic pet will bark in excess if he is bored. So your endeavor as a dog owner should be to keep him engaged in some useful activity during most of his waking hours. When you keep your pet engrossed in various activities he does not have time to get bored and bark.

If you find your pet howling, then first and foremost check him out for signs of illness. Howling is normally considered to be a sign of grief. So if you find your dog howling then he is definitely under some sort of stress or strain.

Check whether any of the following factors are traumatizing him.

1 Is his collar is too tight?

2 Are his paw-pads free of thorns or any other object that could hurt?

3 Check between his toes to ensure that there are no small stones or pebbles hurting him.

4 Run your hands over his entire body to check for any thing that might be hurting him.

5 Relieve him of any such external stress causing factors.

If you find no such problem that could be causing him physical discomfort, try to analyze other factors that may be causing him to howl. Have you been leaving your Lab alone for too many hours in a day? If yes, try to take some corrective action. Your Lab simply loves company. He cannot tolerate the idea of long hours of loneliness. Loneliness can really depress him.

But what do you do if you are left with absolutely no choice but to leave him alone for some time? Try some of these preventive measures.

1 Leave a timepiece that has a comforting tick-tock sound near him. This gives him a feeling of reassurance that someone is around. If he is just a pup, wrap the time piece in some cloth and place it near him. It will give him the feeling that his mother is around.

2 You could turn on the television set or radio to give him the feeling of having people around him.

3 You could play some soft music to give him a feeling of comfort.

4 If you are likely to get home after it is dark, leave a light on in the room that your doggie is left in. Dogs can get rather petrified of darkness and combined with loneliness, darkness can upset a dog to a great extent.

5 Ensure that the heat and humidity in the room is maintained at optimum levels. Overheating is very stressful for a dog. Cold temperatures can also cause terrible chills and discomfort.

Animal behaviorists are of the opinion that occupational therapy can take care of most doggie problems. In occupational or work related therapy you determine the needs of your pet. Then you work on providing appropriate solutions to these problems.

If you are unable to arrive at the identification of any such need, then you must first consult a vet to get a medical opinion regarding the state of health of your dog. If all is well on the physiological front, then you have to explore the gray areas of psychological aberrations. So consider consulting a professional animal therapist. Minor problems can be treated with drugs and you will have to follow the treatment recommended by your animal therapist.

Again you must be careful in your selection of a therapist for your dog. Ask around to locate a good, ethical, and reliable person. Referrals are very important in getting the right therapist. Credentials alone will not suffice. A therapist with ethics will patiently probe to understand your problems. He will not pressure you to make an appointment. It is very important for a therapist to show characteristics of care and concern. A therapist who delegates may not be a good choice.

You can ask a few questions to gauge the veracity of your therapist. Given below are a few sample questions.

1 Who should be present for a therapy session?

2 What will the duration of each session be?

3 Where will the sessions be held?

4 How many sessions will be held?

5 What will be the course followed for each session? Will it involve talking, training, etc?

6 What will the corrective actions involve? Any punishments involved?

7 Will any equipment be used?

8 What will the entire session cost?

9 What happens if the problem is not solved and continues to persist?

His answers will give you a fair idea about his methods of therapy. Are they humane or otherwise? You will also have an idea about the time and money that you will have to invest in solving your Lab's barking and howling problems.

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