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Tips for Training, Raising, and Grooming Big Dog Breeds

Four large dogs in a field

While many dog owners favor teacup and small dog breeds, it’s time to give some love to the most popular large dog breeds. If you’re interested in adopting a larger dog like an Akita or Saint Bernard, or you already own a large sized dog breed, you may have some training, raising, and grooming questions. Are big dogs harder to train than smaller dogs? How expensive is it to raise a large or giant dog? What kind of grooming needs do larger breeds have? Wonder no more. We’ve got tips for raising large, big, and giant dog breeds.

Are Large or Giant Dog Breeds Harder to Train?

Large dogs present a few issues that their diminutive counterparts don’t. The sheer size and weight of larger breeds can make for some precarious situations if your pet isn’t properly trained. Imagine, a 100 pound (or more) dog that doesn’t know he shouldn’t jump on visitors; his sheer weight can throw your guest to the ground. Add the physical characteristics of a larger breed with a stubborn or independent personality and you can find training a larger dog like the dalmatian or Great Dane frustrating.

Here are a few tips that can help make training large dogs a bit easier:

  • As with any dog, especially large breeds, start training and socialization early! This initial experience with your commands and exposure to sights, smells, sounds, and sensations of the environment can help a puppy become a friendly, disciplined, confident adult dog. 
  • Although many large dog breeds, including the German shepherd and Doberman pinscher, grace the AKC “most trainable” list, training any dog requires time, patience, and consistent corrections.
  • Use a firm tone when training. Never yell or scold your dog as this may cause him to become confused, fearful, and may even encourage bad behavior (aggression) on his part.
  • Use positive reinforcement with high-quality treats and praise immediately upon your dog successfully performing a task. 
  • Since larger breeds can come up to an adult’s waist or chest area, be sure to place treats in a pouch or one hand behind your back as they may distract your dog if you hold them in front. 
  • Make the training sessions fun, interesting, and short for larger breeds like the Mastiff, which doesn’t require a significant amount of daily exercise. According to the AKC, this breed can become bored so fast with repetition, that you may find him snoring mid-training.
  • The best bark control for large dogs is the BarxBuddy Ultrasonic training device with a “quiet” command and plenty of praise and treats. 

How Expensive Is Raising a Large Dog?

The cost of raising a large dog is not quite as expensive as raising a child; however, you go through enough 50-pound bags of dog food to make you feel like you’re raising a few teenagers. There are a plethora of expenses to consider when buying or adopting a dog of any size such as:

  • Toys
  • Collars and leashes
  • Beds
  • Food and treats
  • Grooming
  • Training
  • Veterinary care
  • Medications and supplements

Because everything is amplified with larger breeds, it’s essential you’re prepared for the cost of raising a big dog. According to Forbes you can expect to spend about $22,000 over a 12-year lifespan. Even though you should expect the unexpected when raising a dog, there are a few things you can do to make the expenses of owning a large breed a little less painful:

  • Look for durable products like fetch or tug toys, dog beds, and grooming supplies
  • Buy or price compare your pet’s meds online
  • Brush your dog’s teeth regularly to prevent expensive dental care
  • Use vet-recommended flea and tick treatments to prevent your dog from becoming ill
  • Spay or neuter your dog (which can ensure you don’t have to care for a litter of dogs)* 
  • Buy food and treats in bulk
  • Better yet, make your dog’s treats
  • Don’t overfeed your dog. Many larger breeds don’t require a lot of exercise, and as such don’t require as much food as you think they do. Talk to your vet about an appropriate diet for your pet. If you’re a math wizard The Ohio State University has a Pet’s Calorie Calculator that can help determine your dog’s calorie needs.
  • Groom your pet at home. You can bathe, brush, and trim your dog’s nails with the proper tools like the BarxBuddy self-cleaning dog brush and BarxBuddy dog nail clippers.

*According to Brown University, spaying reduces the occurrence of breast cancer and eliminates the possibility of uterine and ovarian cancer in female dogs, while neutering male dogs reduces the prevalence of prostate cancer).

What Grooming Needs Do Larger Dog Breeds Have? 

Large dogs have the same grooming needs as smaller canines, except larger breeds have more hair to brush, bigger teeth to clean, and larger nails to trim. And, even though dogs don’t all shed like crazy, it’s best to regularly brush your big dog to ensure he doesn’t leave behind big piles of dog hair. Not sure if your pet is a shedder? Check out the BarxBuddy Guide to Shedding Breeds and look for deshedding tools for large dogs. Maintaining your dog’s oral health is essential as it can prevent other issues such as heart and kidney disease. Here are a few tips to make grooming your large or giant breed at home doable:

  • Get an assistant. You never know when you might need someone to help hold onto your dog or hand you supplies.
  • Use a kiddie pool as a makeshift outdoor tub.
  • Keep your pet on a leash if you bathe him outside. This will help keep him from running too far with shampoo in his hair.
  • If you want to bathe your dog inside, use a walk-in shower so you don’t have to lift him into a tub.
  • Use the hairdryer (on a cool setting) to speed up drying your dog’s coat. 
  • Have extra towels around for drying your extra-large dog breed and to keep your grooming area safe and dry.
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Why Teacup Breeds Make the Best Pets

Teacup dog breeds make great pets

Could you imagine raising a dog that could fit in the palm of your hand? Or one that weighs less than a gallon of milk? Often called teacup dogs, toy breeds have made their way into the hearts of pet lovers everywhere. As cute as these little guys and gals are, you may be wondering how hard they are to groom and train. What are their personalities like? Do toy breeds bark a lot? You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. Here’s our take on why teacup breeds make the best pets.

What are “Toy” or Teacup Dog Breeds? 

Teacup dog breeds are those bred to be as small as possible, commonly under 5 pounds. Obviously, there are some unique advantages to such a small pet like the fact you can take it pretty much anywhere, they eat a fraction of what larger breeds do, and they can garner attention and affection from even the hardest of humans. 

miniature dachshund teacup breed

Although the AKC “doesn’t register or endorse teacup breeds,” they recognize toy breeds, which are the smallest group of dogs. Here are a few of toy breeds starting with the shortest (height range, weight range):

  • Dachshund (mini) – 5-6 inches, under 11 pounds
  • Chihuahua – 5-8 inches, under 6 pounds
  • Pomeranian – 6-7 inches, around 3-7 pounds
  • Yorkshire terrier – 7-8 inches, around 7 pounds
  • Maltese – 7-9 inches, under 7 pounds
  • Brussels griffon – 7-10 inches, 8-10 pounds
  • Toy fox terrier – 8.5-11.5 inches, 3.5-7 pounds
  • Toy poodle – under 10 inches, 4-6 pounds

What are the Smallest Dog Breeds?

Small dog breeds might be compact, but they often boast huge personalities and can rule your house with little effort on their part. Cuteness aside, small dog breeds may be too fragile and sensitive for homes with young children or noisy families. Here are a few small breeds (height range, weight range):

  • Shih-tzu – 9-10.5 inches, 9-16 pounds
  • Cairn terrier – 9.5-10.5 inches, 13-14 pounds
  • Bichon frise – 9.5-11.5 inches, 12-18 pounds
  • Australian terrier – 10-11 inches, 15-20 pounds
  • Pug – 10-13, 14-18 pounds
  • Cavalier King Charles spaniel – 12-13 inches, 13-18 pounds
  • Miniature schnauzer – 12-14 inches, 11-20 pounds
  • German Spitz – 12-15 inches, 24-26 pounds
  • Basenji – 15-17 inches, 22-24 pounds

Facts About Teacup Dogs

Do teacup dogs bark a lot?

Every dog barks, some more than others. There are several quiet teacup or toy breeds that occasionally bark; for example, the Basenji, known as the “barkless dog,” is one of the most peaceful. Since small breeds are so dependent on their owners and are accustomed to lavish attention, separation anxiety is real. Some teacup or toy dogs may vocalize during certain stressful situations like when left alone. That’s what you can expect from the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel when you leave, incessant barking. 

chihuahua teacup breed makes great pet

Other small dogs like the Chihuahua and toy fox terrier, don’t need a special occasion to launch into a barking frenzy. If you are interested in learning about no-bark collars and whether they’re appropriate for your small dog breed, check out the BarxBuddy Guide to anti-bark collars.

Are teacup dogs hard to groom?

All dogs need to be brushed, bathed, their nails trimmed, teeth brushed, and ears cleaned. Given their small size, grooming teacup or toy dogs can be a challenge. Those dogs with little hair like the miniature pinscher and pug merely require weekly brushing, whereas the locks on a Yorkshire terrier or Shih-tzu require daily attention. 

teacup breeds make great pets

With their thick curly coat, toy poodles must be trimmed or brushed daily down to the skin to prevent matting, which can require the entire coat to be shaved. The nails on small dogs can present trouble for DIYers. You must use the proper tools, like the BarxBuddy nail clippers. For the scoop on grooming tools check out the BarxBuddy Guide to Grooming tool list.

Are teacup dogs hard to train?

Yes, teacup dogs can be difficult to train, but they are trainable. Any time you train your pet to learn a new behavior or stop an unwanted behavior, you need to remember: Time, patience, and consistency are key. Unlike their larger counterparts, teacup or toy dogs require a bit of adjustment on your part to make training easier for your dog.

yorkie teacup breeds make great pets

Never yell at your teacup dog (or any dog for that matter) as this could cause your dog to become fearful, stressed, and may even bark more! Instead of relying on no-bark collars’ questionable safety and efficacy, use a firm voice and the hand-held BarxBuddy ultrasonic training tool to reduce or eliminate your dog’s barking. The BarxBuddy ultrasonic training device emits a high-frequency sound that dogs can hear but humans can’t. It never comes in contact with your dog and can work up to about 40 to 60 feet away.

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Recall Command: How to Teach a Dog to Come When Called

Of all the basic commands you can teach your dog, the “recall” command is the most important. Training your pet to come to you when called not only keeps you in control, but it can save him from dangerous situations. While it is a crucial command, it is often the most difficult to train. Why? Think about the world of distractions your pet can face everyday, SQUIRRELS, other dogs, toys, and kids. Let us not forget the endless list of scents that catch his attention! So, with all these diversions, how can you train your dog to come on your command? Don’t worry, it can be done. To help you here are a few tips.

What is Dog Recall Training

Dog recall training is teaching your dog to come to you on command. You may hear the term “reliable recall” when reading about or discussing the topic with trainers. Reliable recall means when you give the “come” command you’re sure he will happily respond by running up to your side. Before we get started on how to teach your dog this obedience command, keep in mind:

  • The earlier you start recall training the better; AKC recommends to begin when your pup is 7 to 8 weeks. 
  • Don’t take his disregard to your command personally! Dogs are easily distracted and your hollering “come” may not be as exciting as whatever has his attention.
  • Patience, plenty of practice (daily is best), and positivity will go a long way in dog recall training.
  • Ensure you have lots of treats on hand.
  • Never use an authoritative or angry tone when commanding your dog to come.
  • Never punish your dog when he comes to you.
  • Don’t repeat the word “come” or his name as it may lose its meaning for your dog.

How to Teach Your Dog to Come

When you start training your dog the come command, begin in a low-distraction area, like inside your home. The quiet will make it easier for your dog to focus. Over time, work your way up to places with greater distractions like your backyard, then a park.

Show your dog a treat or toy and praise him as he comes to you, then offer a reward. Repeat, adding the verbal cue “come” (or whatever term you’ve chosen to use) when your dog looks at you and begins to move toward you. Only use the cue when your pet is moving in your direction. Always give treats and praise. After plenty of practice, ask your pet to come without revealing the treat and add distance between you and him.

Now that you’ve got the basic idea, one of the best ways to teach him to respond to your call command is through games as suggested by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

  • Hide & seek: This game is an ideal way to involve children in dog training. Have your dog sit or stay in a room or have someone hold onto him. You and/or your child hide around the corner in another room, or behind a piece of furniture. Call your dog to come find you. When he does, immediately offer a treat and praise.
  • Go & come: For this game, you will need a low value treat such a kibble and a high value one like meat or cheese. Throw the low value treat and tell your dog to get it. Before he finishes eating the treat, call for him to come to you, using an excited, positive tone. When he responds and comes to you, reward him with the high-value treat and praise.
  • Catch me if you can: Get your dog’s attention then run in the opposite direction making excited, fun sounds and gestures to get him to chase you. When he catches you provide treats and praise. It’s important that you never chase your dog. He thinks it’s a game and will continue to run away from you.
  • Relay races: You can play this game inside (hallway is ideal) or outside in your backyard providing it’s fenced. This game requires two people. One person starts by holding your dog while the other person goes a few feet away and calls him to come. Reward and praise him when he complies. Now the other person calls your dog to come, offering him treats and praise when he does. As your dog gets faster, slowly increase the space your dog has to run.
  • Recall retrieve: This game is for any dog that loves to play fetch. Like the go & come game, you throw a retrievable object, such as a ball or toy. As your dog is returning to you with the object, say come. Have him give you the object and throw it again. If your dog is unwilling to give up the ball or toy, it’s time to psych him out and throw a second ball or toy and repeat. The best part is when your dog finds the game itself rewarding so you won’t need treats because he’s motivated by praise. 

Once your dog listens to your “come” command every time, you can begin rewarding him randomly instead of every time.

Why Won’t My Dog Come When Called?

Does your dog look at you like you’re stupid when you give the “come” command? Expect it; all dogs ignore a command for one reason or another. Here are the top three:

  • Fear: If your dog has been reprimanded in the past when he came to you he might associate coming to you with getting into trouble. 
  • Distractions: Whatever is distracting him is way cooler and more interesting than coming to you. 
  • Confusion: You’ve repeated “come” over and over, and its meaning is unclear or your dog has attached a negative association with the word. (To fix this situation, switch to a different word like “here.”)
  • Motivation: Your pet thinks fun time is over.

While you may not fully understand why your dog is ignoring you, incorporating a few of the above recall games in his training may help you and your dog get past the unwillingness on his part. Sometimes using a training device to get your dog’s attention may be helpful. Learn more about The BarxBuddy in this related post about ultrasonic dog repellers and deterrents.

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List of Online Resources for Dog Lovers

Big List of Online Resources for Dog Lovers

Bookmark These Dog Websites! Our Big List of Online Resources for Dog Lovers

Looking for some health information for your dog? Searching for the perfect companion and not sure where to start? Or, maybe you need some pet inspiration? If you’re a dog lover and looking for pet resources you’ve come to the right place. We have gathered several websites that we consider worthy of sharing with you as a pet parent. 

Dog owner looks at her iPad with her dog

Best Pet Websites

Animal Planet (AnimalPlanet.com): Here’s a TV channel devoted to all things animals. With free shows like “Puppy Bowl,” “Pit Bulls & Parolees,” and “Amanda to the Rescue,” you can get your dog-love on-demand all week long.

American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA.org): The site is designed for veterinary professionals; however, their online library offers a host of useful health information for pet owners as well.

Best Friends Animal Society (BestFriends.org): A leading national animal welfare organization dedicated to ending kill shelters, Best Friends runs the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals.

Cornell College Partners in Animal Health (Partnersah.Vet.Cornell.edu): Dedicated to the health and well-being of animals, Cornell University’s Partners in Animal Health website offers educational materials for veterinarians and pet owners.  

Free Kibble (FreeKibble.com): Visitors to the site answer trivia questions to learn about animals; right and wrong answers, and FreeKibble donates food and pet supplies to animal shelters. The site is supported by advertisements from pet-related products, so your clicks and views help generate food and supplies for Free Kibble to donate.

Hope for Paws (HopeForPaws.org): This non-profit rescue organization intervenes and saves dogs, cats, and other animals suffering on the streets or neglected in the wild. The Hope for Paws YouTube channel highlights their rescues and raises animal awareness and education. It says it is the largest non-profit YouTube channel in the world.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA.org): Non-profit animal advocacy group promotes cruelty-free consumerism and a vegan lifestyle.

PetMD (PetMD.com): Peruse this extensive database of pet health and wellness knowledge, including 10,000 articles written by veterinarians plus a symptom checker and pet health encyclopedia.

Pets & Parasites (PetsAndParasites.org): A website from the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) provides valuable information on how vets and owners handle and treat internal and external parasites that can harm the health of pets and people.

The Humane Society of the United States (HumaneSociety.org): The Humane Society dedicates its efforts to end all forms of animal cruelty and has a pet blog, animal encyclopedia, and other resources, including All Animals magazine.

Veterinary Partner (VeterinaryPartner.Vin.com): This site offers a wealth of pet health information. It is a companion site to the veterinarian resource site, Veterinary Information Network.

VetStreet (VetStreet.com): Find advice from veterinarians and other pet experts to ensure you get trusted information about the best ways to keep your pet healthy and happy.

Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine Pet Health Topics (VetMed.WSU.edu): WSU’s site contains educational resources on topics that range from acupuncture to vomiting. Information includes when to seek veterinary care and how to discuss your pet healthcare needs with your vet.

Best Dog Websites

American Kennel Club (AKC.org): Here, you can find a host of information relating to dog breeds, especially purebreds.

Canine Journal (CanineJournal.com): For all things, dog, from food to health concerns to dog resorts to pet insurance, this site has the scoop.

Dogster (Dogster.com): This resource site is dedicated to canines: blogs, videos, and a magazine that covers dog info, from the funny to the serious.

Dogtime (Dogtime.com): Find expert advice and recommendations on the best dog food, toys, and supplies, gadgets, and accessories.

Dog lovers websites

Best Website for Pet Supplies

BarxBuddy (BarxBuddy.com): Of course, we’re partial to our own website, which is growing every day with innovative pet products and articles about raising, training and caring for pets. We carry an array of dog supplies including nail clippers, silicone dog bowl, and our signature ultrasonic barking device, the BarxBuddy.

I Heart Dogs (iHeartDogs.com): For every item purchased, iHeartDogs donates to various give-back programs like Feeding Shelter Dogs, Pets & Vets, and Second Chance Movement, which transports adoptable pets from overcrowded high-kill shelters to shelters and rescues where families are waiting to adopt.

Muttropolis (Muttropolis.com): Find high-quality, often hard-to-find products that are handpicked and tested for your pet.

Omlet (Omlet.us): Founded and run by product designers, this pet supply site offers unique and revolutionary pet supplies.

Only Natural Pet (OnlyNaturalPet.com): You’ll find here natural pet products such as supplements, flea and tick prevention, and raw, freeze-dried, homemade, and grain-free dog foods.

Favorite Dog Blogs

BarxBuddy (BarxBuddy.com): Our posts cover a range of topics such as how to raise a happy, healthy dog, why dogs bark, and grooming tips (so your dog doesn’t hate you).

Dog Tipper (DogTipper.com): From the author of 35 travel and pet books and Dog Tipper staff, blog topics cover a world of pet interests, from dog obesity to Twilight dog names.

Entirely Pets (Blog.EntirelyPets.com): This blog is filled with fun and informative pet-centric posts.

Rover (Rover.com): The Dog People over at Rover share the scoop on pets. Look up your dog’s monthly horoscope or learn about zinc supplements and whether your pet needs them.

The Animal Rescue Site (blog.TheAnimalRescueSite.GreaterGood.com): Filled with inspirational stories of pet rescues, hilarious pets, and transformations, this site will tug at your heart.

Best Dog Adoption Sites

Adopt-A-Pet.com (AdoptAPet.com): If you’re interested in adopting a dog, you can search by state, view available pets, ask about a dog, and fill out an adoption application.

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA.org): If you reside in the Los Angeles area or New York City, you can search for adoptable dogs in your local shelters through the ASPCA site. You can filter by age and gender. Nationwide, the site is a nonprofit resource whose goal is stopping cruelty to animals.

Petfinder (PetFinder.com): Take a quiz to find your ideal companion. In addition to helping you through the process, Petfinder provides a pet adoption checklist and information on caring for your new dog.

Petango (Petango.com): With the PetMatch tool, you can match your preferences to the pet personality traits that your perfect pet would hold.

Everything Else 

Bring Fido (BringFido.com): If you want to travel but are not sure what to do with Fido, why not bring him with you on your journey? You can explore over 250,000 places to stay, play, and eat with your dog.

Paw My Gosh (PawMyGosh.com): Bored or simply need a distraction? Check out their collection of cute, funny, heartwarming, and bizarre videos and stories that will have you feeling all kinds of dog love.The Dodo (TheDodo.com): Get your daily Dodo on! This site is for animal people. Here you can find a ton of fun, entertaining, and emotional pet videos and stories.

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How to Control Dog Shedding (Yes! You Can!)

How to control dog shedding

How to Control Dog Shedding

Shed much? If your dog loses a sweater’s worth of hair every time you turn around, you have two options, either take up knitting or focus on how you can control his shedding. Even if your pet sheds a smaller amount but still leaves a trail of fur, regular grooming could reduce or eliminate this mess.

Of course, how often and the amount your dog sheds is dependent on many factors including his breed, water intake, and diet. However, if he routinely sees the vet, drinks at least an ounce of water per pound of his body weight a day and eats a healthy, well-balanced diet, your dog’s shedding is a natural process that can be controlled with a bit of attention. 

Here’s how you can clean up this hairy situation.

Best Deshedding Tools for Long-Haired Dogs

For long-haired, double-coated dogs, especially breeds that are more likely to shed, such as Labrador retriever, Siberian husky, and Pomeranian, use a tool such as a slicker brush that can reach under the outer coat and remove dead hairs. Taken across the outer coat a few times in both directions, a self-cleaning slicker brush is effective at removing tangles and mats.

For periods of increased shedding be sure to use a coat rake. This tool is useful at helping you de-shed or thin out hairs. Pull the rake in the direction of the hair growth, then pull the tool up and away.

Other deshedding tools that are good to use on long-haired dogs include a bristle brush and a wire-pin brush. The bristle brush, which is acceptable for use on all coat types, is best for long-hair dogs because the brush bristles are long and widely spaced. For curly or wooly medium to long length hair a wire-pin brush is ideal.

Best Deshedding Tools for Short-Hair Dogs

Although short-hair dogs don’t have much issue with tangles or matting, they still require regular grooming if you want to rid your home of your dog’s shedded hairs. Because the length of the hair is considerably shorter, the recommended types of deshedding tools vary. 

When looking for a proper deshedding tool, select one that is soft and won’t cause irritation like a slicker brush or coat rake. You can use the BarxBuddy self-cleaning dog brush on all types of coats including short hair. Its soft wire bristles gently collect the hair while distributing your dog’s natural oils, producing a shiner and healthier coat.

Another option for deshedding your short-hair dog is a pet grooming glove. This hair remover mitt is made from soft rubber that helps prevent scratching of the skin and gently massages as the loose hair is removed. This tool is often used when shampooing dogs. 

Deshedding Shampoo vs Brush

When your dog leaves hair all over your floor, furniture, and favorite outfit you’ll try anything to stop the shedding. Some pet owners look to deshedding shampoo as a possible solution instead of a brush. Is one better than the other? Do they work well together?

Deshedding shampoo uses natural ingredients and omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids (which can help reduce shedding in canines) that provide a certain degree of relief. However, even with regular treatment, your dog will still shed. Maybe not as much, but he will continue to lose hair.

The use of deshedding shampoo and regular brushing can improve the situation. You might find over time the price of a good deshedding shampoo too expensive. A cheaper and equally effective alternative is to serve your dog high-quality foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids and continue deshedding your pet with the proper tool. 

If you choose to use the deshedding shampoo, watch for skin irritation or allergic reaction. You may want to discuss the best brands with your veterinarian. You should talk with your vet and address your concerns with your dog’s shedding before making any changes to his diet.

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Help! My Dog Hates to be Brushed

My dog hates to be brushed

Help! My Dog Hates Being Brushed

Are your dog grooming sessions more like a battle of wills? You, the responsible pet owner, have brush in hand ready to work the gnarly tangles out of her coat, while your dog stands defiant and would just assume to bite your face off than endure a grooming session? Or, maybe she sees the brush as an invitation to play which leads to her biting at the brush and acting all kinds of crazy. Either scenario leads to nothing but you both being frustrated.

Before you throw in the brush (see what we did there?), there are a few things you can do to ensure your dog’s grooming sessions don’t play out like an epic fight scene from the big screen. You can take her to the groomer’s regularly, or you can take a few steps and groom your dog yourself, which is the perfect opportunity to save money and build a stronger bond between you both. 

Here’s how you can win the brush battle.

Dog Snaps When Brushed? Be Patient

If your dog snaps or bites when you brush her, you have to let her know immediately that this is a no-no. Be patient. You never know what triggered the aggression. It could be that she had a bad grooming experience before she came to live with you. 

As with everything else about caring for dogs, to successfully teach your dog to like or at least tolerate brushing her coat requires patience and time. Taking the process one step at a time will teach her some self-control and reassure her that the brush is not something to fear.

  • Don’t yell at her. Walk away, take a few deep breaths and try again when you both are calm.
  • Let her sniff the brush. Offer a distraction, such as a treat or toy or treat-toy combination.
  • Give her short breaks. During that time, pet her, scratch her favorite spot, and tell her she’s a good dog.

Ensure You Are Using the Right Brush for Your Dog’s Coat

It’s essential that your dog is groomed regularly. No matter the length of her coat, brushing will keep her coat looking its best by increasing blood circulation and distributing her skin’s natural oils throughout. Plus, the more you do it, the more she’ll get used to it, and the less you’ll battle.

However, there’s a big difference between grooming tools designed for long-hair versus those for short-hair dogs. Using the improper brush could cause injury to your pet so you must understand which is best for her coat. Look for a brush specific to your dog’s length of hair or one like the BarxBuddy self-cleaning brush that works well for all coats.

Introduce the Brush in Short Grooming Sessions

To reduce hesitations from your dog, it’s best to start with short grooming sessions in an area with no distractions. With one hand offer treats or a toy to keep her attention off the brush as you gently touch and brush her coat with the other. 

Although it’s typical to start at the head and brush toward the tail, brushing her tail first may help calm your pet if she’s a nervous dog. No matter how short the session, praise her for allowing you to brush her, using a soft, positive tone.

Sessions in the beginning may only last a minute, and that’s okay, because the more you practice this process the more it will become routine and your pet will grow to understand that brushing isn’t a danger or playtime. Over time, you’ll want to increase the length of the grooming sessions. Note that if your dog has had any bad experiences with grooming, it can take longer for her to trust you and enjoy being groomed.

How to Improve Your Dog’s Coat

Once your dog allows you to brush her entire coat without issue, you must maintain it so she doesn’t experience any tangles or matting (especially for long-haired breeds) as these can be painful to remove and cause her to once again fear the brush, putting you back to square one.

If your dog is short or medium-haired, expect to brush her once a week, if she’s long-haired she will need brushed daily. Start at your dog’s head and work your way down to the tail. For short-haired dogs, use firm, gentle strokes to brush the coat in the direction the hair grows. Use firm, gentle long brush strokes, for wiry or long-haired dogs use long strokes. If your pet has a thick coat, start brushing from the skin outward, then start over by brushing the coat in the same direction as the hair growth.Brush her coat the same way every time to make your pet comfortable. 

Spray with a coat conditioner or a pet- and environmentally friendly detangler if your dog has trouble with tangles or her hair is prone to matting. This spray will help loosen the tangles and any knots, making it easier to brush and less painful for your dog.

Don’t forget to brush your dog’s entire coat including underbelly, legs, feet, and ears!

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Do Bark Collars Work on Dogs (and Are They Safe)?

do-bark-collars-work-on-dogs

Does your dog bark way more than the shelter or breeder led you to believe? Does he bark at inappropriate times all day and night? If you are looking for tools and solutions to train your dog to stop barking, you’re probably finding a lot of information about bark collars, also known as anti-bark collars.

As training devices, all bark collars interrupt unwanted behavior such as barking so that you can redirect your dog. Each type of bark collar does so differently. Types of bark collars include vibration, static (shock), spray, ultrasonic, and combination. 

While they all resemble a traditional collar, bark collars emit some negative stimulus like an unpleasant scent, static shock, or high-frequency sound when your dog barks. 

To answer the question, “do bark collars really work,” the short answer is yes, they work if used properly. That said, some dog owners and trainers question whether anti-bark collars are humane, and they prefer other methods of dog training, which we’ll cover in the last section of this article. 

Do Bark Collars Really Work?

Yes and no. Yes, bark collars can curb unwanted behavior in many dogs, but that doesn’t mean bark collars work on all dogs. There are several reasons why a bark collar may not help stop your dog from barking. 

First and foremost, as the trainer, you must properly use the device. Failure to follow instructions on correct fit and position of the collar can hinder the collar’s usefulness, as can a lack of prompt corrections to your dog’s behavior. 

You need to understand the reason behind your dog’s constant barking. Whether it be the result of frustration, separation anxiety, attention-seeking, or merely compulsive barking, the underlying explanation needs to be resolved for a bark collar to be fully effective in ceasing your dog’s behavior.

With a commitment on your part to appropriately and consistently address your dog’s barking, and its underlying reason(s) through positive reinforcement (praise and treats) training — also known as the train, treat, repeat method of dog training — along with a bark collar will help ensure his relentless barking stops. 

However, a training tool, such as a bark collar, is only as good as the person using it and is meant to be used in conjunction with training techniques such as the train-treat-repeat approach.

Are Anti-Bark Collars Safe?

Most dog owners want to know if a bark collar is safe to use on their dogs. Anti-bark collars use an annoying ultrasonic noise (that humans can’t hear), a spray of citronella or lemon, or a quick electric shock or vibration that will cause your dog to stop in the middle of his barking. All of the interruption stimuli are brief and have no long-lasting effects. 

Based on the above, the answer to whether anti-bark collars are safe is yes, except, there are some cautions. Bark collars mustn’t be used for more than 12 consecutive hours as they can irritate your dog’s skin, nor should they be used while your dog is crated, asleep, or when he’s engaged in positive playtime activities.

Anti-bark collars are also not recommended for puppies younger than six months or dogs under eight pounds.

What Are Alternatives to Bark Collars? 

If you want to stop your dog’s barking but you’re not keen about trying a bark collar, or you’ve had a negative experience, there are alternatives called ultrasonic trainers or repellers. This type of device might be the right training tool for your dog and situation.

One such repeller is the versatile BarxBuddy ultrasonic training tool. This handheld device never comes into contact with your dog and can be used at a distance of up to 40-60 ft. And, unlike many anti-bark collars, with The BarxBuddy, you are solely in control of when to emit the stimulus (ultrasonic sound). A quick press of the button and your dog will stop barking in seconds. When he does, it’s important that you immediately correct or redirect him with a command, followed by positive reinforcement, including praise and/or treat. 

While most bark collars are specifically designed to handle a dog’s excessive barking, ultrasonic trainers like The BarxBuddy can be used to help rid your dog of other behaviors such as chewing on furniture or jumping on people. Read our blog post on the best anti-bark collar and visit our site for more information on BarxBuddy and how it can help you change your dog’s unwanted habits for the better.

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The Most Calm and Quiet Dog Breeds

dog relaxing on a couch

Is your dog calm, cool, and collected? Or, is your canine high-strung, yapping at every noise and movement? While an owner’s temperament and approach to training can make a huge difference in how a dog behaves, several breeds are so chill, so composed they have the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognition of “calm dog.”

If a quiet, subdued pup sounds like the perfect dog for you, your family and neighborhood, read on.

What Are the Most Laid-Back Dog Breeds?

According to the AKC Temperament Guide, here are 10 top calm dog breeds:

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – With a gentle demeanor, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel makes a tremendous emotional support or therapy dog and does well in a home with children or multiple family members. They love your lap and exercise. 

cavalier king charles spaniel

Basset hound – Often content to snooze on the couch, Basset hounds are independent and can be challenging to train. However, with some patience and persistence on the owner’s part, this breed is quiet, lovable, and loyal.  

bassett hound

Related: Are small dogs harder to train?

Bergamasco sheepdog – From the Italian Alps, the Bergamasco sheepdog is protective and may take some time warming up to strangers. It tends to be highly intelligent and bright. In addition to being one of the calmest dogs, the Bergamasco sheepdog is considered a low maintenance breed.  

bergamasco sheepdog

Boerboel – This breed is protective and loyal. While the Boerboel does well with children, placement in a home with newer dog owners is not advised.  

Boerboel dog

Clumber spaniel – This calm breed is known for its hunting skills and loyalty. Clumber spaniels are reliable, very affectionate, and dedicated to their work. They do well with training. 

French bulldog – Friendly and easy-to-please, French bulldogs often have larger-than-life personalities that make great companions. This breed gets along well with other dogs and doesn’t bark much.  

french bulldog

Irish wolfhound – Highly intelligent, Irish wolfhounds learn quickly. They are calm and sensitive to human emotions, making them ideal therapy dogs.  

irish wolfhound

Pekingese – Outgoing and friendly, Pekingese are independent, loving, and full of personality. This breed would do best in a home without children, although they can adapt to being around kids. Pekingese are considered one of the more affectionate, kind, and calm canine companions. 

pekingese

Saint Bernard – These big, calm, gentle giants love being with their owners. Due to their size and ability to knock people over, especially children, training Saint Bernards is recommended and tremendously helpful. 

saint bernard

Which Breeds Are Easiest to Train?

Although the following breeds don’t earn the distinction or calmness, they do earn points for being the easiest to train.

Golden retriever – One of the more popular breeds, Golden retrievers make great family dogs. Rated the most eager to please by the AKC, this breed is smart, highly motivated by food and easy to train.

golden retriever

Australian cattle cog – This intelligent breed requires regular exercise to prevent destructive behavior. Highly trainable, Australian cattle dogs make devoted guard dogs.

Border collie – Intelligent and committed to their owner, the Border Collies, is sensitive and shouldn’t be left alone for long periods. This breed is highly energetic and easy to train. 

Australian shepherd – The Australian shepherd, bred to be herding dogs, works well with their humans and is reasonably easy to train when they receive at least 30-60 minutes of exercise daily.

Labrador retriever – Another one of the smartest breeds, the happy, easy-going demeanor of Labrador Retrievers, makes them easy to train. 

labrador retriever

Poodle – Considered one of the smartest breeds, poodles train easily. However, it is best to begin training and socializing them at a young age, or they can develop constant anxiety. 

poodle

German shepherd – Agile, intelligent, and obedient describe German shepherds. This breed excels at agility courses and is highly trainable. 

german shepherd

Doberman pinscher – Intelligent, obedient, and loyal, the Doberman pinscher is highly trainable. This breed is known as an outstanding guard dog and for working with first-responders, including police officers.

doberman pinscher

Papillon – This naturally curious toy dog breed responds well to training and positive reinforcement. Papillon are often considered to be one of the most obedient and trainable toy dog breeds. 

Cardigan Welsh corgi – The cute and adorable Cardigan Welsh corgis are loving and eager to please, making them both easy and fun to train. 

cardigan welsh corgi

Miniature schnauzer – Even though these little guys can be stubborn if their owners don’t take charge, miniature schnauzers respond well to consistent training. They are considered loyal and very playful. 

schnauzer

Shetland sheepdog – Without early training and socialization, this intelligent breed can acquire some not so cool habits, like barking and nipping. Given plenty of treats and praise, however, the Shetland Sheepdog is easy to train. 

shetland sheepdog

Tips to Train Any Dog 

No matter how easy a dog is to train, they don’t train themselves, that’s your job. And, to train your dog well, there are a few tips to keep in mind. 

  1. Consider your dog’s physical and mental limitations.
  2. If you are training a puppy, puppy proof your home e.g., crate, gates, and safe toys.
  3. Learn your dog’s body language.
  4. Treats, treats, and more treats.
  5. Praise your dog any time you catch him being good.
  6. Remember, he’s a dog, not a human. He’s just doing what makes him feel safe and happy.
  7. Whatever behavior you reinforce, your dog will repeat, even if that behavior is terrible.
  8. Give praise and treats immediately after good behavior. Wait much longer than a few seconds, and your dog will have forgotten what he’s getting the treat and adoration for (although he won’t complain about getting either!)
  9. Make sure your dog gets plenty of physical and mental stimulation. A bored dog and bad behavior go together.
  10. Above all else, remain positive. With patience and consistency, your dog will catch on. The BarxBuddy ultrasonic training tool can help make dog training easier. Learn more about how it works.
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10 Tips for Raising Happy, Healthy Dogs so They Live Longer

Happy dogs live longer

What do food, friends, family, and your physician have in common? Together they are partly responsible for helping you stay happy and healthy. Surrounding yourself with loved ones, practicing proper nutrition, and minding your physical health add to your overall well-being. 

Dogs, too, need the love and support of those around them to live their best life. And of course, regular visits to the vet help your dog stay well. Here are a few tips to ensure your dog stays as happy and healthy as possible. 

1. Socialize Your Dogs and Puppies

That’s right, just like when you need to get out to enjoy time with your friends, so does your dog. Socializing with fellow pups offers a host of benefits, including easing anxiety, encouraging good behaviors, promoting fitness, and fostering friendships.

Socializing puppies: It’s best to introduce your dog to people and other dogs when he’s around three to four months old. 

Socialize a nervous dog: However, if your dog is older and hasn’t had exposure to others, socializing him is essential to his health. Use caution as you introduce him to others one at a time, never leave your dog alone with children, and reward good behavior with treats and plenty of praise. 

2. Keep Calm and Avoid Yelling at Your Dog

Honestly, it’s hard to prevent a freakout when your dog shreds your favorite slippers or tears through a bag of garbage, but yelling at your dog could make things worse. Before you raise your voice, know that your dog can read facial expressions and negative commands, so learn to use these to your advantage. 

A recent study in BioRxiv demonstrates, dogs subjected to scary behavior and negative commands were likely to suffer from long-term stress and lower overall cognitive abilities. If your dog is displaying a behavior you don’t like, it’s time to reassess what you could’ve done to help prevent the situation.

Maybe trade your slippers in for a chew toy your dog can enjoy or keep your garbage can closed and locked and take the trash out before your dog can get into it. Remember, before your next blow up, do yourself and your dog a favor, keep calm and carry on.

3. Learn the Language of Dogs

While it’s believed dogs have the mental capacity of a two-and-a-half-year-old, dogs can learn language through repetition. Keep it simple. You know the words: ball, walk, sit, treat, or stay. 

  • It’s playtime — repeat the words you want to associate with it, such as “toy” or “play.” 
  • Exercise time — repeat the word “walk” so your dog recognizes the word when it’s time to go for walks.
  • Sit and stay — when your dog is sitting or staying, say things like “Good sit” or “Good stay” and reward with treats. 

Canines recognize human emotion from your tone and body language, so when you get the chance, be present, and hold a relaxed conversation with your dog. 

4. Feed Your Dog Healthy Treats

Feeding your dog a high-quality diet reinforces his overall health and well-being. So is occasionally giving in to his puppy eyes, and sliding him some table scraps or treats (as long as they make up less than 10% of his diet). 

5. Never Stop Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks

Training your dog is a lot more than just teaching him how to follow commands. Learning something new is good for his concentration, flexibility, stamina, and balance; plus, it’s a great way to strengthen the bond between the two of you. Even as he gets older, training can go a long way to keeping your dog active, agile, and alert.

RELATED: Are smaller dogs harder to train?

6. Tame Your Dog’s Jealousy

Yep, just like humans, man’s best friend can appear jealous when their owners pay more attention to another person or pet. While your devoted companion may not go full-tilt green monster, he can display any number of unhealthy jealous-like behaviors such as growling, hissing, or worse getting into a fight with another pet.  

There are a few things you can do to address jealousy and help your dog maintain his coolness and mental wellness. For pet parents with more than one dog, avoid giving too much attention to one pet over another, and separate toys and mealtimes if needed. Be sure to give recognition and praise when your dog behaves well. 

7. Keep Your Dog Happy When Home Alone

Leaving your dog home alone while you’re at work — especially when they may be used to having you around for long periods of time — can stress your dog. Yet, you have no choice, right? You have to work! 

Dogs have a sense of time and can suffer from separation anxiety when their owners leave. While you may think your dog is calm and collected in his crate or on the couch while you’re at work, he may, in fact, be stressing out and feeling lonely. 

To help prevent health-related issues from this daily dose of solitude, try to return home consistently at the same time (or as close as possible). If you aren’t able to get back around the same time, ask someone to check in on your dog and spend a few minutes with him.

You might enlist the help of a neighbor you trust, or look into one of the many dog-walking services. Make sure you choose a service that does full background checks on their walkers.

8. Your Scent May Calm Your Dog

One trick that might help your dog’s anxiety while you’re gone or during other stressful events like thunderstorms or fireworks, involves leaving a piece of your clothing or something that smells like you with your dog. Your scent alone can help ease your dog’s fears. 

9. Take Your Dog for Scent Walks 

Keep your dog happy AND fit by taking them on regular “scent walks.”

Dog sniffing is normal behavior. They rely on their sense of smell to understand their environment. Whether it’s to sniff out a new walking trail or fellow canine, a dog’s nose knows. With hundreds of millions of scent receptors in their noses, a dog is wired for smell; it’s their way of gathering relevant information about their surroundings. Be sure to let your dog sniff for mental stimulation and so he can stay on top of what’s going on in his world.

While walks for exercise are important, so are scent walks, which exercise their sense of smell and allows their brains to analyze their findings. Dogs are data analysts!  

10. Take a Trip

While keeping up with all vet appointments is crucial to your dog’s health, a trip to the vet makes just about any dog shake and shiver, and may even stress out their owners. To help reduce your dog’s fear of visiting the vet, take him on plenty of car rides that don’t end up with him getting poked and prodded. As always, treats and toys also help. 

These are just a few tips about how to keep your dog healthy and live longer. For more advice on raising happy and health dogs, explore our blog.

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31 Ways to Exercise Your Dog While Social Distancing

ways to exercise your enthusiastic dog

If there’s one thing 2020 taught us as dog owners, it’s that it’s still important to walk, exercise and socialize our dogs around other humans and fellow dogs, even if you have to get a little creative while social distancing. The importance of exercise for dogs is the same as it is for us: We need it to sleep better, digest food, move joints and prevent or reduce risks for health problems. 

BarxBuddy has come up with the perfect solution: An exercise for every day of the month that will keep your dog active and not put his or your health at risk. Here are 31 dog exercise ideas, one for every day of the month. 

1. Play Hide and Seek Inside (or, Outside)

This exercise is best when your dog understands the command sit and stay. If he struggles with these commands you should have a family member help keep an eye on him while you”hide.” You will also need a handful of treats (if you plan on playing for any length you might want to make sure they are healthy snacks).

Ask your dog to sit and stay, or have your assistant ensure he stays put while you leave his sight. If this is the first time your dog has played hide and seek, hide in a location your dog can easily find. 

Once you are in your hiding spot, call your dog. If he doesn’t instantly come running, you can call out to him again. When he finds you, always offer praise and a treat if he really played the game like a champ.

Be sure to change the place you hide every time, so it doesn’t get boring for you or him! 

2. Swim with Your Dog in a Pool (Only with Supervision)

Before you let your dog into your swimming pool for some exercise, it’s important you know that not all dogs are natural swimmers. And, while swimming is a great form of exercise for your dog, you must stay with him at all times while he’s in the pool or other bodies of water. Besides exercising with your dog is fun and good for both of you!

Stay with your dog at all times while swimming.

3. Play ‘Nose Work’ Games

Here’s the perfect indoor or outdoor game for your dog. Hide a few of his favorite snacks around the house or yard and let him go to town.

4. Practice New Dog Tricks

Cooped up with you is the best time to practice some new tricks, if he hasn’t already mastered them. A few rounds of sit, roll-over, stay,  speak, and spin, can exercise the mind and body.

RELATED: 10 Tips for Raising Happy, Healthy Dogs

5. Hit the Obstacle Course with Your Dog

For a great exercise routine create an obstacle course inside or out for your dog. Use household items like a couple of dining chairs and a blanket for a tunnel and a small step stool for hurdles. Outside, you can use other items like boards, hula hoops, and PVC pipes to create a full agility course.

6. Hit the Treadmill with Your Dog

If you can’t get out and walk, your dog can take a stroll on your treadmill. First, you need to get him comfortable around it and onto the machine while it’s off (treats help!). Once he’s comfortable, have him leashed standing on the treadmill facing forward. While holding his leash, turn on the machine to its slowest speed. Offer encouragement, praise, and treats as he walks. Begin with a few minutes, increasing speed and time (up to 20-30 minutes) over several days. For older or injured dogs, check with your veterinarian before putting a dog on the treadmill.

7. Play Fetch

One of the most traditional ways to exercise your dog inside or outside is a good old game of fetch. Grab his favorite ball or stick and head outside and play fetch. Reward your dog with praise and treats when he brings the toy back on command. 

Some dogs are natural at Frisbee and fetch.

8.  Fill up a Food Dispensing Ball

Put a few treats in a food dispensing ball and your dog will work very hard to get them out.

9. Dance With Your Dog

Put on some tunes and get your dog moving to the music.

10. Run Up and Down the Stairs (If You Have Them)

Just like it’s a great exercise for you, up and down a few flights will get your dog good and tired.

11. Play Keep Away

You and another family member toss a small item, like a ball back and forth, keeping it away from your dog. Play fair and allow him to catch it occasionally.

12. Play Doggie Tug-of-War

An old rope or piece of cloth is all you need. 

13. Hide Dog Treats in a Food Puzzle

Similar to a food dispensing ball, put a few treats in a food puzzle and he’ll go to town trying to find them.

14. Chase Laser Toys

Like cats, dogs can find laser toys entertaining.

15. Play Frisbee

‘Nuff said.

16. Bury the Bone

If your dog is a digger, bury a couple of bones around the yard, in a place where you won’t mind her digging up. Check with your veterinarian for safe recommended bones (no chicken bones), or if you’re vegetarian, you might bury dog treats, chews or other veterinarian-recommended treats.   

17. Dangle a Flirt Pole

Tie a treat or small toy to the end of a string on a stick and dangle it in front of your dog just out of his reach. Be sure to let him catch the toy now and then.

18. Play the Shell Game

Grab two plastic cups and dog treats. Show your dog a couple of the treats and let him watch you place them under one of the (upside down) plastic cups on a hard surface. Switch the cups a few times and see if he can knock over the cup hiding the treats.

19. Play Which Hand

If you don’t have plastic cups, place a couple of treats in one of your hands and close your fists and let your dog figure out which hand is the right one.

20. Rotate His Toys

Although your dog has his favorite toys, every dog can get bored, so rotate his current toys. or introduce new ones to keep him interested in playing.

21. Chase Bubbles

Blowing some bubbles around the yard will get your dog jumping and running.

Dogs love chasing bubbles!

22. Teach Your Dog How to Turn On/Off Lights

Large and small dogs can learn this trick. Small dogs might need your help (hold him) to practice turning on and off a wall light switch. 

23. Yoga, or Doga in Dogspeak

While there are Doga classes across the nation, you can learn how to perform yoga poses with your dog at home, thanks to YouTube. Here are a few poses to try out, Wheelbarrow, Inner Dog Mudra, and Heart to Hound Mudra. 

24. Stuff a KONG Toy

Stuff a KONG toy with some cheese or peanut butter and your dog will spend as much time and energy necessary (which is usually a lot) to clean it out.

25. Run Through a Sprinkler

If your dog loves the water but you don’t have a pool, turn on the hose or sprinkler and let him run through the water for a while.

26. Wrestle

Get down on the floor or ground and play wrestle with your dog.

27. Teach Your Dog How to Put His Toys Away

Spread your dog’s toys around the toy box and instruct him to “clean up”. Use praise and treats as he deposits them into his toy bin.

28. Bike Around the Neighborhood

Find a time when your neighbors are either indoor or away and bike around the neighborhood while your dog runs next to you on his leash.

29. Doggy Playdates

If you have someone who doesn’t live with you and you know they have followed CDC or local guidelines for social distancing — and they have a dog, invite them to drop off their dog(s) for a doggy playdate or stay and visit with you while practicing safety measures.

30. Social Distancing and Dog Walking 

Of course, if the area where you live is less populated and it’s possible to get out, you should try to walk your dog, provided you maintain a safe distance from other people and their pets and wear your face mask. 

You can still walk your dog while social distancing.

31. Pamper Fido

After all the exercising, it’s time you give him a doggie massage and apply balm to his pads. Pampering your dog can soothe any aches and relax his muscles before his next round of play.

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Are Small Dogs Harder to Train?

Woman on a park bench with a big dog and a small dog

If you’re a small or toy dog person, you know the littlest canines are downright adorable. They cost less to care for, and they fit in your favorite designer bag. Everything about them is cute and cuddly. Even when they try to protect and defend, all you can do is smile. 

While small dogs earn lovable points in just about every category, training them to follow your directions or stop barking isn’t one of them. Small dogs are indeed harder to train than large dogs, but it’s not their fault; it’s most likely due to genetics … and you (their owners). 

Let’s take a look at how to get control of your small dog barking. 

Why Small Dogs Bark (Hint: Size Does Matter)

Imagine being so small that you fit comfortably into a purse or teacup. Now envision looking out at other animals and humans, everything and everyone is huge! 

As a human, if you stand as you speak down to your dog, she may view you as threatening, merely because you’re a giant to her. Instead, when you need to address your dog, kneel and keep your hand motions in front of her, not above her. 

Tiny Bodies, Tiny Tummies

Pet owners and pet professionals alike rely on treats-based training. They are easy to use and reinforce good behavior in dogs. The problem is, small or toy breeds have much smaller stomachs and may have more sensitivity to fatty foods than medium or large breeds. This can make them harder to train. 

What seems like a single kibble to a 20-pound bulldog may be more like a full day’s meal to a little canine. Plus, offering treats meant for larger breeds, or fatty foods like cheese might leave your little one with digestion issues. Instead, offer her low-fat crumbs or a lick of baby food off your finger. 

How to Train a Small Dog to Stop Barking

You might expect your small dog to perform new skills as smoothly as her larger counterparts. However, she might have more trouble learning moves that bigger dogs have no problem mastering. Break tricks into steps and reward as she accomplishes them. Another approach is to watch your dog throughout the day. If she performs a skill such as “sit” or “lay down” on her own, use a verbal command that she’ll associate with that behavior, and reward her.

Likewise, when she exhibits unwanted behavior, you can distract her with a tool like The BarxBuddy, which will get her attention so you can stop unwanted behavior and teach her better behaviors.

Anti-Bark Strategy for Tiny Dogs

Small dogs tend to be quite energetic and, in turn, bark, or in the case of most tiny dogs, yelp excessively without regard to your orders. If you yell or punish your dog for her barking habits, she might not understand that this is you telling her to stop; she may think you’re joining in on the fun!

Instead, learn why your dog barks. One way to reduce barking is to make sure she gets plenty of exercise during the day. A regular exercise routine might help calm her down enough to focus on your commands.

Be Consistent With Training Commands

Small dogs rely on you for a lot of things. Unlike larger dogs that can quickly get around, say to jump up on the couch, your little one needs you to lift, carry, and watch out for her. However, her size and cuteness are no excuse to give in to her bad behaviors like excessive barking. 

Remember, any attention you give, good or bad, to your dog’s unacceptable behavior, guarantees she’ll repeat it. Instead, ignore your pet when she is acting up and reward her good behavior. Train, treat, repeat.

About Ultrasonic Training Devices

If even after you practice these tips and find your dog is still struggling with barking issues, proper training might be the answer. The safe and effective BarxBuddy ultrasonic training tool makes it easier to train a dog, even the tiniest ones. An alternative to bark collars, the BarxBuddy distracts your pet without any contact between it and your dog, allowing you to give a verbal command and reward her when she stops the unwanted behavior. 

As a small pet owner, you understand that your adorable and cuddly teacup breed requires some adaptation and patience in your training. Like training medium and large breeds, plenty of patience, persistence, and practice goes a long way when training your small dog — it may be easier than you think.KeywordsJun 30, 2020Query Phrase

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10 Tips for Grooming Your Own Dog … So She Doesn’t Hate You

Woman washes her large dog outside

Outside of licking themselves, your dog pretty much relies on you for her hygienic needs. Luckily there are plenty of grooming services available, whether at your vet’s office, pet supply store or your local doggie spa-salon. Even so, sometimes you need to perform a dog grooming session at home. While grooming requires some patience and caution on your part, you can transform your dog from Tramp back to Lady, at least until she gets back outside to play.

1. Choose the Right Tools for Grooming Your Dog

What tools may be right for human use may not be so good for your dog. If you intend on trimming your pet’s nails, you should have the proper dog nail clippers or nail grinder, and styptic powder (for accidental nail bleeding). If you’ve never trimmed a dog’s nails before, we recommend having your vet or groomer show you how to make sure you don’t cut them too short into the “quick,” which is the fleshy part of your dog’s nail.   

For bath time, grab the dog shampoo, towels, a hairbrush, comb, and toothbrush.

2. Grab Treats to Reinforce Good Behavior While Grooming

Make sure you have plenty of treats on hand for encouragement, and in the case of a freakout moment, you can redirect your dog. 

3. Ask for Help: Two DIY Groomers Are Better Than One

If you have experience grooming your dog and she’s not a big fan and puts up a fuss, ask for some help from someone. That person could help keep the dog’s attention while you are bathing or grooming her.

4. How Prep Your Dog Grooming Workspace

Whether you intend to trim nails in the living room or bathe your dog in the bathroom, the standing space for your dog should be non-slip and free of all obstacles. You can invest in a slip-proof mat to lay down when it’s nail or bath time to prevent both of you from injuries. For bathing, a mat or towel on the bottom of the tub might help keep your dog from slipping. 

5. Brush Your Dog Often 

Brushing your dog regularly with the right brush can go a long way to keeping her clean. Check with your groomer or vet on which type of brush or deshedding tool is appropriate for your dog’s coat. Brushing your dog several times a week, even before bath time can help to remove dirt and debris, control shedding, prevent matting, and it allows you to check for fleas or ticks and gives your dog a shiny coat.

6.  Sprinkle Baby Powder on Tangles

If your dog is long-haired, you may find some places in her coat that are tangled. Don’t bother pulling and tugging on tangled hair with a dog brush or comb. Instead, sprinkle some talcum powder on the tangles to loosen the strands and make brushing easier. 

7.  Shampooing and Rinsing Your Dog’s Hair

After bathing your dog, you must rinse off all the shampoo from your dog’s fur. Shampoo residue can cause skin irritation and itching.

8. Give Grooming Wipes a Try

If you’re unable to fully groom your dog, give grooming wipes a try. They can work in a pinch and keep her clean between baths. Although it’s tempting to use baby wipes, there is a difference between those and wipes formulated specifically for dogs.

You might find two kinds of dog wipe: antibacterial and grooming. Both are great to have on hand, as they both can soothe your dog’s skin and address her odors. Antibacterial wipes are best for situations where your dog needs a bit of disinfecting like potty-related issues. Grooming wipes, on the other hand, are ideal for a quick clean. Be sure to buy wipes that are alcohol and propylene glycol free.

9. Pamper Your Dog’s Paws

Consider any grooming session a great bonding moment and the ideal time to apply some paw balm. Harsh weather, tough walking surfaces, and a ton of running and playing around the house and yard can take its toll on your dog’s paws. A quick massage with some paw balm will protect pads from becoming dry and cracking. 

10. Cleaning Your Dog’s Teeth

Cleaning your dog’s teeth and gums is essential to her hygiene, health, and well-being. To help prevent gum disease, tooth loss,  or chronic pain, take care of her chompers. The best time to do teeth cleaning is during a grooming session. 

If you’ve never cleaned a dog’s teeth, ask your vet for best practices. If your dog won’t tolerate a doggie toothbrush, try quickly wiping her gums once a day with a clean towel; even this minor tooth cleaning done on a regular basis can reduce buildup.

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4 Humane Ways to Control Dog’s Barking

Woman using humane dog training techniques outside

Barking is one of the most annoying behaviors that dogs have, but you can’t fault them for it. That’s how they communicate when (they think) something is wrong, when (they think) they need something, and when they’re excited about something or someone (you’re home!). 

How can you humanely stop a dog from annoying barking, or train him to bark when you want him to? If there are two things we want you to take away from this message it’s this: (1) yelling doesn’t work and (2) you must be consistent with your dog training. 

Why can’t you yell at your dog when he barks? When you yell, you confuse them. They may think you’re joining their fracas, or they may think you’re scary. Training a dog not to bark requires three things: Get their attention, let them know what you want them to do, and reward their good behaviors. We call it our train, treat, repeat approach to dog training.

We’ll explore four ways to train dogs to stop barking, including the use of humane anti barking devices. First, let’s explain what we mean when we talk about “humane” ways to train dogs. 

What Does ‘Humane’ Bark Control Mean?

Humane dog training techniques are methods that get your dog’s attention without hurting, scaring, scarring or harming them in any way. A humane approach to training dogs involves discipline without inflicting pain, force or fear. 

Which brings us to a common question dog owners ask about dog training collars … 

Are Anti-Bark Collars Humane?

We see these questions a lot: Are bark collars inhumane? Are bark collars mean to dogs? 

There are several types of dog training collars that shock, vibrate, spray or make sounds. If you are considering a training collar for your dog, make sure you understand the different types of bark collars, how they work, and what they’re like for your dog. 

  • Shock collars can be uncomfortable for dogs. You use a remote control to administer an electric shock through metal prongs. Some shock collars are auto-triggered by “invisible” fences prompts. 
  • Spray collars use a dog’s sense of smell to administer a citronella spray when they bark or do some other unwanted behavior.
  • Vibrating collars don’t use the same electrical jolts that shock collars do; instead, you use a remote control to send a vibrating alert to your dog through their collar. Some models allow you to control the speed and intensity of the vibrations. 
  • Combination collars include multiple methods to help train your dog — typically vibrations, shocks and sounds — which can be confusing to dogs if you don’t use them consistently or properly. 

The words “barking,” “humane” and “collars” seem to go together, which you’ll find as you search for information about the best bark collars and most humane ways to train dogs. Bark collars are widely used as bark deterrents, and like many dog training tools, they have advantages and disadvantages. 

Our first choice for correcting a dog’s behavior is ultrasonic training tools, which we’ll describe next followed by three other humane bark deterrents.

1 — Ultrasonic Training Devices

Ultrasonic dog training tools are effective, safe and humane dog barking solutions. When used properly, the handheld device never comes in direct contact with your pets, and the high-frequency sound won’t hurt. The ultrasonic training device distracts dogs from barking so that you can give a correction command and then reward their good behaviors with treats. 

Our BarxBuddy ultrasonic training product is incredibly easy to use. It is important to be consistent with the way you use any training tools and methods with your dog. They learn by simple, clear, consistent commands:

  1. Train: Every time your dog barks unnecessarily, press the ON button and then correct their behavior. 
  2. Treat: Reward the good behavior with a treat or a scratch behind the ear.
  3. Repeat: Be consistent. Do this every time; otherwise, your dog remains a confused pup.

It’s also helpful to have everyone in your household on board while you’re training your dog. Otherwise, they’ll quickly figure out who are the “top dogs” and who are the “softies” in your home! Some families order multiple devices, so each family member has his or her own, or so they can keep the training tools in the various parts of the home where their dogs dwell.

2 — Sound Aversion Dog Training

You may have had a friend advise you about something called “sound aversion dog training.” This methodology uses something like a homemade “coins in a can” dog noise maker, or by using a dog training noise app.

It works like this: Rinse and dry a soda can. Put a handful of coins in a can, seal the opening with duct tape and, when your dog starts the disruptive barking behavior, shake the can to startle them and get their attention. 

This method of sound aversion training is more humane than shock collars; however, it can be disruptive to everyone within earshot. Not only will you get your dog’s attention, but you’ll also get attention from everyone around you. 

Another important disadvantage of this type of training is that smart dogs will quickly associate the sound with the can, rather than the sound with the unwanted behavior. 

The BarxBuddy ultrasonic training device doesn’t bother you or people around you, and it doesn’t require a special app to operate it.

3 — Distraction Training to Stop Barking

Like many dog training methods, distraction training takes practice and patience. The theory behind this methodology is to give your dog something else to do that interferes with his barking. 

If he barks excessively when someone is at the door, toss a toy or a treat into his bed and say, “Go to your place.” If she barks at the neighbor kids when they’re playing outside, immediately bring her inside and give her something to do — a treat that she has to work for, retrieving a toy, or something else to keep her busy.   

4 — Treat-Reinforced Sit-Stay Training

This methodology reinforces good behaviors and builds on them as a distraction from barking triggers. It works like this: Take your dog for a walk or go outside to play. Keep treats on you at all times in a place where he can sniff them so he knows they’re there. Train your dog the sit/stay command and each time he does it, reward him with a treat. 

When someone passes by, practice the sit/stay command and praise and reward your dog when he’s done the right thing. Have a friend knock on your door and practice the sit/stay command. The theory is that your dog will watch you for commands when bark triggers arise. Eventually, you will need the treat rewards less often; he’ll learn your voice commands.    

Why is Your Dog Barking? Remove the Barking Trigger

No matter what method you use when training your dog to stop unwanted behaviors, first find out why she is barking. What is she trying to tell you? There are many reasons dogs bark: she’s alarmed, anxious or frustrated; she wants attention, food or help; or she’s in distress. 

Learn why your dog barks, so you can eliminate the things that trigger her and then teach her commands to let her know you’ve understood her message and that it’s time to be quiet. If she barks at passersby, cover the window or remove the trigger from her line of sight as soon as she starts barking, for example. 

Get her attention, reward her for good behaviors and be consistent. Train, treat, repeat. Here are four ways you can train your dog not to bark, using humane training techniques.

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Who Do I Call to Complain About a Neighbor’s Barking Dog?

Barking neighbor dogs behind a fence

What are the most annoying sounds to the human ear? Fingernails on a chalkboard, car alarms, squeaking brakes, microphone feedback, mosquitoes and flies, and … excessive barking dogs, according to several surveys we found.

And when it’s someone else’s dog that’s barking excessively? The annoyance factor can be off the charts. Whether you’re just starting your research for tools to help you stop a barking dog, or you’ve reached your whit’s end and feel you’ve tried everything, we hope you’ll find a solution here. 

Wondering what to do if your neighbor’s dog won’t stop barking? When you’ve got a neighbor with a nonstop barking dog, you have several options.

Related: If you’re the neighbor with the barking dog, you might be more interested in this post, “How to Stop Your Dog Barking at Neighbors.”

Talk to Your Neighbor About Their Barking Dog

If you’ve got a good relationship with your neighbor, the most obvious place to start is by talking to them. 

They may not be aware that their dog barks, especially if your neighbor’s dog barks all day while they’re away or the neighbor’s dog is barking all night. We have a whole resource devoted to dog barking and separation anxiety, which is a common disorder among pack animals. Share that resource with your neighbor.

You might also try writing your neighbor a letter. You’ll find several sample dog-barking complaint letters online, but the best ones: 

  • Don’t get personal. Don’t make accusations or call them names. Don’t assume anything. 
  • Stick to the facts. “I’ve noticed your dog barks from 6 a.m. until 8 a.m.”
  • Show empathy. You know how frustrating it can be to train a dog. You’re an animal lover yourself.
  • Don’t use ALL CAPS. THIS CAN READ LIKE YOU’RE YELLING. 
  • Kill them with kindness. Even if you feel like yelling, don’t. 

Keep in mind that there are several reasons dogs bark. They could be protecting their territory or feeling bored, anxious, hungry, or lonely. Also, the key here is excessive barking. Dogs are allowed to bark; it’s how they communicate. When it goes on for too long — and that’s up to you and your local ordinance — then it’s time to call for help.

Who to Call to Complain About Barking Dog

If you live in an HOA-managed neighborhood

If you live in a neighborhood with a homeowners’ association or property manager, start there. It is very likely that your CC&Rs (covenants, conditions & restrictions) have provisions for excessive barking. Contact your HOA board of directors and ask them to notify the neighbor of the barking dog. Remember, barking noises alone are not breaking any rules. It’s excessive barking that you want to report.

If you live in a neighborhood without an HOA

To report a dog that is a nuisance because of its barking, check your local barking laws. Every state and municipality has its own set of noise ordinances. To search online for answers, first look for your “local animal control agency.” You might also search “what are my local barking laws” or “barking ordinances in [state].” You may be able to file a noise complaint if your neighbor has a dog that won’t stop barking.

If a dog is being abused or neglected

If you suspect the dog is injured or being mistreated, the ASPCA has several guidelines for reporting animal cruelty:

  1. Write a concise, factual statement about what you’ve observed and include dates and times when possible. Include the length of time the dog barks.
  2. Include photos and recordings, but do not put yourself in danger; if it is not safe to take photos or record video or audio, then don’t.
  3. Give names and contact information of other people who might also have information about the abused animals.

You may submit an anonymous report, but consider including your contact information in case authorities need to reach you. 

Can You Call the Cops About a Neighbor’s Barking Dog?

You can call the police if your neighbor’s dog is barking, but never dial 911 to report a barking dog. Use the police department’s non-emergency line. Before you call the police, however, keep a few things in mind:

  • Calling the police could escalate an already unpleasant situation. Do this only after you’ve tried everything else. (See our section below on ultrasonic training devices to stop nuisance barking). Remember: You still have to live near your neighbors.
  • The police may be limited with what they can do. Unless your neighbor is breaking laws (and it may be up to you, the complainant, to show evidence), the police may not be effective.
  • They might refer you to animal control or another agency that handles code enforcement for nuisance animals.
  • It’s not typically a one-and-done neighborhood barking dog solution. The police may ask your neighbor to put the dog inside, but eventually the dog will go out again. You may have to call more than once.

Most municipalities have specific noise ordinances that cover time of day and the length of time a dog can bark. It’s up to you — the complainant — to provide that evidence. In severe cases, after you’ve exhausted all attempts to quiet your neighbors’ barking dogs and the noise continues to interfere with your quality of life, you might be able to file a complaint in civil court.     

What Happens When You Call Animal Control on a Neighbor?

Every animal control agency is different, and when you place your first call to them, ask them what their process is. Do they issue warnings? When will they issue citations, and under what circumstances? 

Generally, the first call to animal control will result in a warning. You call to report your neighbor dog’s excessive barking, and they send officers to talk to them.

The second time, they might issue a citation, depending on how much time has passed between the first warning and subsequent ones. 

After several calls to animal control, it may be possible that the agency will take the dog into custody and impound it.   

Can I Use an Ultrasonic Trainer on My Neighbor’s Dog?

One of the reasons we at BarxBuddy developed the ultrasonic training device is because we wanted a tool that could be used to train our own dogs and also stop neighbors’ dog barking.

When BarxBuddy is used as a neighbor dog-barking deterrent, however, it’s no longer a training device. In this case, it is a distraction, designed to interrupt a dog from doing unwanted behaviors. It works best with the train-treat-repeat method of training; however, you don’t have that option with your neighbor’s barking dog. 

When the neighbor dog starts barking, you will need to get within 40 to 60 feet of the dog (yes, the sound travels through walls). Press and hold the “ON” button until the dog stops barking.

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What Is Best Anti Bark Dog Collar? Maybe It’s Not a Collar At All

Barking poodle mix

Anti-bark collars are devices that dogs wear around their necks so their owners or trainers can correct unwanted behaviors.  

To answer the question, which anti-bark dog collar is best, you have to understand what bark collars are, what types there are and how they work. The best fit for you and your dog depends on how much time and effort you commit to train your dog, as well as what your dog can tolerate.  

What is a Bark Collar and How Does It Work?

Most anti-bark collars are controlled by a wireless remote, although some models may be sound-activated when your dog barks.

These sound-activated bark collars are tricky to use effectively because other loud noises could signal the collar, confusing your dog. They may not be the best bark collar if you plan to leave it on your dog at all times, even when you aren’t home.

Remote-controlled bark collars operate on batteries, so they need to be recharged or replaced. 

Some bark collars can be worn with your dog’s regular collar, while others are better alone. Shock collars with prongs are not intended to be worn 24 hours a day. Most manufacturers recommend that you remove no-bark collars when your dog is resting or at night.

Anti-bark collars are training devices, which means they aren’t magic wands that correct your pets’ behaviors. They’re intended to be used along with voice commands, treats and rewards to teach your dog what you do and don’t want him to do. 

For stubborn dogs that bark excessively and don’t respond to voice-only commands, the bark collar can be used to get the dog’s attention. That’s what training devices do: They distract a dog from barking so you can correct her behavior.    

What Are the Types of Bark Collars?

There are five basic types of collars:

  1. Vibrating 
  2. Shock collars
  3. Spray
  4. Ultrasonic training collars
  5. Combination

Vibration collars emit a pulse-like sensation to your dog’s neck. They are thought to be more comfortable than shock collars, which emit a static correction. The vibrations typically can be adjusted from low to high intensities. 

Shock collars use static electricity through metal prongs to signal to your dog when he’s doing unwanted behaviors. They also range in intensity from a mild tingle to a painful shock. If you’ve ever accidentally touched a light socket and gotten a jolt of electricity, that’s very similar to the sensation a dog gets from a shock collar. Some shock collars are used with remote controls, while others are used for training dogs with electric fences; if a dog crosses the fence line, he gets shocked.

Spray collars emit citronella when your dog barks, attacking their sense of smell rather than sight or sound. These collars are a good option if you have dogs that are hearing impaired. Spray collars can be used with remote controls or be sound-activated. 

Ultrasonic training collars are controlled by remotes. When a dog exhibits unwanted behaviors, the trainer/owner presses a button, releasing a high-frequency tone that only dogs can hear. 

Combination bark collars use two or three of the technologies that the other four use. For example, one model offers a combination of sound with vibrations and shocks. The idea is to start with the least intrusive technique — sound — and if your dog resists the correction followed by your voice commands, you progress to vibrations and then shocks. 

What Are Humane Alternatives to Bark Collars (and Do They Work)?

Collarless ultrasonic dog training tools are very effective ways to train your dog to stop annoying barking habits. 

The advantage of this type of training device is that your dog doesn’t have to wear anything special. In fact, the ultrasonic dog training tool never comes in contact with your dog. It is about the size of a TV remote control, and when your dog starts barking, you press and release the button. Only your dog will hear the ultrasonic sound, and it will stop him in his tracks. 

Our ultrasonic dog trainer includes built-in lights, which can add a layer of distraction for your dog, especially if he has hearing issues or is out of range. It’s safe, effective, humane and the best way to train a dog to stop annoying behaviors.

What is the Best Way to Humanely Train a Dog to Stop Barking?

The train, treat, repeat method is best for training dogs to stop barking, as well as to stop all sorts of annoying behaviors. 

It works like this: The dog does something you don’t want her to do. You point the device at her, press the button and she stops, because you’ve distracted her. Before she can resume barking, you give a voice command. When she does things that you want her to do, you reward her with a treat. Repeat it every time; consistency is important. 

You can learn more about this type of training device on our product page, as well as this information guide on ultrasonic anti-barking devices.

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Why You Should Use Ultrasonic Dog Repellers and Deterrents

Dog being trained outside in a field of grass

If you research “ultrasonic dog training,” you might come across some older posts about “ultrasonic repellents and deterrents,” which question the effectiveness of these tools in training dogs. It’s the problem with a lot of information on the internet, isn’t it? You can find information that supports pretty much any point of view.   

Well, we want to set the records straight on ultrasonic dog training tools because much of the information you’ll find is outdated and just not accurate. First, let’s talk about ultrasonic noises and what they sound like to dogs and humans. Then we’ll put on our myth-busting hats and tackle some of the misconceptions about ultrasonic trainers.

What Does Ultrasonic Noise Sound Like to a Dog?

Ultrasonic sound is anything that is greater than 20 kHz (20,000 hertz), which is about the highest frequency of sound that humans can hear. This 2-minute video demonstrates what frequencies sound like from zero to 1 million hertz. 

Caution: Don’t listen to this video if you are wearing earphones or earbuds! The sound could hurt your ears.  

We humans can hear sounds up to 23,000 hertz (Hz), but dogs can hear up to 45,000 and 50,000 hertz. The BarxBuddy produces sounds at 30,000 hertz (.03 MHz) and up, which is why they can hear it and we cannot.

When used to train dogs, ultrasonic sound is simply a tool that you can use to get your dog’s attention. You may have heard stories of people using homemade noisemakers, such as shaking cans filled with coins, to stop barking dogs. We find these homemade tools can startle not only the dog, but everyone else within ear shot. That’s why we developed the BarxBuddy ultrasonic training tool. It’s safe for dogs, doesn’t startle people, and it works.

Misconceptions About Ultrasonic Dog Training Devices

We have found that the biggest misconceptions about ultrasonic training tools come from people who haven’t actually used them. The following are common things we’ve heard, along with our responses. We hope this helps you understand how the BarxBuddy training tool works, but contact us if you have questions.

“It’s illogical to train a dog with a sound it hates.” 

The BarxBuddy ultrasonic device is a training tool for dogs. It’s not a point-and-click remote control that will mute a barking dog or silence barking forever. The ultrasonic frequency gets your dog’s attention and distracts her from doing unwanted behaviors so that you can correct the unwanted behavior and teach alternatives. We encourage you to reward your dog with treats when she exhibits good behaviors. 

That’s why one of our brand’s sayings is: “train, treat, repeat.” 

“You don’t know what sound ultrasonic dog repellers make.”

That is correct — you cannot hear the ultrasonic training device because it is designed for dogs, not for people. And that’s deliberate. We know that high-frequency sounds are effective at distracting dogs so we can train them to change their behaviors. 

“Results for ultrasonic devices are extremely variable, so you can’t depend on them especially in dangerous situations.”

Results for all training tools are extremely variable for one reason: People use them differently and, often, inconsistently. If you consistently follow our train, treat, repeat methodology, the ultrasonic device will be an effective tool to help you correct your dog’s unwanted behavior. 

“Firm verbal commands are better than unpleasant ultrasonic sounds.”

The flaw with verbal commands is that your dog knows your voice, and if you give a firm verbal command while he’s barking his head off, he might misunderstand and think you’re joining him. 

Firm verbal commands paired with the ultrasonic trainer are the best, most effective ways to train your dog. When the dog hears the tone from the ultrasonic trainer, he is immediately distracted, stops barking and looks to you for directions. This is when you give your verbal command. 

“People who sell ultrasonic dog training tools are snake oil salesmen.”

We got into this business because we love pets, and we wanted to create a resource for people like us who want safe and effective products for their dogs. Every product on our website has been personally vetted by our team, and we wouldn’t sell anything that we wouldn’t use for our own dogs and cats. 

If that makes us snake-oil salesmen, we can live with that.

Do Ultrasonic Barking Deterrents Work?

Let us be clear: The BarxBuddy ultrasonic training device is not intended to be used as a stand-alone barking deterrent. It’s meant to be used to train your dog to stop barking, as well as to correct other unwanted behaviors. Yes, they work to deter barking, especially when you use them with the train, treat, repeat method. 

To learn more about the product, shop now or visit the resource center on training tools for dogs. 

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7 Reasons Dogs Bark

Dog Barking

Dogs bark for one primary reason — to communicate. But you knew that. The real question is, what is your dog trying to say when it barks? 

Well, dogs bark for a number of reasons:

  • Alarm
  • Anxiety 
  • Attention 
  • Frustration
  • Greeting
  • Injury or illness
  • Response

Dogs have simple minds: They quickly associate actions with reactions. If they bark and you yell, they think you’re joining them. If they bark and you take them inside and give them a treat, they think they’ve done a good thing.

That’s why it’s important to understand why dogs bark so you can train them that you’re the top dog. When you give a command, they stop barking. 

With so many triggers for a dog’s bark, it’s hard to know what to do to quiet it, isn’t it? For most dog owners, the longer they have their pet, the better they get to know what their animals’ sounds mean. A high-pitched yipping bark might be an alarm for a backyard invader. A rapid loud non-stop bark might mean someone is at the door. A short, quick yelp might mean “I want out” while a howl might mean it’s suffering from separation anxiety.

Alarm Barks: My Dog Barks At Everything

What an alarm bark sounds like: An alarm bark tends to be loud, nonstop, and rapid.

Why your dog alarm barks: If your dog seems to bark at every little noise and every person or thing that passes by your home, he’s just doing his job. The problem is that you haven’t provided on-the-job training, to let him know when it’s OK to bark, for how long it’s OK to bark, and what to do instead of barking. 

When your dog barks in alarm, he thinks something is wrong. Someone or something has invaded his territory. She heard a noise and she’s protecting her territory.

How to control alarm barks: To control alarm barks when you are home, use a combination of verbal commands with an ultrasonic training device. Ultrasonic trainers are easy to use, inexpensive and convenient. Our trainers use them on their own dogs and keep several in various rooms in their homes, so they’re within reach when their dogs begin alarm barking.

Controlling alarm barks may be more difficult when you are not home. We recommend closing windows so your dog can’t see outside and using white noise, a TV or music to drown outside noises that trigger alarm barks. Also, a well-exercised dog is less likely to engage in alarm barking and more likely to relax and sleep while you’re away.   

Anxiety Barks: Why Dogs Bark at Night and When Left Alone

What anxiety barks sound like: An anxiety bark sounds like a cry, whine or howl and might be mixed with periods of silence.  

Why your dog barks with anxiety: Separation anxiety causes dogs to bark when you leave them alone, and some dogs will experience anxiety when you crate them or at night when you go to bed. 

Dogs are pack animals, and when left alone or cut off from their pack, some breeds, such as beagles, tend to bark and even become destructive. You might find puddles from a dog with separation anxiety. 

How to stop anxiety barks: If your dog begins to exhibit signs of anxiety as you gather your things and get ready to head out the door, you can use an ultrasonic dog training device to correct the barking behavior, which we recommend combining with positive rewards. 

Positive rewards that work well include favorite treats and toys that you give to your dog only when you leave home. That way, she’ll associate your absence with something she loves. 

You might also try a puzzle treat for your dog, which is a treat or toy tucked into another device that your dog has to work to retrieve. This will keep him busy for a while after you leave. 

Attention Barks: Dealing With a ‘Velcro’ Dog

What attention barks sound like: They’re short and quick, as if your dog is saying, “Hey you!” 

Why does your dog become needy all of a sudden? Is your dog a “velcro dog”? They cling to you, follow you wherever you go, and bark when you’re ignoring them? 

They’re lonely and bored. They want a treat or to play. The behavior can be cute for a few minutes, and then it quickly turns annoying. Some dog breeds are more prone than others to being needy, especially the breeds that fall into the lapdog and working dog classifications. 

How to stop attention barks: If your dog barks to get your attention, you can retrain this behavior. Increase their exercise so they’d prefer a nap while you’re busy. Give them something to do, such as a puzzle toy or snack. Create a special place for them, perhaps in a comfortable bed or crate, and teach them a command so they know to go there when you issue the command. Some trainers give treats or favorite toys when dogs go to their special places.

An ultrasonic training tool can be used to stop unwanted barking behaviors as well. This helps your dog associate the demanding, bossy behaviors with negative but not harmful consequences.  

Frustration Barks: When Your Dog Wants Something

What frustration barks sound like: The frustration bark sounds like a combination of an anxiety bark and an attention bark. It’s a short, frequent — and loud — yip.  

Why does your dog bark in frustration? They’re confined, restricted or can’t reach something (a toy or you). You might be OK with a short occasional frustration bark, especially if your dog is trying to get a toy that’s rolled under the couch. How else is he supposed to get your help?

Some dogs engage in frustration bark at night when their people have gone to bed and the house is quiet. They want to be with you, and they want you to play. It’s important not to give into this type of barking behavior because that reinforces the dog’s test. He yipped, and you responded. Success!

How to stop frustration barks: Teach your dog that you are top dog by stopping the frustration barks. It’s OK to alert you when he can’t reach a toy, but it’s not OK to demand a treat, toy or something else just because he’s bored.

Make sure your dog gets enough exercise, so that need for activity is satisfied. Use a training tool like the Barx Buddy to curtail frustration barks. 

Greeting Barks: Overly Friendly Dogs

What greeting barks sound like: They’re not as loud as alarm barks, but they’re constant and might even sound “happy.” The pitch tends to be higher and filled with excitement. 

Why your dog engages in greeting barks: This one’s easy: Someone new has arrived, and your dog loves people!

How to stop greeting barks: Your dog might love people, but not all your visitors will love your dog in return, especially if she barks, nips, and jumps when they arrive. To control your dog’s barking when you come home or when visitors arrive, follow these steps:

  • Keep an ultrasonic training device by your doors, so you can use it in combination with your verbal cues to quiet your dog.
  • Don’t encourage your dog to greet visitors, and don’t respond when your dog is barking at you when you come home. 
  • Tell your visitors not to respond to your dog when she’s barking at them. While you train your dog with commands and the training tool, let your guests know that as soon as your dog has calmed down, it’s OK to invite her over for a hello and belly scratch.

Read more on this topic in our guide to dog barking, When Dogs Bark at Strangers, Visitors, and Intruders.

Injury or Illness Barks: A Dog in Distress

What painful barks sound like: When a dog is in distress, his barks are low, quiet, mixed with whines and may even sound breathy, like he’s panting. 

What to do if your dog is in distress: We’ll keep this short and simple: If your dog is in distress, it’s important not to try to correct her barks. Call your vet.

Response Barks: Why Dogs Bark at Each Other

What response barks sound like: They might echo a neighbor’s barking dog, or their barks might sound short and loud, even howling and whining. 

Why dogs bark at each other: Dogs engage in response barking for a number of reasons. Sometimes, it’s just to join the fun. We know a Yorkshire terrier who’d engage in response barking when her owners had guests over; as the conversation levels would increase, the Yorkie would join in with her barks. While the behavior was cute for a few minutes, it became an annoyance after a while. 

Dogs will also bark when they hear other dogs barking. You might recall the “twilight bark” from the movie “101 Dalmatians”? It was an idea that dogs pass along messages daisy-chain style, across hundreds of miles. Of course, this isn’t true (as far as we know!), but barks are infectious. When one dog hears another dog bark, they join the conversation. 

How to stop response barks: Response barks might be the easiest of all barks to train. Your dog is testing you by his response barks. As soon as it starts, use your Barx Buddy ultrasonic training tool to stop it in its tracks. Your dog will quickly learn that just because Rex next door is barking doesn’t mean it’s OK for him to bark, and when you’re talking with your guests, your dog’s job is to listen.

Training Dogs Not to Bark

To learn more about the Barx Buddy ultrasonic training device and how it should be used to train your dog not to bark, visit the product page. You can contact us with questions, or visit our blog to explore more topics on dog training.

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How to Stop Your Dog Barking at Neighbors

Dog Barking

You really don’t want to be that neighbor, do you? The one with the noisy dog that turns neighbors into “frenemies”? 

If your dog is harassing your neighbors and barking constantly, it’s probably for a “good” reason: She has one job — to protect her territory. Your dog is not barking because she hates your neighbor — that’s not the reason! Dogs tend to bark more when they are at home for this reason; they’re protecting you, your home, your family, and your property.

And, to be honest, this isn’t always a bad thing. Dogs can hear noises that we can’t. Some of us have dogs for that very reason — not only do we want a companion, but we also want a protector. 

Related: Got a problem with a neighbor’s barking dog?

However, when your dog is barking nonstop or aggressively at your neighbors and you want him to stop, you can train him. Any time you teach something new to a dog, remember that training takes time, patience, and consistency.

Be Consistent When Training Your Dog

When we talk about the importance of consistency with dog training, we mean two things: Be consistent with correcting bad behaviors, every time, and make sure everyone in your house understands “the rules.”

Consistency with commands: Your dog may be the smartest pet you know, but his mind is very simple, and he’s looking to you to tell him what to do and what not to do. If he barks at neighbors and you correct his behavior one time, while ignoring it the next time, he’s learned nothing. You’ve confused him. 

Consistency with people: You might notice that your dog tends to behave better with certain family members than others. Dog training is as much about people training as it is about teaching dogs new tricks. Everyone who lives in your home has to be involved in correcting bad behaviors and rewarding good behaviors using the same tools and commands. For example, your dog doesn’t know that “quiet” and “hush” mean the same thing; everyone should know the same command words.

How to Stop Your Dog Barking at People

Out of sight, out of mind: To reduce your dog’s barking at people, remove what triggers him, especially when you aren’t home. Close windows, curtains and blinds when you aren’t home so your dog can’t see or hear your neighbors. 

You might even consider leaving on a radio or playing white noise or a fan to help block outside noises.

You can also sequester your dog in a part of your house that is further from noises that trigger it to bark. For example, if you have a two-story house and you crate your dog, consider moving the crate to an upper floor toward the back of your house, which might be further from street noises.

If there are certain times of day when your dog barks, try to figure out what triggers her. Does she bark more when kids are coming home from school? Or does she go crazy barking in the evening, like after dinner when your neighbors are in their yards and walking the neighborhood? Recognize these patterns and plan distractions for your dog during these times.    

Train Your Dog Not to Bark at Neighbors, Using ‘Quiet’ Command

Teach your dog to stop barking when you say a command word or phrase such as “Quiet.” We don’t recommend the word “stop,” because if you use that word too much — stop scratching, stop begging, stop chewing, stop jumping — it confuses the dog. “Quiet” means stop barking.

The quiet command works well when used with an ultrasonic sound training device. These training devices are designed specifically to control dogs’ barking. The device isn’t harmful to your dog, and it’s easy to use. 

Again, it’s important that everyone in your household understands how to use an ultrasonic training device with the quiet command. You might consider getting more than one device, so each person has their own and you can keep them in different parts of your home, so they’re handy when you need them.

Show Your Dog Alternate Behaviors

The following technique requires more time, but if you are patient and stick with it, it can work. 

In addition to teaching your dog the quiet command and using the ultrasonic training device, teach your dog to associate playtime or treat time when you see neighbors. 

This is how it works: When the two of you see or hear your neighbors, give your dog a treat or invite her to play. Even if she barks, give her the treat or continue to play. Do this every time you see and hear your neighbors. Eventually, she will look to you for rewards when she sees the neighbors, because she will know this is a trigger for something great.  

One last piece of advice in this section: You may have heard the saying, “A tired pup is a good pup.” Make sure your dog gets exercise and he’ll be less wound up when he’s at home. 

Communicate With Your Neighbors About Your Dog

Let your neighbors know that you’re working with your dog to stop the annoying barking and ask for their support. Tell your neighbors if there is anything they need to know about your dog — if she isn’t good with children, is aggressive toward other dogs, or doesn’t like to be touched on the head, for example.  

Take your dogs on walks and introduce him to neighbors. Reward your dog when she exhibits good behaviors (with a treat or praise or a scratch behind the ears), and redirect her when she barks. By redirect, we mean this literally. When your dog barks at your neighbors, turn her around and head her away from the neighbors. When she doesn’t bark at neighbors, praise her and let her know she’s been a good dog.

What Not to Do When Your Dog Barks at Neighbors

Don’t argue with your neighbors about your dog. Empathize and acknowledge that you’ve heard their complaint. Let them know what you’re going to do and ask them to be patient.

Don’t admit guilt. Tell your neighbor that you’re sorry they’re bothered by the sound of a barking dog and ask them if they have suggestions. That lets them know you understand their frustration and you want to be a good neighbor.

Don’t yell at your dog when he barks. When you yell at a barking dog, you confuse him. He might think you’re just as alarmed as he is.

Don’t give up. We said this at the start of this article, and we’ll end with a reminder: Dog training takes time, patience and consistency. Some dog breeds are easier to train than others, and some dogs within breeds are easier than others. The BarxBuddy ultrasonic training tool makes dog training easier. Learn more about how it works.