Dog Training and Dog Care advice from UK Professionals

Why Do Dogs Bark at the Postman?

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Dog waiting for postman!Barking at the postman or anyone else coming to your door is a common complaint of dog owners.

The barking or guarding behaviour quickly becomes self-rewarding for the dog.

The dog barks and the postman goes away unwittingly rewarding the dog for the unwanted behaviour.

The dog believes his barking has served its purpose and has driven the postman away so he has achieved his goal in fending off the suspected intruder or threat.

The reason for the dog's behaviour can vary from dog to dog but for the most part the dog's barking is territorial in nature. Dogs bark to protect their territory and warn their owners of a potential threat.

The majority of dog breeds will bark as a response to the approach of a stranger or any unusual sounds outside the property.

Some dogs bark because they are anxious, over-excited, bored or simply seeking their owner's attention.

You should not forget that barking is a natural behaviour for the dog. A common mistake is for the owner to respond to the dog’s barking by shouting at it to stop.

In such cases, all the dog hears is the owner shouting (barking) and barks even louder believing that it is the right thing to do. In other words, an owner shouting is a REWARD or encouragement for a dog to bark MORE.

Excessive barking can be a serious problem but is one that can be quickly corrected once the factor behind the unwanted behaviour has been identified and once the owner understands just how much their own human behaviour is perpetuating this problem.

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