Retraining Manic Alert Barking

Today I thought I’d share a great article on Retraining Manic Alert Barking.

In this article, Debi Davis really lays out some interesting points about why using suppressive or punishment techniques don’t work to stop dog barking.

She believes that when you are dealing with a dog who just ‘locks on’ to a person or thing and continues to bark at it, that adding more emotion to the situation actually reinforces it…. positive or negative.

To put it in my own words, and forgive me Debi if this is NOT what you mean, but it’s almost like the thing that causes a dog to Manic bark is the amount of “heightened emotions”… or in her words “stress”.

Because stress can be both positive and negative, a dog who gets ‘positively’ stressed when he sees a person walk by the car he’s in at the grocery store parking lot has more stress, then if he were in a state of rest… and if you then have an owner come in and reprimand the dog, what does that do?

It ads MORE stress.

Stress can become addicting, and trains the dog to continually expect, prepare and get ready for more and more stress, with each day the Manic Barking behavior is attempted to be stopped with training techniques that add more stress to the situation.

Debi’s article puts it more clearly then I can though, so I’ll just shut up and let you go read it.  Here’s the link again:

Retraining Manic Alert Barking

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