As you now know, your dog isn’t born an excessive barker. Dogs are not born with behavioral flaws. These problems develop from the way the dogs are raised. Are they lonely? Are they coddled? A behavioral problem doesn’t mean you’re a bad owner, it just means you need to buckle down and train the problem away. Excessive barking is incredibly irritating, and can even be harmful if it leads to a lack of sleep for you, or worse yet, for your neighbors who will call the police to complain about you and your dog. A neighbor who calls the police is actually a less extreme consequence. Countless situations have occurred in which angry neighbors abuse the dog because of its barking – they attack the dog when they get the chance. You don’t want your dog to be in any danger at all because of his barking, so the point is it needs to end. Now.
The complicated part is that you don’t want your dog to stop barking all together. You don’t want him to lose his instinct to protect, warn, and guard you. Would you want to train the barking away to the point where an intruder enters your home and your dog does not bark to warn you? You also don’t want your dog to lose the voice he has a right to. A bark or two to let you know “hey, I’m hungry,” or “I have to go to the bathroom,” is his natural right and convenient for you, since it lets you know what he needs. However, these are basically the only times your dog needs to bark, give or take a couple of happy barks when he’s outside playing fetch. Constant barking is a behavioral malfunction, usually caused by your dog being left alone and wanting attention, and further by him creating something to occupy himself with.
It is your responsibility to train your dog to not have this problem. If your neighbor acts out and abuses your dog, that is inhumane and reprehensible treatment. But, unfortunately, if you have never done anything to try and stop this barking, you are not completely free of blame. Remember, training the problem away is not as hard, or as time consuming as you think. Studies have shown that it takes about a week for the average dog to learn something, a new concept. So if you work with your dog everyday for a week, and employ constant communication to drive the point home about what is good behavior and what is bad, your dog will begin to learn that what he is doing is wrong.