A dog that barks at birds, noises, neighbors, passing pedestrians or other dogs is not a good watchdog. A dog like this is similar to a car alarm that keeps going off for no reason. People will eventually take no notice, even when he barks for a legitimate reason. He will only annoy the entire neighborhood.
A good watchdog
A good watchdog is one that barks only when someone attempts to enter your property or when there is imminent danger (house fire, snake in the yard).
Good barking habits can be trained into your dog easily, provided that you are clear about exactly when you want your dog to bark. Thus, you will know to respond to your dog's bark because the bark will be a warning and not just an everyday noise.
When You Are Out
Because dogs are pack animals, they may become stressed when the pack leaves without them (when you or your family leaves them at home alone).
Some of the reasons may be:
Separation anxiety. Usually identifiable by barking as soon as you leave. You will need to sneak back, catch the dog barking and correct him.
Apprehensive/fearful. Usually found in a nervous dog which lacks confidence that barks out of fear of the unknown. He continues to bark because he is not corrected for his barking as no one is home to do so. This dog needs to be socialized, and you may need to seek professional help to deal with any serious fears he may have.
Territorial. The territorial dog is usually the dominant, confident type, yet as a rule is not the worst culprit of nuisance barking.
However, if you have problems with this type of dog, you will need to seek professional help.
Tips for nuisance barking
When you are home and your dog is outside barking, go out and correct him by growling
"bad."Also growl "bad" loudly so that you can be heard above the barking.
If you use "bad" every time your dog does something wrong, he will soon catch on.
Be sure to praise your dog as soon as he stops what he is doing wrong.
Monitor the barking and only correct your dog for those things that do not constitute a good watchdog, such as birds noises, neighbors, passing pedestrians and other dogs.
Barking prevention at the puppy stage
A young pup that barks at people or noises is a good indication that you have a budding nuisance barker. This is a nervous pup that worries about everything. A well-adjusted pup will not usually start barking until somewhere between 8 to 12 months of age.