Owners Can Curb Bothersome Barking

ADOPTION OPTIONS

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As we humans settle the land around us ever more densely, everything we do impacts our neighbors in some way. Noise pollution comes from many sources including cars, ATVs, chain saws, leaf blowers, construction, firearms, loud music, children and pets.

With the population in Arizona estimated to be five times what it used to be, we are either going to have to change our habits or learn to tolerate a lot of noise.

Barking dogs are one of the least accepted forms of noise pollution, yet expecting a dog not to bark is like expecting birds not to fly. Some dogs were developed for specific purposes that require barking, such as hounds for hunting, guard dogs and herding dogs.

Dogs that bark incessantly tend to do so for very good reasons, at least from their canine point of view. A dog that is chained to a fixed point without enough room to move about or kept in too small a space will bark to express its discomfort. A dog that is neglected, hungry, thirsty, freezing cold, sweltering hot or in need of veterinary care has no alternative other than to communicate its basic needs.

A dog that is lonely, bored, frustrated, underexercised or not exercised at all can become a neurotic barker. Even the smallest dog needs to get out and see something besides the inside of a house or kennel.

Dogs are social animals and are not suited to a life on their own for long periods. In most cases, the reason a dog is barking rests squarely on the shoulders of its owners.

Here are a few tips to help with inappropriate bark behavior:

• Increase play and exercise time with your dog.

  • Take your dog with you on errands and car rides.
  • Leave toys out for your dog to play with when you're not home.
  • Make sure your dog has plenty of food, water and shelter from weather.
  • Bring your dog in when the school bus or mailman go by.
  • Ask a neighbor, friend or relative to take your dog out for a walk.
  • Do not yell at a barking dog and increase its excitement.
  • Change the location of your dog's kennel if it is too close to a distraction.
  • Be respectful of neighbors; do not allow dogs to bark from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. Take your dog inside for the night!

There is no substitute for spending quality time with your dog. Remember these principles: An exercised dog is a relaxed dog. People who play with their dog, stay with their dog.

Need a wonderful companion who never judges or criticizes you? Take a look at some of our adoptable pets.

RACER

Racer is an affectionate 9-month-old neutered male black Labrador retriever. His healthy coat shines coal black, his teeth are pearly white and his brown eyes are aglow with anticipation of a fun day.

He relishes being hugged and stroked, up close and personal, for he is a lover boy in the first degree.

Racer has great manners on leash and knows the command "sit." He is indeed an exceptional dog -- gentle, loving and of even disposition.

Trust us, you are going to fall head over heels in love with Racer.

NEVAEH

Nevaeh is a heavenly 1-year-old spayed female golden red pit bull terrier mix. Her name is pronounced "Nee-vay-ah" and it is heaven spelled backward!

This angelic dog is very friendly and she is housebroken. She has long legs like Julia Roberts and is a pacesetter on a walk. She is good on leash and doesn't pull much at all.

She is very playful and likes to have fun and romp with her people and other dogs. We hope this pretty redhead will turn your head and steal your heart.

BRODIE

Brodie is a very cute 2-year-old neutered male Lab/heeler mix. He's not very big size-wise, but his heart has a huge capacity for affection.

Brodie is a character from his one tipped-over ear to his asymmetrical smirk. Just to look at him is to smile.

He is extremely well behaved, is completely housebroken, walks great on leash and stays in his own yard like a good boy.

He travels first class in the car and is an experienced hotel/motel client. He loves children and is protective of them and his entire family.

Brodie gets along with most other dogs if they're not too rough, but he is not good with cats.

PATCHES

Patches is a loving 4-year-old spayed female calico kitty. She has an endearing personality, for she is wonderfully friendly and funny.

She's a playful pussy and when you sweep or mop the floor, she plays with the broom or mop. Very cute!

Patches is excellent with the other cats in her condo and she is very people oriented. We think she's purrty special!

FANTASIA

Fantasia is a darling 9-month-old spayed female tabby cat. Her coloration is golden honey with brown striping.

She is a very well socialized cat because she has been with as many as eight cats in her condo and gets along well with all of them. She is especially attached to a cat named Prissy and they often sleep curled up together.

She is used to all kinds of people coming and going when they visit our shelter to play with her, groom her or feed her. Here's hoping you'll find Fantasia irresistible!

For information on the various spay/neuter programs offered by the Payson Humane Society, call the shelter at 474-5590 or visit them at 812 S. McLane Road. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day except Sunday and Wednesday.

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