Gun dogs

PETER BLATCH says: This annoying habit of barking is most people’s nightmare – not only from a neighbour’s point of view but also from your own.

In my experience the barking usually falls into two categories, day time barking when you are at work, and at night time when you have turfed the dog out of the house and into its kennel.

Needless to say a dog that’s used to the comforts of a house for most of the day will not necessarily take kindly to being put outside.

One way around the problem is to put a noisy dog in with another because the two act as company for each other. In a lot of cases this is enough to do the trick. That said, there are plenty of hard cases out there and if yours is one of them the answer is to spray water in their face whenever the barking begins.

This is a tedious, time consuming, process – but it works – so long as you can creep up on the dog and douse it with

water without it hearing you approach the kennel.

Friends have said anti-barking collars do work on troublesome dogs but (touch wood) I’ve never had to use one. The reason for this is because my kennels are quite a long way from the nearest neighbour but, most important, my dogs are with me all day either working or training. The only thing they want to do when they get back to their kennels is eat and sleep.

I have always found that the best way forward is to start as you mean to go on and get the pup used to being in his/her kennel from a very early age and ignore his early tantrums. This way the pup will soon realise that there is no profit in being noisy.