At BARKS, we believe pets have an intrinsic right to be treated humanely, to have each of their individual needs met, and to live in safe, enriched environments free from force, pain and fear. In this cyber-driven world, where information may not always be current, accurate or scientifically sound, we provide a platform for promoting education, resources, equipment, ideas, methods and techniques that both pet professionals and guardians can trust. We believe this forms the foundation for a pet's healthy socialization and a stable environment that is better suited to preventing behavior problems, while protecting the overall wellbeing of each individual animal.

BARKS covers all things animal behavior and training, pet care, canine, feline, equine, avian, pocket pets, and exotics, as well as business, sales, marketing and consulting. A must-read for animal behavior, training and pet care professionals, and pet guardians interested in learning more about modern, science-based, force-free training techniques and tools!

Editor's Pick

Home Alone: The Painful Puzzle

© Can Stock Photo/herreid

Separation anxiety in a dog is the “equivalent of a full-blown panic attack in a human being due to the anxiety and fear of being left alone. The severity of the panic attack and the way each dog manifests and displays it may be different, but the physiological basics are the same. Fear and anxiety are best friends, and the hormonal and neuro-chemical processes that happen when these emotions are triggered are not under simple mind control, certainly not by dogs (and generally not by humans, either)." (DeMartini-Price, 2014)...Dogs may appear anxious or depressed prior to their guardians leaving and/or when certain cues signify that a departure is imminent. Separation anxiety may appear as though a dog is severely anxious. The dog might vocalize (bark, whine, howl), self-mutilate (excessive self-licking or biting or chewing of fur or appendages), tremble or shake off (as if he were soaking wet), yawn, pace, spin, urinate or defecate, or be destructive in the home (often being self-injurious in an attempt to break out of crates, or get through doorways) and damage walls, furniture, or small items in the house. Dogs with separation anxiety may also display what is known as anorexia, whereby the dog is unable to eat while alone, even when favorite treats are presented. Read more

Featured Article from the September 2018 Issue

Cool for Cats

© Can Stock Photo/andreykuzmin

We are all familiar with puppy socialization, but do not hear about kitten socialization anywhere near as often. In fact, however, it is as important for kittens to be properly socialized and trained as it is for puppies. The effects of poor socialization can result in cats who hide from visitors, fear other pets, adapt slowly to new environments, and they can also be fearful and aggressive with handling at veterinary visits. These cats are more likely to become stressed and/or fearful and start urinating out of the litter box, which can result in the human-animal bond being damaged and owners then relinquishing their cats. However, well-socialized kittens who have received positive experiences around many different people, unfamiliar kittens, environments, and handling procedures are more likely to be outgoing, social, and have better coping skills, which will result in stronger human-animal bonds and fewer behavioral issues. Read more