What you would learn from this article:
- 9 explanations for why dogs bark.
- 5 detailed ways to stop a dog from barking.
- What you should not do if you want to prevent dog barking.
- The real meaning of a bark collar and whether a dog’s owner should use it to stop dogs barking.
9 Reasons Why Dogs Bark?
Dog barking is not an unusual action, but it can reveal many things behind it. It can be a form of communication, responding to other dogs’ barking, or expressing their needs and feelings.
However, dogs may become an annoyance to their owners and the neighborhood when they bark a lot, which typically suggests a deeper problem. You must identify the reason for the barking before you can properly handle a barking issue.
Here are 9 common explanations for why dogs bark.
Your dog may bark excessively if someone or anything enters the space they see as their domain. The barking frequently grows louder as the threat draws closer. In this situation, your dog might appear vigilant and sometimes even hostile.
Barking can be a protective action from dogs.
Your dog will inevitably try to alert you about the forthcoming intruders but might not be able to tell the difference between welcome guests, passersby, and intruders. Then you should try to retrain your dog to associate anything other than territory security with a pleasant experience.
Over time, your dog can start to link people going by the home with pleasant things rather than threats to your safety.
Any sound or thing that attracts their attention or startles them might cause some dogs to bark. It’s not just in their own country where this may occur. When being afraid, the dog’s tail will be tucked and they tend to pull back the ears.
Territorial barking differs from alarm barking in that a dog may alarm bark at sights or noises anywhere, not simply while he’s protecting familiar spaces like your home, yard, or automobile.
If your dog is left alone all day without anything to do, the furry pet might start barking. Boredom barkers may continue to bark and maybe vent their annoyance on your flower beds. Making sure your dog is getting enough exercise should be your first step in addressing boredom barking.
Your dog is more likely to sleep until you get home if you take them for a good morning stroll. In order to keep children occupied when you are at home, you need also to make sure that your home and yard are properly enhanced with enjoyable toys and puzzles.
When welcoming people or other animals, dogs frequently bark, in a joyful way with tail wags.
In fact, one of the ways that dogs express their pleasure to one another is by yipping and yowling. Your dog will sometimes give out one or two of these high-pitched or midrange-sounding barks until the enthusiasm has subsided.
The tail will usually be wagging and the body will be in an alert but joyful attitude when the dog barks (ears perked and head held higher). They frequently stamp their feet or whirl around in circles. This conveys to you that they are excited and should go forward.
When people are at work or away from home, dogs may bark to get their owners’ attention. Or when a dog wants anything, such as to go outdoors, play, or receive a treat, they frequently bark.
Separation Anxiety/ Compulsive Barking
When left alone, dogs who have separation anxiety frequently bark excessively. They can get depressed and eliminate inappropriately.
Barking compulsively is a little bit different as it is only for vocal enjoyment. The dog would run in circles or along fences or engage in other repeated behaviors.
Some pups only bark excessively when they hear other canines doing the same.
Although it frequently only produces one bark, it occasionally is followed by others. To convey astonishment, the pitch is frequently raised. Similar to humans, it is mostly an automatic reaction to being startled or frightened.
Because this type of bark is not probably prepared in the first place, it can be uncontrolled, and the body posture of the dog may change.
A dog barking for no reason might be the result of dementia. Some older dogs can bark at odd hours or at objects that don’t seem to be there. In an elderly animal, this might be a symptom of cognitive impairment. The bark appears to be in response to nothing and may stop for no apparent cause.
In addition to cognitive failure, which is comparable to Alzheimer’s disease, older dogs may experience eye problems, hearing loss, or physical discomfort that causes them to yelp (Ozawa, Makiko, 2016).
Help an appointment with your veterinarian to find out if there are any measures you can do to make your senior dog more comfortable if you observe them barking at a wall or into a corner throughout the night.
Your dog can bark suddenly when feeling pain.
When they are in agony, dogs will bark. You can hear this bark when your dog accidentally bumps into something during rough play or gets attacked by another animal.
The bark may start out higher pitched and frequently staccato, or it may get softer as it continues. Your dog may feel uncomfortable or braces itself for pain so take your dog to the vet to find out what’s wrong if this happens.
How To Train Your Dog To Not Bark?
What if your dog barks excessively then how to make the dog stop barking? Here are 5 reasonable solutions.
Eliminating the distraction is a crucial step in how to get a dog not to bark. You might be able to lessen or even stop excessive barking in your dog by controlling its environment and its availability to distractions.
You can reduce visual distractions from your dog by adding shades, drapes, or adhesive privacy film to your windows. To assist block out distracting noises from outside your home, it can be helpful to utilize a white noise machine, play a white noise playlist, turn on the radio, or turn on the television in addition to building visual barriers from neighborhood distractions.
Create Alternative Behaviors
It’s beneficial to teach your dog substitute behaviors in addition to regulating your environment to lessen the involvement of stimuli that cause them to bark.
If you are aware that your dog howls excessively whenever a box is delivered, you can train it to run to a different part of your house when the doorbell rings in order to receive rewards (instead of your dog rehearsing the barking behavior at the door.)
A dog’s excessive barking may indicate boredom. Lack of enrichment in a dog’s day can lead to disruptive behaviors, such as excessive barking.
You should spend quality time with your dog before you go and provide interesting activities for your dog to solve and eat while you’re away.
Ignore Your Dog’s Barking
Some dogs will bark at their owners in frustration or boredom, which is typically a result of seeking attention from the owner.
What should you do if your dog is constantly barking at you? It is better for you to ignore the barking sound and reinforce the behavior of your dog that you desire. Meanwhile, when your dog stops barking, treat him with some prize and encouraging words.
You can attempt an alternative approach if you’d prefer not to frighten your pet or cause him to resist.
Let your dog get used to the “Quiet” command.
When your dog barks, approach him and politely command him to be quiet before rewarding him with a constant stream of little treats to get him to stop. Your dog will learn what “Quiet” implies after many days or longer of training if you repeat this pattern enough.
If he constantly stops barking as soon as he hears you say “Quiet”, you will succeed. Then, you can gradually lengthen the interval between the command “Quiet” and the reward for your dog.
What NOT To Do If You Prevent Dog Barking
Several things should be avoided if your dog barks excessively:
- Saying “Who’s there?” or getting up to look out the windows will not stop your dog from barking in response to outside noises.
- When your dog barks at some sounds, such as car doors slamming and children playing in the street, do not scold him; instead, encourage him to bark at other sounds, such as visitors at the door, and keep it consistent.
- If your dog is barking out of fear, never discipline him when you do not have the right instructions from a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist or veterinary behaviorist.
- Don’t yell at your dog ever. Not only won’t it do anything to stop the behavior, but it can possibly encourage the dog to bark more.
- Do not put your dog in a muzzle for keeping him quiet for an extended amount of time. Making your dog wear a muzzle for extended periods of time would be cruel because dogs cannot eat, drink, or pant to cool themselves while wearing a muzzle.
- Rope, cord, rubber bands, etc. are banned to use if you want to secure your dog’s muzzle. This practice is harmful, hurtful, and brutal. Also, avoid hitting your dog and putting shock collars on it. Not only is this unpleasant and cruel, but some dogs pick up on it and eventually find out how to get around it.
- Whatever the cause, don’t let your dog bark non-stop when it’s outside.
What You Should Know if Your Dog Barks At Everything
Does your dog frequently bark?
Since each dog is unique, some will bark more than others. Numerous factors, including a dog’s socialization and training, might affect how much it barks. Additionally, some dog breeds have higher vocalization levels by nature. Because they were designed for specific tasks (like guarding), some breeds have a tendency to bark more than others.
In addition, certain dogs’ barks will be louder and more pronounced than those of other dogs due to their size. Before buying a dog, it’s crucial to consider the size of the dog’s bark as well as breed traits, especially if you are sensitive to barking or live in an apartment.
You will need to assist your dog with extra care if you have a breed that is inherently loud in order to keep your neighbors happy.
Regardless of the breed of your dog, identifying and treating the root of the problem will help you change your dog’s behavior. Knowing the cause of your dog’s barking will help you prevent it and teach your dog other behaviors.
What To Do About Your Dog’s Excessive Barking
You may determine the type of barking your dog is using by asking yourself the questions below in order to determine how to solve your dog’s issue.
- What time and place does the barking happen?
- The barking is directed towards whoever or what?
- What causes the barking (objects, sounds, animals, or people)?
- Why is your dog barking?
There are many products on the market that claim to instantly halt barking. The bark collars can give your dog audio or ultrasonic corrections, but not all dogs respond well to them. Although citronella-spraying collars frequently work, some dogs discover how to bypass them and bark whenever they like.
Shock collars might give your pet an unpleasant experience. And your pet can get hurt and become more aggressive, particularly if the pet links this pain with the object or animal they are barking at.
If your dog barks in a specific location, other off-collar gadgets may be effective. When they detect barking, bark-activated water sprayers or noisemakers turn on and start spraying water at your pet or making a loud noise.
These methods are most effective when you are with your dog and always ready to praise him when he stops. That supports teaching your dog the behavior you want.
Visit the Vet
Consult your dog’s veterinarian if the excessive barking is new to them and decide whether you need to add any medical issues. They will help you create a strategy based on your dog’s needs after ruling out any ailments or injuries that might be the cause of the barking.
An older dog who is barking excessively will require different medical care and a different course of action than a young dog. Try to identify the cause of the barking in older dogs.
To Sum Up
It’s essential to figure out why your dog is barking and the most suitable way for your furry friend to solve this problem. Of course, you must know that a speedy resolution is not possible and the result that your dog will completely cease barking is simply not practical.
Instead of trying to completely stop the barking, your goal ought to be to reduce it. You should be aware that some dogs are more likely to bark than others. Additionally, some breeds have a reputation for barking, and it may be more difficult to reduce barking in members of these kinds.