Barking is one of the dog’s ways of communication. You shouldn’t expect your canine to stop barking entirely, because it’s simply impossible. But, excessive barking can often be problematic and annoying. Some people can’t deal with this troublesome problem, and they often take actions, which are devastating for our little friends. Here you can find some of the reasons why dogs bark and tips on how to limit it to the point where both you and your dog are happy.
Why do dogs bark?
Barking is just as howling, growling or whining, dog’s way of vocal communication. It’s a normal thing for a canine to do, because it expresses their feelings, for example:
Greeting – when you come back home, your dog will often bark to say hello. It usually comes with tail wagging or jumping, and it’s a sign that your dog missed you.
Territorial reasons – if someone else, let it be human or animal, come close or enters an area that your dog considers as its territory, it will usually start barking. According to pet place experts, it’s one of the dog’s way to alert you, that someone else, who shouldn’t be here, invaded your territory. This type of barking usually sounds aggressive, and it happens because dogs want to protect their area.
Fear – barking might indicate that your dog is frightened. Most dogs are scared of noisy objects, for example, lawnmowers, fireworks, trucks and cars etc.
Attention seeking – When canine is bored, they will bark at you so you pet or play with them. Also, when your fur baby needs to do something, it’s a way of announcing it. So, whenever they are hungry, thirsty, want to go on a walk etc. you can be sure that they will bark to signalize the need.
Loneliness – each and every one of us has some duties. We go to school, university, work, and even at home, we have a lot of things to do. Because of that, we sometimes don’t give our fur babies as much attention as they need. As a result, they might feel lonely, sad, or irritated. When they are unhappy, one of the ways to express their feelings is barking.
Medical problems – when your dog is in pain, he might signalize it by barking. Usually, when you touch the area that hurts him, he will whimper and cry. Another common medical problem is separation anxiety. Dogs with this medical condition will, among others, bark excessively when you leave them alone for a longer period of time. If such a situation ever happens, make sure to take your pet to the vet as soon as possible, because treatment will be necessary.
These are the most common reasons for dogs to bark, but keep in mind there might be more of them. Dogs are just like babies who can’t speak yet – they won’t directly tell you what’s wrong, but they will bark to signalize the problem.
How to stop a dog’s excessive barking?
Most people yell at dogs when they want them to be quiet. It’s a mistake, and you should never do it. Instead, train your dog in an upbeat atmosphere – don’t yell at him and don’t stress him. Only under these circumstances, training will bring the desired effects. Also, make sure that other family members are aware of the dog’s training and participate. You shouldn’t allow situations when your dog can get away with inappropriate behaviour.
Get rid of motivation
First of all, you have to remove the reason. Dogs barking has one purpose – to cause an action. If you don’t give your fur baby opportunity to bark, then he won’t do it. Let’s say that your dog is barking at cars passing by. One way to stop this behaviour is to take him home so that he won’t be able to see or hear vehicles.
Ignore the barking
Whenever your pet starts barking, don’t give him any attention whatsoever. Don’t look at him, don’t talk, don’t even stare at him. As long as he is barking treat him like air and pretend that he is not here. It might take a while, but eventually, the dog will understand that something is wrong, and stay quiet. That’s when you should reward him. Just wait till he stops barking, and give him a treat. Be patient, because sometimes this process is very long – some dogs may cry for hours. But, eventually, they’ll get tired, and once they’re quiet, you have to reward them. You’ll see that every time you do that, your dog will become quiet faster and faster, till he finally learns that excessive barking doesn’t bring any results.
Provide him with a lot of activities
Dogs who get enough physical and mental exercises are less likely to bark because you meet their needs. 2-3 long walks, where you include plays such as chasing the ball, should bring desired results. Your dog will be happy and tired, and he won’t have enough energy to bark.
Teaching your dog how to stop barking is not a hard process; however, it might take quite a while, and you’ll have to be persistent and patient. Find a reason for the dog’s barking, and then remove the motivation. Ignoring a dog while he is barking and rewarding him when he’s quiet brings the same results. Make sure that your little friend is always physically tired and mentally exercised. Dogs need it. Use these tips and be perseverant. If you stick to these principles, dog excessive barking will surely cease.