Why Is Your Dog Barking Too Much And How To Treat It?

BY | August 24 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY

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It is natural for all dogs to bark. If you are expecting that your pet dog should not bark at all, it is similar to expecting that your kid will never talk. However, there are some dogs that bark excessively. In case, your dog is also exhibiting a similar kind of behavior, you should first try to figure out what is causing it to bark so much. When you have identified the causes of his barking, it is easier to treat this problem.

Reasons for dogs to bark

Dogs use barking as a form of their vocal communication. Barking can signify several things as it depends on a particular situation. Check out some of the reasons for dogs to bark.

Fear/alarm

There are some dogs that start barking as soon as they hear any noise or object, which startles them or catches their attention. It can happen in any place and not necessarily in his home territory.

Play/greet

Most of the times dogs start barking while greeting people or animals. Such barks are their expression of happiness that is typically accompanied by wagging their tails and jumping with joy.

Loneliness/boredom

Dogs do not love to stay alone. When you leave your dog for a long period of time in the yard or in your house, it can feel desolate or bored and start barking as they are sad.

To seek attention

Many dogs frequently start barking if they want to have something such as to get a treat, playing or a desire to go outdoors.

Protective/territorial

If your dog considers any animal or person stepping into an area as its own territory, it may resort to excessive barking. And when it feels that the threat is coming nearer, barking may even get noisier. The dog looks aggressive and alert in this type of barking.

Compulsive/separation anxiety barking

When dogs suffer from separation anxiety, they tend to bark louder and more frequently while they are alone. Other symptoms such as depression, inappropriate elimination and pacing are also exhibited by them. If your dog is a compulsive barker, he will simply love to hear his voice.

How to take care of excessive barking?

If you want your dog to bark less, you need to be patient as it will require consistency, work and time. Things cannot change overnight however you can observe progress with time and proper technique.Here are some of the points to remember for controlling your dog's excessive barking.When you shout at it more, your dog may end up barking more as he will believe that you are also joining in. Hence speak firmly but calmly send avoid yelling.A majority of the dogs are not sure about what you want them to do every time you yell and say "shut up". Rather, you need to train your dog to understand the meaning of the word "Quiet". 

How To Stop Your Dog From Barking: 5 Tips And Tricks

blog-barking

Barking is a natural means of dog communication. Why and how much a dog barks, however, can depend on a number of factors.Genetics is one of them. Some dog breeds just bark more than others. Hunting dogs, for example, were bred to bark as a way to signal a target.

Common Reasons Dogs Bark

Another reason dogs bark is to communicate physical and emotional needs. If a dog is hot, cold, thirsty, hungry, sick, or otherwise uncomfortable, they might bark as a way to say, โ€œHey, how about a little help over here?โ€ In addition, if a dog is bored,

anxious, excited, or understimulated, they might bark in order to request attention, or they may develop a barking habit as a way to release energy and frustrations.And of course, a dog may bark if they are scared, threatened, or trying to warn you of danger, like if an intruder were to come onto your property or if another dog were to threaten them.Many times, barking is conditional, meaning that it is in response to a situation and stops when the situation changes. Other times, barking can be excessive and become a real problem.Here are some tips on how to stop your dog from barking. If you need additional help, donโ€™t hesitate to contact a trainer or animal behaviorist

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Tip #1: Cultivate a lifestyle that will minimize barking.

The best way to stop barking is to prevent it. Create a lifestyle and environment for your dog that will reduce their likelihood of becoming anxious, bored, scared, or otherwise needy.

  • Make sure that your dog is getting enough exercise. Dogs who are understimulated or have excess energy are more likely to develop a barking habit.
  • Offer your dog a safe and comfortable place to rest. Leaving your dog in a cramped crate or a cold backyard may induce anxiety and barking.
  • Ensure that your dog has access to fresh water at all times, including when you are out of the house. You should also ensure that you are feeding your dog the correct amount of food; check with your veterinarian.
  • Socialize your dog. A well-socialized dog who is comfortable around people, other animals, and new environments is less likely to feel anxious, threatened, overexcited, or respond to stimulus with a bark.
  • If you need to be out of the house for long hours, leave stimulating toys, turn the radio on, and consider buying some dog-friendly DVDs. You may also want to hire a dog walker or sitter to offer your pup a break from the isolation, which can promote barking.
  • If your dog barks only when you leave the house, teach them that itโ€™s no big deal. You can do this by practicing coming and going for short periods of time and gradually increasing the time that you are gone. You should also avoid making a big deal about coming and going; donโ€™t offer long, emotional goodbyes or hellos. If you do, your dog will assign a great deal of significance to your absence and presence, which can promote separation anxiety when your dog is left alone.

RELATED STORY: OCD In Dogs

Tip #2: Donโ€™t yell at or punish your dog for barking.

A lot of barking is attention-seeking behavior, and if you yell at your dog (or acknowledge them at all, really) it shows them that hey, it worked! And hey, maybe I should do that more often! When your dog barks, try to ignore it. Avert your eyes, walk out of the room -- whatever it takes. Then give your dog attention and praise when they stop barking on their own. You should also be careful about using the crate as a way to punish barking; the crate should be a safe and happy place for your dog, not one that they associate with punishment.

Tip #3: Teach the โ€œquietโ€ command.

To teach your dog โ€œquiet,โ€ approach them when they are calm and not barking, say โ€œquiet,โ€ and then offer a treat. Repeat this exercise 5 to 10 times a day. Then, when your dog is barking, wait for them to stop, say โ€œquiet,โ€ and then offer a treat. Repeat this whenever your dog barks. After a couple of weeks, you can begin using the โ€œquietโ€ command to instruct your dog to stop barking. Be patient, though, and put in that early work. If you try to stop barking with the โ€œquietโ€ command too soon, your dog is likely to get confused and think that you are actually rewarding them for making a ruckus. RELATED STORY: Products To Improve Your Dog Training

Tip #4: Teach the โ€œspeakโ€ command.

Once your dog knows the โ€œquietโ€ command, you can teach the โ€œspeakโ€ command. Thatโ€™s right; weโ€™re suggesting that you teach your excessively barking dog to bark. Sound crazy? What it actually does is teach your dog when barking is appropriate (which is when the command is given by you). It also gives you another way to reinforce the โ€œquietโ€ command.To teach โ€œspeak,โ€ wait until your dog is barking, say โ€œspeak,โ€ and then give them a treat. Repeat this as often as necessary until your pal learns the command.

Tip #5: Talk to your veterinarian about alternative methods.

If your dog is barking due to severe anxiety, your veterinarian may prescribe anti-anxiety medications. You can also ask your veterinarian about herbal anti-anxiety food drops and citronella collars which release an unpleasant odor when your dog barks.Do you have a dog who barks excessively? Tell us your story below, and consider signing up for PetPlus, a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, boarding and more.

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