No one ever expects a Dog not to Bark. That’s as unreasonable as expecting a child never to be allowed to talk. But some dogs bark excessively, and if that’s a problem at home, the first step is to figure out what is causing your dog to bark. Once you have figured out why they are barking, you can start to treat their barking problem.
Do dogs like Barking?
Dogs use barking daily to communicate when they want attention, which can mean there looking for different things depending on the situation. Here are some reasons why dogs bark:
Why are dogs so Protective?
When an animal enters an area where the dog is protecting their territory, it can trigger Barking or Growling until they familiarize themselves with the person approaching them. If the person gets too close, the Barking gets louder because of fear which is an entirely normal reaction. Your dog may look more aggressive during this type of Barking.
Dogs are like Alarms in Fear:
Some bark at any noise or object that catches their attention or startles them. It can happen anywhere, not just in their home. When they do, they are intimidated or fearful, and you will see their ears tucked back & their tail tucked when they are in fear.
Are dogs Bored and Lonely?
Most Dogs do not like being left alone for long periods, whether in the house or yard. They will become bored quickly and sad and bark because they are unhappy and need their family.
Do dogs Bark for Greeting or Play?
Dogs often bark when greeting people or other animals. It’s usually a happy bark, accompanied by tail wags and sometimes jumping.
Are dogs seeking attention?
Dogs will often bark when they want something, such as going outside, playing, or getting a treat.
Does Separation Anxiety in dogs cause Barking?
Dogs with separation anxiety often bark excessively when left alone. They usually show other symptoms, such as pacing, being destructive, depression, and inappropriate elimination. Compulsive barkers seem to bark to hear the sound of their voices. They often make repetitive movements like running in circles or along a fence.
How to Treat a Dog that is constantly barking?
Getting your dog trained to bark less will take time; working with the dog, practicing, and being consistent with training helps. Training does happen overnight, but you will see progress with proper techniques and consistency.
Here are tips to help control Barking.
- Screaming at the dog will only make the dog bark more. Make sure to speak calmly and firmly and get down on the same level, so the dog sees your face and stops barking and talking in a calm voice will help.
- Many dogs don’t know what you want if you are yelling at telling them to “STOP“! Training your dog with a calm voice will help him to understand the word “Quiet!”
Tips to help excessive control Barking:
When your dog is barking, repeating the word “Quiet” in a calm, firm voice can help. Wait until the dog stops barking, even if it’s to take a breath, then praise the dog and give it a treat. Just be careful never to reward a dog while the Barking is consistent. The dog will eventually figure out that if they stop barking at the word “quiet,” they will get a treat (and make it a delicious treat, such as fresh chicken.)
Try teaching your dog to speak, and once they understand what you are trying to say, help them to learn different commands, such as using the word quiet.
Give Dog treats to praise
Holding your fingers on the dog’s lips while he is looking at your face and you are on the same level, help him understand your commands. Consistency is vital in helping the dog understand the body signals faster through voice commands face to face. Practice these commands, and in time they will learn to control barking with your words.
- When a dog gets tired, it is usually a quiet dog. If your dog barks alone, try to tire them before leaving. Walking your dog to the dog park before you leave home will help with loneliness.
- Do not allow problems to get out of hand; correct them when you see them because the longer a dog does something harmful and is ingrained, the harder it becomes to change it. Excess Barking gives dogs an adrenaline rush, sometimes making the barking pleasant. It also allows a dog to bark in certain situations, such as when the mailman arrives at the door. It will eventually make your dog aggressive.
What if your dog gets out while the mail is being delivered?
Make sure to Deal with barking problems quickly.
- Medical problems can cause a dog to bark excessively, from being stung by bees and brain disease to having ongoing pain disorders like Arthritis. Older dogs can develop Arthritis that can cause excessive Barking. It is a good idea to have your dog checked by a veterinarian to ensure no underlying medical conditions.
Once confirmed why your dog is barking, you can start working on ways to decrease their Barking habit:
Are your dogs Territorial-Protective and have fears?
Barking is often encouraged by fear and perceived as a threat in their home. It can facilitate Barking by limiting what your dog sees by using blinds on windows or closing the door. If deciding to leave the dog in a yard, it is best to use a solid wood fence instead of chain fencing so they can not see who is on the other side. When the dog is indoors, try limiting access to windows and doors by covering them with a blind that can be open or closed when needed to help control excessive Barking.
Do dogs bark because they are Bored or Lonely?
If the Barking is excessive while you’re away, you may need to provide more activities or companionship to keep the dog from becoming bored.
Taking the dog inside will lessen your neighbors’ anger towards noise while providing home security. It is also safer because dogs left alone outside can face situations where they can escape, are poisoned, and are exposed to other dangerous conditions.
Taking dogs Outside:
Dogs will bark when inside the home if bored and left alone, so if you get a complaint that your dog has been barking while you’re at work all day. It is best to hire help from a family member or friend to take the dog out to play to exhaust him, which will help calm the dog down and fall asleep.
Providing toys for your dog to occupy him during the day also can help his anxiety. Try leaving food-dispensing toys in different shapes and sizes that can help calm the dog by keeping them busy for several hours.
Leaving your dogs out all night is wrong; leaving them out will cause them to bark because of fear. That is why it is suggested to bring your dogs indoors at night. Dogs learn to sleep quietly inside quickly as there is protection, not to mention that the dog is safe from Racoons and Coyote if left outdoors.
Many reputable doggie daycare centers offer in-home training for your dog while learning agility, obedience, and other active forms of dog training. They will also learn socialization which is very important in helping your dog become more social around strangers.
By approaching a dog:
Helping your dog to stop barking when you arrive home. Or, if someone rings the doorbell! You’ll need help to teach them good behaviours in controlling the Barking. One way to help with the process is to train your dog to stay away from the door when it opens. It is also best if they can see the door but not be too close to it. Picking a location and practicing getting your dog to go to the selected spot and stay, but not touching the door until you give a command. Using lots of treats and praise creates a docile, loving dog. That is what all pet owners want.
Once your pet does this regularly, it will start opening the door to a more positive outcome where you know that he is listening and learning perfectly.
To test if your dog understands, open the door and see if it stays in its spot, and have someone enter the door to see if he has understood the command. Your dog may leave the location at first. Still, with time and practice, the dog will slowly begin to learn to stay in the designated spot, and when the door reopens with guests arriving, he will remain sitting.
Never reward your dog for Barking when you come home. Do not pet or make eye contact until your sits quietly. Then acknowledge and praise them with a treat.
Dogs Seeking Attention:
Never reward Barking; if your dog barks when they want water, and you fill the dish, you’ve taught him that Barking is acceptable. If the dog is barking to go outside and eliminate, it’s the same as not rewarding the behaviour. Instead, teach him to ring a bell you tied to the door handle instead of Barking. Try tapping on the water dish before filling it to get the dogs’ attention; they may start by pushing the bowl with their nose to make the same noise.
If they are barking and you notice their dish is empty, wait a couple of minutes, then fill the bowl, making sure their Barking is less effective.
Dogs that have Separation Anxiety when left alone:
Separation anxiety is a disorder that is hard to treat alone, but with the help of a Certified Dog Trainer with experience in this field. Dogs with these issues often need drug therapy to help them cope while learning more acceptable behaviours.
Do bark Collars work to STOP Barking?
Many products promise to help dogs from not barking. Collars available on your dog’s neck can deliver ultrasonic correction to your dog but are not effective on all dogs. There are also citronella spraying collars that often work.
Using Shock collars delivers a painful jolt to your pet. Using devices that cause an electric shock is not recommended as it can cause the dog pain, make them increasingly aggressive, and associate the device with pain.
Other off-collar devices work well if your dog barks in excess. Bark-activated water sprayers or noisemakers switched on will pick up barking, shooting water at your pet or emitting an irritating sound. These can sometimes break a dog from barking as it startles them, but it works best if you are home to reward them when they stop barking; that will help reinforce what you want your dog to do.
Tips on controlling your dog from Barking:
- Never encourage your dog to bark at someone walking by your home. Being consistent with training is key to helping them remember the rules.
- Never use a muzzle on your dog as a constraint to keep a dog quiet for long periods; it is dangerous.
Debarking devices are controversial and are considered to be inhumane by many people, including myself. Using them does not address the underlying cause of why the dog is Barking. Debarking is a surgical procedure which folds tissue of the dog’s larynx or voice box and is removed, leaving dogs with a raspy bark instead of a whole bark. Complications may be life-threatening, including breathing difficulties, higher incidents of choking, and ongoing pain.