Having a dog is like having a child. They can be a little hard to deal with at times, but we still love them dearly and can't imagine ourselves without them. However, just like with a child, you have to train a dog for them to behave correctly, and one of the most common problems with dogs is excessive barking.
Excessive barking can turn into a huge problem if it continues without treatment. It can cause noise complaints from neighbors, make it hard for you and your family to sleep at night, and make it difficult to take them on a walk if they bark at everyone that walks by.
If you want to know how to get excessive barking under control, you have come to the right place. In this guide, we will discuss the reasons why dogs bark in the first place, what causes excessive barking, and how to fix it. First up is answering the question that many dog parents ask themselves every day, which is, "why is my dog barking?"
For dogs to communicate with others and understand the world around them, they bark, and they bark for a variety of reasons, ranging from asking those around them for help to protecting loved ones. Figuring out what is making them bark will bring you one step closer to controlling it. Here are the reasons why your furry friend might be barking:
The number one reason why your dog might be barking too much is from loneliness. Since canines are pack animals, they thrive on the company and presence of others, and if left alone for long periods of time, you can expect them to express their unhappiness.
This is also the reason why dogs are prone to separation anxiety, which is a disorder caused by loneliness and can be accompanied by other signs as well, such as howling and depression.
This reason for barking goes hand in hand with loneliness in most cases but can be a reason on its own as well. If your pup is not getting the exercise that it needs or doing activities to help expel its energy, most likely it will try to find something to do, like destroying your furniture, running around the house, or barking and whining to show its frustration.
The next reason why your dog may be barking is due to simply being overjoyed by either you returning home or when they are playing. If they are barking from your return, however, it is usually not a good sign. It means that they are trying to express to you that they were bored or lonely without you, leading back to separation anxiety.
Dogs bark when they are uncertain of something or are afraid to issue out a warning to those around it to alert that there may be danger lying ahead. This reason does not usually result in excessive barking unless your dog is not socialized and fears the outside world in general.
The last reason that we will discuss today is barking from their need to protect their loved ones. This is something that comes with the territory of having a dog since they are very territorial creatures, so this can be a good thing.
However, as with the previous reason, if they are not socialized, they may feel threatened by everything, and this can result in excessive barking.
Now that we have covered the reasons that your dog may be barking, it is now time to figure out how to stop it when it is not needed.
As mentioned earlier, the first step to stop excessive barking is to find out the reason why they are doing it. There is a common approach to all of the reasons, which are getting enough exercise, proper training, and giving affection at the right time.
Ensuring that your dog gets plenty of exercise will allow it to use its energy for physical activities instead of barking. So, tiring out your dog before you leave the house will keep the boredom at bay for longer and will help ease their mind.
Another approach you can try is by teaching your dog when to speak and when to be quiet by using simple voice commands. As you know from training your dog other tricks, teaching them commands takes a lot of time, effort, and patience, so don't expect changes overnight.
The first thing that you want to do is to make sure that you are not yelling at your dog when they are barking. This makes the dog believe that you agree with their behavior by "barking" with them, which is not the case. When they are barking, the command that you want to use is the simple word "quiet" in a calm and assertive tone.
When you get the response that you want, it is crucial to reward them with a treat or affection so that they know that this is the behavior that you want at the moment and not the barking. Over time, they will catch on and learn when to stay quiet when told to do so.
If your dog is barking nonstop from separation anxiety, this may be due to the unintended reinforcement of their behavior. When we return home to our dogs, they are usually extremely excited and want our attention, so they begin to bark. When you are greeting them back with this excitement, you are telling them that it is okay for them to bark.
Also, when a dog barks upon your return, it may not be from excitement at all. It is usually your dog telling you that it was lonely and bored and means that it was stressed out. To prevent this, start off with the tips above and ensure that you greet your dog calmly when you arrive home and give them exercise before they leave the house.
As you can see, excessive barking is a common issue that most dog parents encounter when adding a canine to their family. Despite how annoying and hopeless it may seem to get your dog to stop barking, there are ways to overcome it with patience and persistence. Thank you for reading.