Is your sweet dog barking excessively and driving you crazy?
Well, always remember that dogs obviously cannot speak, which means barking is one of the ways they communicate with you, so a little bit of barking is ok. But, if you feel the barking has become excessive, then there may be some other reason behind it.
Knowing why your dog barks will help you understand how to handle the situation and manage it better.
Let us figure out the definite types of dog barking…
1. Excitement or Play:
When dogs get excited, they tend to jump around and bark at a higher pitch. There’s nothing to worry about with such a bark, but it can get irritating. This means your dog is happy, but you need to teach your dog to stay happy without vocalizing it.
An effective way is to interrupt the play and change to another game, such as tug, where the chance of barking is nil. Another way is to work their brains by offering them puzzle feeders to get them engaged and start working towards solving the puzzle.
2. To Demand:
Your dog could be barking because last time it barked, it must have worked. Dogs bark for your attention, and if you give them that when they bark, they’ll bark in the future to get your attention. Instead, ignore them until they stop barking. This may take some time and it might get frustrating too, but let them settle down. Once they’ve stopped barking, you can engage with them. You must make it loud and clear that barking gets them no reward. You need to give your dog behavior training and not give in to any demand if they bark. Correcting this behavior using a bark collar for large dogs is also an effective way to reduce excessive barking.
3. Territorial Barking:
This happens when the dog feels that someone has entered their territory. This means the dog is protecting your area, which is actually good as your dog is a guard dog. This barking may be prolonged until the threat is gone. There’s not much scope for correction here as the dog is a dog, and you want your dog to alert you to intruders. Just teach them the quiet command and familiarize them with anyone who has to visit the premises regularly.
4. Alert Barking:
Alert barking means the dog is trying to alert you about someone approaching your door. Some owners appreciate this barking as it’s always good to know before someone comes to the house. But if you live in an apartment, this can get challenging as the number of people moving through the corridor increases. Also, your neighbors may not appreciate this.
This is a dog’s natural instinct, which means you can’t blame the dog for doing so. However, you can lessen the alert bark by closing the blinds and curtains to remove any visual trigger. Teach your dog to stay quiet when you ask them to. Introduce them to the postal or delivery workers and others who frequently visit your place so that they understand they are no threat and do not alert you on their approach every day.
5. Boredom Barking:
If your dog is bored, then the dog may start barking. The solution is pretty simple to make sure that your dog does not get bored. A bored dog can bark for hours, especially if you are not home and your neighbor may start complaining.
Walk your dog before going out of the home. This will tire your dog, and they’ll probably sleep for a few hours. Play fetch with your dog, which is another fun way to tire them out. Engage them with puzzle toys to engage their mind. Boredom is easy to eradicate if you give your dog the right amount of exercise.
6. Fear Barking:
This type of barking happens when your dog sees something that scares them. Most probably, this will happen when you take them out for a walk. Lack of socialization may be the main reason. Carry treats while you walk with your dog. As you see someone approaching and your dog is just about to react, use a ‘stay’ or calm command, and if they follow through, give them a treat. This will encourage them to behave more, and the barking will decrease. You should also socialize your dog with other dogs and humans to reduce this type of barking.
7. Separation Anxiety:
Barking and whining when left alone is common for dogs left alone. Dogs are pack animals, and they do not like to be away from their pack leaders — this leads to separation anxiety. Sometimes this anxiety can get so bad that they can injure themselves. Don’t leave your dog alone for hours in your house. You need to train your dog to stay alone first. Start by leaving your dog home alone for just a few minutes initially and then increase the time. Leave toys around for your dog to enjoy. Also, set up a video camera with two-way audio so that you can communicate with your dog as well.
8. Out of Frustration:
Sometimes dogs can become frustrated as they cannot find their favorite toys or are trapped in a confined space. This is just temporary until they find what they are seeking. Remember not to reward the dog after it has barked, as it will only encourage this behavior. Dogs are smart animals, after all, and they figure out what their owners like and dislike. They are all about pleasing their owners, which is why if they feel like you dislike their barking, they will probably reduce it.
The Bottom Line:
If you’ve tried all the above solutions and find that the barking doesn’t reduce, it’s a good idea to visit the vet for a check-up. There may be some underlying health issue, so your dog could be feeling uncomfortable and barking excessively. Our pets cannot speak our language; so it becomes tough to understand them at certain times. But if you form a close bond, and look into your dog’s eyes, you’ll understand what they are trying to tell you.