How to Stop Your Dog's Excessive Barking
Expecting a dog to never bark would be as unrealistic as expecting a child to never speak. However, it is also true that dogs can also be taught when to speak and how to use their voice properly!
As you will see in this blog post, there are several reasons behind your Fluffy Friend’s behavior. It’s just a matter of understanding and then handling accordingly.
If excessive barking is a problem in your home too, you’ve come exactly to the right place. Let us guide you through the process!
Why Do Dogs Bark?
Identifying the reason behind your dog’s barking is the first step. Barking is a type of vocal communication used by dogs that can mean a variety of things depending on the situation. Here are some of the reasons dogs bark:
Territoriality: When a person or an animal enters an area that your dog considers their territory, this frequently results in excessive barking in order to protect it. The barking often becomes louder as the threat approaches. During this type of barking, your dog will appear alert, even aggressive.
- Fear: Some dogs will bark in response to any noise or object that catches their attention or startles them. This can occur anywhere. When they are scared, their ears will be back and their tail will be tucked.
- Boredom or sadness: Dogs are pack animals, so boredom and loneliness are common. Dogs left alone for extended periods of time, whether inside or outside, can become bored or sad, and will frequently bark to express their displeasure.
- Excitement: Dogs frequently bark when greeting people or other animals. It's usually a happy bark, accompanied by tail wags and, occasionally, jumping. Algo, they usually bark when they want something, such as going outside, playing, or getting a treat.
Separation Anxiety: When dogs are left alone, they frequently bark excessively. They frequently exhibit additional symptoms such as pacing, destructiveness, depression, and inappropriate elimination.
- Medical Condition: Excessive barking can be caused by a variety of medical issues, ranging from bee stings to brain disease to chronic pain. Older dogs may develop canine senility, which causes excessive vocalizations. It's always a good idea to have a veterinarian examine a pet to ensure there's no medical reason for a problem.
How to Deal with Excessive Barking
As dog-owners, it’s our responsibility to be committed to our companions. This means that we’ll do the effort, even if it’ll take time, effort, practice, and consistency! Of course, it won't happen overnight, but with the right techniques and patience, you will definitely see gratifying results.
Here are a few pointers to keep in mind as you begin your journey in training your dog's barking:
Physical and Mental Stimulation are Key
A tired dog is a peaceful dog. If your dog barks when left alone, try to tire them out before you leave. You can try to go for a long walk or run, play tug, or visit the dog park.
Treat their Separation Anxiety
If your pooch spends hours barking and whining when you leave, you should definitely train with them so their anxiety goes away! We wrote a whole blog post about that, just click here: ‘’6 Tips to Help your Dog with Separation Anxiety’’
Teach Them How to Play Alone
Providing your dog with something to do during the day can also help. Consider leaving out a couple of food-dispensing toys in various shapes and sizes. These will likely keep them occupied for several hours before they eventually will want to nap.
Find Alternatives to Barking for your Dog's Communication
Barking for attention should never be rewarded. If your dog barks for water and you fill the dish, you've taught them to bark in order to get what they want. It's the same if they bark to go outside. So teach them to go out by ringing a bell you've tied to the door handle. If they bang the water dish before filling it, they might start pushing it with their nose to make the same noise. If they bark and you notice their dish is empty, wait a few minutes, do something else, and then refill it so they don't realize their barking was effective.
Basic Commands go a Long Way
For example, to prevent a dog from barking every time you come home or the doorbell rings, you must teach them other behaviors. One method is to teach your dog to go to a specific location and remain there when the door opens. It's preferable if they can see the door but aren't too close to it. Choose a location and practice getting your dog to go there and stay without touching the door. Make it a game by using lots of treats and praise.
When your pet is consistently doing this, begin opening the door while they are in their spot.
Allow someone to come in the door once you can open it and your dog will stay in their spot. Of course, your dog will attempt to leave the spot at first, but with time and practice, they will learn to stay in their spot when the door opens and guests enter.
Also, never give your dog a treat for barking when you come home, no matter how happy you think they are. Pet them or make eye contact with them only when your dog stops barking and sits quietly. Then acknowledge and compliment them.
Teach them ‘’speak!’’ or ‘’quiet!’’ so they know how and when it is allowed for them to use their barking.
What you Should Not do:
- Don't encourage your dog to bark at certain sounds (a door slamming, people passing by) while discouraging them from barking at others. Maintain consistency.
- Never use a muzzle, shock collars or other form of restraint to keep a dog quiet for extended periods of time or when they are unsupervised. It can be harmful to your pet.
- Don't let problems drag on indefinitely. The more a dog does something, the more it becomes ingrained. Barking can cause an adrenaline rush in dogs, making the barking enjoyable. Start with training as soon as possible!
This specific blog post was created especially for you. As we were reading through your comments on older blog posts we realized that some of you had similar issues, so we wanted to give something back to our community!
At this point we want to say that we’re very grateful for our readers, keep on commenting and letting us know what you’d like to read next!
For now, until next time,
… stay Fluffy!
Your MrFluffyFriend Team
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Words from our author
Hey! I’m Stivi, thank you for joining our MrFluffyFriend Blog!
As a pet owner, I often found myself in a very frustrating situation: going to the internet and finding multiple unhelpful and redundant articles about the care and training of pets. My mission is to create a community blog where you can find all types of information, training tips and tricks, focusing on natural and organic ways of pet-owning and training. Understanding your pet is like understanding a whole new world - and I want us to discover it together!