Barking is the sound dogs make to say something, to communicate. This is what they do to express emotions. This is what they do when they want to get attention. Barking is also what they do by paying attention to something or someone.
Dogs bark for different reasons, and there are good reasons why they bark. On the other hand, they also bark for the wrong reasons. You have to learn to understand your dog’s language, understand why it barks when it barks. It is primarily up to you to train it when barking is right and when barking is prohibited.
Barking can be annoying and can aggravate even the most loving dog owner. Some adapt and learn to live with it. But do you really have to endure the trouble? If you understand why your dog barks, you can also learn to train your dog so he doesn’t bark when he is not supposed to.
The reward system is highly effective in this regard. The rewards make the training curve understandable and acceptable to your pet. Your dog must bark to tell you something, but the unnecessary barking can be stopped.
8 Reasons Why Dogs Bark
As I said earlier barking is the language of the dog. It is not just a simple oral or vocal communication. It goes deeper than that. Actually, it is an expression of a dog’s perception of everything.
They bark in different ways, the sound changes to express something specific. More than any other underlying reason, it’s really the way the dog tries to get his attention for a reason.
Dogs bark when they are happy. They make high barking sounds to express elation and emotion. This is typically the way they bark when you get home or when you are about to feed them, barking happily for your presence and barking enthusiastically for the food they are about to have.
2. Territorial And Protection
Dogs bark to warn or affirm their presence. They bark when they see or feel the presence and arrival of a stranger or other creature that is entering their territory. It can be a passing dog, a visitor, people in the street. It is your dog’s way of letting his environment know that there is a strange presence.
Low barking that can become frantic, strong and intense barking can mean reclaiming territory if it is another creature. It can also be an act of intimidation, trying to scare away the unwanted presence.
This is the way your dog lets you know that there is an unknown presence. Expect the dog to bark in this way when the door knocks or the bell rings.
When something startles or catches your attention It could be the ice cream truck with children’s melody or an ambulance with a loud siren. All these ambient sounds can trigger a response from your dog in the form of barking.
4. Loneliness And Boredom
Just like us, humans, dogs can get bored and feel lonely. This is a common reason to bark. They are naturally full animals. Staying alone for long periods of time can make dogs feel sad, bored and lonely and will bark.
This type of barking is characterized by a high tone, almost like a human scream. What causes your dog’s anxiety can cover the entire range, from using a vacuum cleaner to strange loud sounds coming from the television or being confined in a small space, such as in a kennel or dog cage.
Dogs bark and move their tails a lot when they play or are in a good mood and want you to play with them. They can get very excited when they are taken outdoors and can start barking frantically. These are them taking advantage of being outdoors and playing with the heart.
Greeting other dogs or humans by barking is what dogs generally do. This is a happy crust accompanied by a wagging tail.
8. To get Attention
If they bark to get your attention due to a lurking danger or a stranger is approaching, that’s a good reason to bark. If your dog barks because he wants to leave, then it is up to you to train him differently. Never reward barking.
Finding ways for your dog to communicate with you without barking may seem like a challenge at first, but you’ll find smart ways to get him to tell you what he wants.
Train your dog to sit by the door when you have to leave or deliver it to ring a bell that you tied at the door to get your attention instead of barking.
Which Breeds Of Dogs Bark A Lot?
Each dog breed has certain traits that make it a little different. This is not an infallible formula, but rather an indicator of probabilities.
Some breeds show calmer and peace, some have “personalities” of more excitable dogs. Whatever the breed, it is not a guarantee, but rather an influence on the features of the dog you know beforehand.
This is really positive because you already have an idea of where to focus in terms of training or discipline of your dog.
When trying to discover your dog’s barking habits, it is better to observe the traits inherent in the characteristics of that breed, its temperament.
Barking habits could be attributed to factors such as the dog’s energy level, his game, inherent aggressiveness, intelligence, sense of loyalty, sensitivity and adaptability to the human environment, as well as in the company of other animals.
Temperament will give you an idea when a certain breed barks more and how to control it. It would also help you determine what type of dog best suits your family’s condition and needs.
It is a fact that some breeds have a calmer, loving and peaceful temperament that will be much easier to train and discipline. Barking would be easier to restrict or control.
There are some breeds whose temperament dictates a more aggressive profile, their features and natural habits wilder and more difficult to change through training.
Again, if you are worried about excessive barking, you should be sure to study the breed’s temperament to find out if it is the right dog for you.
Of course, all dogs bark and there is no difference in how much a dog barks, either male or female. However, there is a difference with some breeds that are more prone to barking, although excessive barking can occur in both mixed and purebred dogs.
As one would think that grazing breeds tend to be barking. Beagles and terriers are characteristically barking too. It goes without saying that when you decide to include a dog in your family, it is advisable to know the breed you are thinking of choosing. Sometimes it is not so easy when you choose a mixed breed.
Breeds Of Dogs Don’t Bark Too Much
- Shiba Inu
- Basset Hound
- Italian Greyhound
Breeds Of Dogs that Bark A lot
- Most terriers except the Bull Terrier
- German Shepherd
- Lhasa Apso
Training Your Dog Not To Bark Unnecessarily
Making your dog learn when it is okay to bark and when not is a matter of intelligent training. It is something that needs to be taught.
If your dog barks when you get home and you want this curtailed, ask yourself how you want your dog to respond when you return home.
It is up to you to encourage a different behavior than your dog. If you don’t want your dog to bark to show you how happy you are at home, then it’s up to you to train him to behave differently.
When you get home and your dog barks happily, he tells you how happy he is that you are at home and you usually pay attention by patting his head or calling his name to recognize how he is greeting you … if you don’t want your dog Behave that way, then the next time you come home change your behavior, ignore your dog when it barks. By ignoring that unacceptable behavior you will change his behavior to what you prefer.
Dogs want to please. Next time when you come home, when he barks excitedly upon your arrival, don’t even look at your dog, he will eventually settle down.
He wants your attention but if you’re not giving it to him when he’s barking he will stop barking. When he finally does what you want, which is not bark, this is the time to look at your dog and give him the attention he craves from you. Rewarding the behavior you want from him with a pat or rub or biscuit.
It is so important to keep consistent when training your dog so whatever you decide to do, make that the ritual when you come in the door and get greeted by your dog.
Keep on repeating this until your dog realizes that no barking needs to be done to get your attention when you get home and walk in the door. It may take some time, but it is important that you regain control.
If your dog is restless and exhibits behavior that’s too lively for indoors, boredom is probably the problem. Take the edge off by walking the dog regularly, changing routes regularly for fresh scenery.
If you see there’s too much energy in your dog and barking is just a way to burn body fuel, so regular exercise is the answer. See if your dog barks less when there is a regular exercise routine. If that is the case, exercise helps minimize barking.
If your dog is always chained or locked in a cage and usually only barks hoarsely all day, it is most likely time to release it regularly. When you start releasing your dog regularly, make him understand that you are not doing it because of his barking.
When the time for regular permission comes and your dog starts barking in advance, don’t give him satisfaction. Wait for your dog to stop barking and stay that way for a while. That is the right time to release it.
Over time, your dog will understand that barking is not necessary to rest from confinement, and that refraining from barking loudly is the prelude to that free time.
If there are certain things that cause excessive barking, remove the dog from that environment. If the lawnmower makes your dog bark itself to hoarseness, keep your dog inside the house or somewhere away from him when he is mowing the lawn. Don’t let the trigger be a trigger. Get it out of the equation even before the barking starts.
There is a time when you want your dog to bark. When there is an unwanted or strange presence in the immediate surroundings, this is the time you let your dog bark.
This is how they protect you, how they warn you of possible danger, impending actions or the presence of a stranger, be it human or not.
You can ask it to stop only when you’ve checked what or who triggered it and reward the dog for doing that protective task. This is when you tell your dog it did a good job.
Keep In Mind; You Are The Boss!
When dogs bark because of nonactivity or confinement, keeping it busy and entertained can easily take off the edge. A tired dog is a quiet dog.
That walk around the surrounding areas is entertainment deluxe for your pet and should help keep the barking down. Or that free time at the park will work wonders but all this should be given as a reward from the master to the pet. You are the commander of the pack and it should be clearly noted.
Address problems right away as with barking, if inappropriate behavior is allowed to go on without doing something about it you are essentially teaching your dog that the behavior is fine and it becomes more and more ingrained as time passes.
Without shouting back at the dog when he’s barking it is up to you to make him understand that you don’t like the barking by reprimanding your pet.
Shouting at it would just make the dog think that you are agreeing to the behavior and barking along with it. Telling your dog to “lie down” and “stay” can help in controlling barking when it’s happening. Dogs can’t bark as much lying down.
Being consistent with your training is of the utmost importance. Everyone in the household should be on board when training your dog.
It is best for one person to be in charge, the boss, but everyone else should use the same vocabulary when it comes to addressing the family dog. Choose one-word commands and be consistent. If everyone is speaking the same language to the family dog he will be clear about what is expected of him.
Patience is a virtue; this is so true when it comes to dogs. Be patient with your beloved dog and of course yourself. Getting frustrated and angry because your dog isn’t responding as quickly as you would like will only set back all the work you’ve accomplished.
Stay in control of the situation and have training exercise sessions that last about 5 to 10 minutes each. And as always positive reinforcement works better than punishment. Reward your dog for good behavior with pats, hugs and doggie treats.
Use The ”QUITE” Command Properly
It is important to first train your dog how to bark on command and then you can train him how to stop barking on command.
As with any training exercise, it takes time, so be sure to devote enough time to follow through with this training. First, decide what command you will use to tell your dog to bark. Telling him to “speak” works well.
Tell your dog the “speak” command and wait for him to bark a few times. Then hold a tasty treat in front of his nose, he will stop barking to sniff the treat, when he does praise him and give him the treat.
Do this exercise until your dog barks the moment you tell him to, by saying “speak” or whatever command you’ve chosen to use.
Now that your dog can bark on command it is time to teach him to be quiet on command. Start training him in a calm environment with no distractions and then ease into situations that are more distracting.
It is important to do this gradually as you want your dog to stay focused while he is learning the “quiet” command.
Tell your dog to “speak” and then immediately tell him to be “quiet” and hold a tasty treat in front of his nose. Again he will want to sniff the treat, praise him first for at least 5 seconds for being quiet and then give him the treat.
Do this exercise in an area with no distractions. Continue to do this exercise with your dog until your dog is able to respond to your commands with ease. Your dog will have learned the command to “speak” and the command to be “quiet” with this training.
When your dog is able to “speak” on command and be “quiet” on command, take him to increasingly busier or places that pose more distractions and practice this training.
Before you know it your dog will stop barking when you say “quiet” no matter what is going on around him.
Some Other Techniques You Can Try
For some dogs, training is sometimes not enough, or development is too slow to come. Some people resort to alternative ways to stop the barking when conventional efforts can’t prevail.
There’s a traditional practice that relies on “touchpoints” called Tellington Touch which may be quite effective in controlling your dog’s barking.
This is similar to finding pressure points in the body. The most effective “touch” area is the ear. Gently stroking the ear from the base to the tip is regarded as a very effective bark stopper.
A device called bark spray collar has been used to help with barking during times that the dog is left unsupervised or out for a period of time. The citronella spray collar emits citronella into the air right into the facial area of the dog. The non-toxic spray has effectively stopped dogs from barking.
And there is a veterinary procedure called ‘Ventriculocordectomy’. This is the surgical removal of the animal’s vocal cords or tampering with them to disable his ability to create sounds, that is in effect stopping your dog from the ability to talk. In dogs, it is called debarking. This is a cruel way of curtailing barking and thankfully it is now outlawed in a lot of countries.
Our dogs are beloved friends and companions that serve us well. There are times when barking makes the man-dog relationship tiring, aggravating, and in worse scenarios unacceptable.
Training your dog to behave is a must. Curtailing inappropriate barking is a prime concern. Knowing the reasons why your dog barks help to understand and accept the necessary barking.
Realizing you are ultimately in charge of your dog’s behavior by training him to behave appropriately and helping your dog learn what you expect from him makes for a very peaceful co-existence with your beloved pet.