Why Does My Dog Bark So Much?

Barking is a normal activity for dogs. Dogs will use their bark to express a number of emotions and a bark can mean different things depending on the situation. However, excessive dog barking is a nuisance and can be considered a behavior problem.

In addition to repeated barking, dogs with this condition will usually exhibit other compulsive behaviors such as chewing or scratching furniture, walls, and doors. It may take weeks for some dogs, so continue the training or work with an expert for extra help.

If the excessive barking behavior is new for your dog, consult your veterinarian to address any health conditions. They will rule out any medical conditions or injuries that could be causing the barking and help you develop an action plan based on your dog‘s needs. To help stop excessive barking that can be caused by fear, territorialism, loneliness, or attention-seeking, try to pinpoint the exact trigger.

Start with basic commands , like sit and down in order to shift the focus from barking and reward your dog for good behavior. Plus, it is one of the fastest ways to turn neighbors into enemies and send an invitation to your local police. “Debarking,” or cordectomy is an elective surgical procedure involving partial removal of a dog‘s vocal cords.

Debarking does not take away the dog‘s ability to bark, it just makes it sound quieter and raspy (which is actually considered annoying by some). Surgery and anesthesia are always risks, so any procedure that is purely for human convenience and does not medically benefit the patient or animal community should be avoided.

How do I get my dog to stop barking at everything?

Don’t tell your dog off. Although their barking may be frustrating, never tell your dog off. ….Avoid things your dog finds scary. ….Teach your dog calmer ways of telling you what they want. ….Make sure your pooch is staying active. ….Don’t reward your dog for barking.

What causes a dog to bark excessively?

All dogs bark, but if you’re finding that your dog is barking all day and night, it’s time to take action. … Common causes of excessive or inappropriate barking are: excitement; boredom; anxiety; disturbances and attention-seeking behaviour. Address the reason for the unwanted barking and you will reduce it.

How do you get a dog to shut up?

Teach your dog to be quiet on command. ….Break your dog’s concentration so he stops barking. ….Desensitize your dog to objects that trigger his barking. ….Provide your dog with daily mental and physical stimulation.

No one should expect a dog to never bark. Thats as unreasonable as expecting a child to never talk. But some dogs bark excessively. If thats a problem in your home, the first step is figuring out what causes your dog to bark too much. Once you know why they are barking, you can start to treat their barking problem.

Territorial/Protective : When a person or an animal comes into an area your dog considers their territory, that often triggers excessive barking. Dogs left alone for long periods, whether in the house or in the yard, can become bored or sad and often will bark because they are unhappy.

Take a long walk or run, play ball or take a trip to the dog park before leaving. Some medical problems can cause excessive barking, from bee stings to brain disease to ongoing pain. Territorial/Protective/Alarm/Fear : Because this type of barking is often motivated by fear or a perceived threat to their territory or people, it can be lessened by limiting what your dog sees.

Bringing an outdoor dog inside will lessen the noise impact on neighbors, and provide extra security for your home. You also can drop your pet off at doggie daycare two or three days a week, or take up agility, obedience, or another active form of dog training. Greeting/Play : To stop a dog from going into a barking frenzy every time you come home or the doorbell rings, youll need to teach them other behaviors.

Do not pet them or even make eye contact until your dog stops barking and sits quietly. Bang the water dish before filling it, and maybe theyll start pushing it with their nose to make the same noise. Dogs with these problems often need drug therapy to help them cope while learning new, more acceptable behaviors.

Never use a muzzle or other means of constraint to keep a dog quiet for long periods or when they arent supervised.

Barking is a normal behaviour for dogs and an important means of communication. They may bark when calling out to other dogs or respond to other barking dogs or when communicating with their human owners. Any noise, no matter how slight can stimulate a barking response for e.g. rustling leaves, a banging window or a knock at the frontdoor/doorbell.

Try putting some of your dogs daily food allowance into a Kong toy or treat ball so they have to work to retrieve their snacks. When your dog barks for attention he should be completely ignored avoid eye contact, even leave the room.

Praise and pat your dog when he is calm and quiet so he realises that this is the behaviour required to secure your attention. RSPCA Australia is opposed to the use of any electronically activated or other devices which deliver electric shocks, such as anti-barking collars and invisible boundaries.

Unless you own a Basenji, also known as the barkless dog, you cant expect a dog to never bark. Excessive barking, however, can become a nuisance and is usually a sign that something is disturbing your dog. Figuring out whats causing it is the first step to finding a solution.

Dogs barking excessively due to separation anxiety often pace, become destructive, have accidents in the house, and show signs of depression like lethargy and loss of appetite. Keeping your dog happy and tired from play time is the best way to curb excessive barking.

For instance, if your dog barks incessantly to go out because it cant hold its bladder, there could be a medical issue behind the noise.

Why Do Dogs Bark Excessively?

There could be several reasons why your dog is barking too much. Although excessive barking is often a behavioral concern, it’s always important to rule out health concerns first.

Health Problems

Some dogs bark because they’re in pain or have another health issue. Check to see whether your dog has a tender spot somewhere; it may bark if that area is touched. You should have your dog evaluated by your veterinarian as some dogs are good at hiding symptoms of pain, even when you touch them, and sometimes the pain can be in hard to assess areas like their ears or mouth.

Aging Dogs

As dogs age, it’s quite common for them to begin to bark more (and make more noise in general). Some aging dogs can begin to excessively bark; some may bark for hours on end, completely unaware of what they are doing. Besides canine cognitive dysfunction, which is similar to Alzheimer’s disease, aging dogs can have vision impairments, deafness, or body aches and pains that can lead to barking.

Fear

If your dog is fearful, they may voice this concern via barking. This could take place at home or away and refers to anything that frightens your dog. It could be a person, a loud noise like fireworks, or a strange (or new) situation.

Territorialism

Dogs can become territorial if a new person or dog comes into what they consider their territory. They feel possessive of their area and want to protect it. A dog‘s territory could range from their home, their yard, or even their bed. If a dog only barks at this situation, this is likely the cause.

Loneliness

Dogs are naturally pack animals, meaning they prefer the company of others. If they’re alone for excessive amounts of time, they may bark as a sign of unhappiness. A dog may also long for human company and not just another dog‘s company. A bored dog or one that isn’t getting enough stimulation (both mental and physical), can also bark excessively.

Greeting or Bid for Attention

A greeting bark is usually a friendly bark. It can become a lot when the greeting is given to everyone the dog meets. Excessive barking can signal the dog is hungry, needs to go out, or just wants some attention.

Separation Anxiety

Dogs that do not like to be left alone could be suffering from separation anxiety. In addition to repeated barking, dogs with this condition will usually exhibit other compulsive behaviors such as chewing or scratching furniture, walls, and doors.

How to Stop Excessive Barking

The best way to prevent barking in the first place is to try and remove any potential sources of the behavior. You should also avoid inadvertently encouraging the barking and give your dog better things to do.To be a good canine citizen, your dog needs to know when to bark and when to be quiet. Part of your job as a dog owner means teaching this to your canine. Start working on problem barking as soon as you can. The longer you wait, the harder it gets to curb the behavior.It’s a good idea to teach your dog the Speak/Quiet Commands, although this may be easier said than done. The goal of these commands is to teach your dog to bark on command and to be quiet on command. It may take weeks for some dogs, so continue the training or work with an expert for extra help. If your dog has been trained and continues to bark too much at certain times, you’ll need to understand the cause of this behavior.

Visit the Vet

If the excessive barking behavior is new for your dog, consult your veterinarian to address any health conditions. They will rule out any medical conditions or injuries that could be causing the barking and help you develop an action plan based on your dog‘s needs. An aging dog that is displaying excessive barking will have different medical needs and an action plan than a young dog. For aging dogs, try to find out the source of the barking.

Behavior Modification

To help stop excessive barking that can be caused by fear, territorialism, loneliness, or attention-seeking, try to pinpoint the exact trigger. If possible, remove that trigger from your dog‘s life and work on behavior modification training. Start with basic commands, like sit and down in order to shift the focus from barking and reward your dog for good behavior. Give your dog plenty of exercise, so it has less pent-up energy to burn via barking. Mentally stimulating chew toys or puzzle toys are also helpful.

Separation Anxiety

If your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, avoid leaving a lonely dog by itself for long periods of time if possible. Then work with a specialist or find a program that can recondition the dog to separate from its owner. This type of training/retraining can be time-consuming.

About De-Barking Surgery

There are a few things to avoid if you have an overly barky dog:

Why Dogs Bark

Barking is one type of vocal communication that dogs use, and it can mean different things depending on the situation. Here are some reasons why dogs bark:

How to Treat Excessive Barking

Getting your dog to bark less will take time, work, practice, and consistency. It won’t happen overnight, but with proper techniques and time, you can see progress.

Continued

Here are a few tips to remember as you start your efforts to control your dog’s barking.Here are two methods:When your dog is barking, say “Quiet” in a calm, firm voice. Wait until they stop barking, even if it’s just to take a breath, then praise them and give them a treat. Just be careful to never reward them while they are barking. Eventually they will figure out that if they stop barking at the word “quiet” they get a treat (and make it a delicious treat, such as chicken, to make it worth more than the barking.)Alternatively, you can teach your dog to “speak; once they are doing that reliably, signal them to stop barking with a different command, such as “quiet”, while holding your finger to your lips (dogs often pick up body signals faster than voice commands.) Practice these commands when they are calm, and in time they should learn to stop barking at your command, even when they want to bark at something.

Boredom

Dogs that are left alone all day with nothing to do often resort to barking out of boredom. Boredom barkers will bark continuously and may also exorcise their frustration on your flower beds. To tackle boredom barking you should start by ensuring that your dog is receiving enough exercise. If you take your dog for a good walk in the morning they will be more likely to rest until you come home. You should also make sure that your house and garden are sufficiently enriched with fun toys and puzzles to keep them entertained when you are not home. Try putting some of your dog’s daily food allowance into a Kong toy or treat ball so they have to work to retrieve their snacks. Keep their toys in a toy box and alternate the toys they have access to each day. Hide their toys and some treats around the garden to encourage them to forage or if they like to dig provide a sand pit to divert their instincts away from your garden. If your dog has any play mates in the neighbourhood you might alleviate boredom by inviting them over for the day.You may also consider organising a ‘dog walker’ to walk your dog in the middle of the day while you are at work or a ‘dog minder’ to keep your dog company when you are away for long periods. You may also consider utilising your local ‘doggy day care’ services.

Being anxious when left alone

Dogs are social animals and it is normal for them to become anxious when they are left alone for the first time. Take care to teach your dog how to cope with being left alone at a young age. Begin by trying small amounts of time apart. For example you could put your dog outside in the yard for short periods of time while you are still at home. Make sure they have toys to play and safe things to chew on while they are outside so the experience is a positive one. Please see the feeding article linked below.Gradually extend the length of time you are leaving your dog alone. When you do leave the house make sure that they have somewhere safe to retreat to such as a kennel. Make sure that they receive plenty of exercise and that they have a supply of toys and safe chew toys/items to keep them entertained while you are away. Do not fuss over your dog when you come home – make sure both your departure and return are quiet and unexcited. Most dogs will adjust to periods of time alone, however some become severely stressed and may begin to bark incessantly and even self mutilate/injure themselves. If your dog suffers from separation anxiety you will need to manage the condition in consultation with a veterinarian. Please see the knowledgebase article below about separation anxiety.

Fear

Dogs can also bark due to fear. They may be afraid of people coming near their territory or fearful of noises. particularly at night which may stimulate anxieties. Dogs can also be fearful of fireworks, thunderstorms and lawnmowers etc.

Territorial behaviour

It is natural for your dog to want to warn you about potential intruders. Your dog may not be able to distinguish between welcome visitors, people strolling past your home and intruders. Try and use predictable passers-by such as the postman to change your dog’s association from territory protection to a positive experience. Try and pre-empt the postman’s arrival and offer your dog a delicious treat or favourite toy. Only reward your dog when he/she is calm and not barking. With time your dog may begin to associate a person passing the house with something good rather than someone to protect you from.If your dog barks at your neighbours when they are in their garden it is probably also because they are protecting your territory. Again, make sure you have some tasty treats at hand so that your dog associates your neighbours with the food (only give the treat when your dog is calm and not barking). You may also consider asking your friendly neighbours to treat your dog and supply them with their own stockpile – this is preferable to having them yell at your dog in frustration – yelling at a barking dog will only tend to reinforce the barking and protective behaviour. Barking is also reinforced when owners yell or scold their own barking dog and should be avoided. Successfully treating excessive barking relies on positive reinforcement – that is, reward good ‘quiet’ behaviour and avoid reinforcing ‘unwanted’ behaviour.