Top Reasons Why Dogs Bark and How to Stop Excessive Barking

Excessive barking is one of the things that can make a dog (and his owner) unpopular with the neighbors. Barking is a normal dog behavior, of course, but many people don’t appreciate it at 3 am.

Why Dogs Bark

Dogs bark for many reasons and it helps to know why your dog is barking in order to get him to stop.

Dogs bark to sound the alarm.

They bark to sound the alarm when there are intruders or unknown people (or cats) in the neighborhood. This is often a desirable function — unless it’s taken to extremes.

Some dogs are very good about only barking when there is really something to be concerned about. On the other hand, some dogs will bark at anyone who walks by, which can be annoying to neighbors, especially when it’s the same mailman every day.

Dogs bark to stake their territory.

When other dogs bark in the distance or when a dog wanders down the street, your dog may bark to say, “I’m here! This is my place! Stay away!”

Dogs bark out of frustration.

When the squirrel sits in the tree mocking your dog, your dog may bark for a good long time because he’s frustrated. When the ball rolls under the sofa, your dog may bark because he can’t reach it.

Dogs bark when they’re bored or lonely.

They’re letting everyone know that they’re bored and lonely, which may make them feel better. Or, maybe they like the sound of their own voices. Or, maybe they’re hoping someone will answer. 

Puppies bark a lot for no reason.

Dogs bark when a pack member leaves. This seems to be a send-off. They also bark to welcome the pack member home. 

Dogs bark when they play or get excited.

Barking just seems to be fun.

And, finally, dogs bark in a repetitive manner as nuisance barking. Sometimes they seem to bark and not even be aware of it.

Barking due to Seperation Anxiety

Some dogs may bark when you leave them due to separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is a problem experienced by dogs that become completely dependent on their owners. This is an anxiety condition. It is often found in dogs from shelters and in dogs that have not bee well socialized. It usually requires behavior modification to deal with this problem and it may need veterinary help.

Your veterinarian may prescribe short-term medication for your dog to help him deal with his anxiety. If you suspect that your dog has separation anxiety then you should talk to your vet.

Any or all of these kinds of barking can become excessive under some circumstances. If you live in an apartment or your house is close to your neighbor’s house, then you know that even a small amount of barking can cause problems sometimes. Some towns have very strict noise ordinances. You can be heavily fined for a barking dog.

Stop the Barking

So, how do you stop your dog from barking when barking is as natural to a dog as talking is to humans? How do you impose strict silence on a dog? Well, the answer is that you can’t. But you can limit their barking and stop the nuisance barking as much as possible.

Have toys and chewing material.

Bored and lonely dogs are most likely to engage in repetitive nuisance barking. You can help them avoid this behavior by making sure that they have plenty of toys and appropriate things to chew on when you’re not home with them.

Let your dog to exercise.

You should also make sure that these dogs are getting lots of exercise. The more exercise dogs get, the less likely they are to exhibit behavior problems, like nuisance barking. They are more likely to relax and sleep during the day while you’re away at work instead of looking for things to bark at.

Feed your dog appropiate diet.

For nuisance barkers make sure you are feeding an appropriate diet. Too much protein in the diet and not enough exercise can lead to dogs that have no way to expend their energy. They often develop behavior problems, such as excessive barking.

Teach your dog “quite” command.

All barking can be managed to some extent by starting when dogs are puppies and teaching them the “Quiet” command. You teach the Quiet command by also teaching your puppy to Speak. This is not hard to teach with clicker training. You can get a clicker for a couple of dollars at a pet supply store. A supply of small training treats is also helpful for this solution.

Use clicker and reward your dog.

When your puppy is barking about something use the clicker to click and reward the bark. Say, “Good Speak!” in a very happy, enthusiastic voice. Repeat this over and over. Your puppy should begin to put together the click with the barking and will start waiting for you to ask her to speak before she barks. It may take some tries, but it does work.

Start clicking and rewarding your puppy when she is quiet in between the barking. Say, “Good Quiet!” in a very happy and enthusiastic voice. When your puppy is barking tell her “Quiet” then click and reward her for being quiet. Keep doing this and your puppy will learn to be quiet when you ask her.

Now, you’ve taught your puppy to both speak on command and to be quiet when you tell her. Use the Quiet command whenever your puppy barks afterwards. Gradually stop using the clicker but keep rewarding her on a periodic basis. If a dog is occasionally rewarded, he will perform the trick more often.

Teach your dog to “come here” command.

Your dog can also benefit if you teach him the “Come here” command. If the dog is outside barking it’s sometimes best to simply call him inside to take away the temptation to bark. Teach the “Come here” command by putting your dog on a long lead (12-15 feet, a cotton web lead is fine). Call your dog to “Come here” using his name.

When he starts to come to you use the clicker to click and then reward him when he comes. You may wish to start out just using about 6 to 8 feet of the rope. Use a treat that your dog really loves for this exercise.

Use anti-bark collar.

Some people prefer to use a citronella collar or something along those lines for stopping their dog from barking. The citronella collar works with a system that emits a warning when the dog begins to bark. If the dog continues to bark then the collar sprays the dog with citronella spray.

These collars may be used indoors or outdoors. However, some dogs will ignore the spray and continue to bark. Some dogs will ignore any deterrent of this type and continue to bark. That’s why training is usually more effective.

How to Stop Dog Barking! (Cesar911 Shorts)

Remember that there are times when your dog has a legitimate reason to bark. There can be intruders. Sometimes he can’t get his toy. The neighbor’s cat may be sitting on the other side of the fence. It’s always a good idea to see what your dog is barking about. Don’t assume that he’s barking for no reason.

For some dogs barking simply becomes a bad habit. It’s best not to let the habit get started. Make sure that your dog is getting plenty of exercise and that he has lots of toys and safe things to chew on when you can’t be at home. If your dog is outdoors make sure that everything is all right when he barks. He could be caught on something or there could be something wrong with one of your neighbors. Sometimes dogs have a good reason for barking.

Excessive barking is a problem but there are ways to discourage it. Training and exercise will help many problem barkers. If your dog is bored and lonely you can find ways to keep him busy. Remember that tired dogs are less likely to bark!

STOP Your Dog From Barking Indoors – Complete Guide

Summary

Dogs bark for various reasons. Some of the reasons are legitimate and you wouldn’t want to stop all of them, but nuisance barking is a problem. There are some good ways to stop excessive barking. Use the methods described here to control your dog’s barking.

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