Dogs will bark to express themselves, as it is their only way of speaking to us. However, sometimes barking can become excessive, and it is your job as a pet parent to comprehend what your fur baby is trying to communicate.
Your pup may be barking because they have separation anxiety. Some dogs who are left alone have trouble coping and tend to bark a lot. They may also be barking because they are being territorial and are protecting their turf.
Your dog may also be seeking attention when they continuously bark. Check out this article if you want to know how to stop your dog from barking.
Why Do Dogs Bark Excessively?
Dogs do not speak, but they do communicate by barking. Dogs bark for various reasons, and they tend to bark often. You need to find out what triggers your pup’s barking so that you may help them learn to control it and lessen the noise they make.
Your dog may be barking due to the doorbell ringing, the phone ringing, or some other form of stimuli. They also tend to bark in their yard and see strangers walk by. When they do not know someone, they may perceive the person to be a threat.
When your dog reacts by barking, resist the urge to punish them. Once you implement some training techniques, you can help your dog be more relaxed and socialized. The following include some of the reasons why dogs bark excessively:
They Are Being Territorial
When your dog is out in the yard and sees a stranger walk by, they may bark excessively at them. They may even run back and forth on their lawn to communicate with the person, “this place is mine; you get back!.” They do this because they feel threatened. They may also bark in similar situations:
- Other dogs or animals walking by
- New animal in the home
- Cars driving by
- Other dogs barking
- Visitors to the home
- People coming onto their property
When dogs barks due to these situations, they protect their territory and family from the perceived threat. Sometimes dogs get labeled as aggressive because they bark at people, but the reality is that the pup may be feeling afraid themselves.
Dogs feel safer and happier when their humans are with them. It can be a difficult adjustment period when your pup is left home alone. They may whine, bark, or even destroy furniture. It is natural for dogs to become anxious when they are separated from their family at first. You will need to teach them how to behave appropriately when alone.
Loud sounds can be frightening for a dog, especially when everything is nice and quiet beforehand. A simple telephone ring, knocking at the door, or ringing the doorbell can be alarming for a sleepy pup. Dogs become fearful of loud sounds, which will make them bark excessively. Fireworks and thunderstorms may have the same effect on them.
Many dogs bark to call out to their humans that they want attention. They may get excited when you come home from work and have not seen you all day, making them bark for your attention. Sometimes pups bark when they are bored to coax you into playing with them. They may also be asking for you to take them for a walk or feed them.
How to Stop Dog from Barking Excessively
There are ways you can get your dog to stop barking excessively. It is wise to train your pup when they are young about how to behave appropriately and that it is not necessary to bark in every situation. Sometimes there is a simple fix; other times, it will take more work on both your parts.
You can train dogs to be calmer in situations in which there are people or other animals involved. You can try using positive reinforcement as a tool and teach them that they will get a reward when they are well-behaved. If separation anxiety is the culprit, you may need a different approach.
The particular approach you will need to take will, of course, depends on the situation and the pup’s personality. Teaching your dog can be a bonding experience. Training your pup not to bark excessively will require time and patience. The following explains different ways to train your dog:
Use Positive Reinforcement
If your dog barks at school children when they get off the bus, you can try sitting with your pup and waiting for the bus to come. When the children get off the bus, pet your pup and give them a treat. Talk to your dog in a soft, reassuring voice. As the children are getting closer, provide your pup another treat.
When your pup barks, stop giving them treats. You may do this several times until your dog comes to associate the treats with no barking. Your dog will learn better with positive reinforcement.
Train Them to Bark on Command
Teaching your dog to bark on command is a better habit than barking excessively. There are certain tricks to making this scenario work to your advantage:
- Use treat-based training to reward your dog when they bark on command
- Encourage your pup to speak by getting them stimulated so they will start barking
- Once your dog barks, reinforce the behavior with vocal commands such as speak
You may also choose to use a hand signal as well. You should try an open hand with the palm up. Close four of your fingers pressed to your thumb. Once your dog learns vocal commands, add hand signals in with the training.
Some great products on the market can help ease your dog’s anxiety, which may make them bark less. One example of such a product is called the Thundershirt. It is a calming wrap that your dog can wear, and it applies gentle, constant pressure to calm your dog’s fear and anxiety. It works great when thunderstorms and your pup becomes frightened, as it soothes their nerves.
The makers of Thundershirt also have another product called ThunderEase Dog Calming Pheromone Spray. It can decrease your pup’s anxiety and unwanted behavior, such as excessive barking. It also helps to alleviate stress and calm them down.
Ease Separation Anxiety
Easing your dog’s separation anxiety can be challenging, but it is worth it to help your pup. Get them some food, puzzles, and games to stimulate their mind, so they are occupied until you get home. You can also exercise them with a long walk or a game of catch before you leave the house.
It will tire them out, and they may sleep the entire time you are absent, so your dog will not be stressed or anxious. Helping your dog with their separation anxiety will help them not bark out of fear or boredom when they are home alone.
There could be many explanations why your dog is barking excessively. Excessive barking can be considered a behavior problem, and you should find out what your pup has so worked up. Working with your pup to help them stop barking will take time and patience, but having a more relaxed, even-tempered, and well-adjusted canine companion is worth it.