Why Do Dogs Bark Excessively?
It’s a fact of life that dogs bark, but in some cases, a dog’s barking can get out of hand. Excessive barking isn’t just annoying for the dog’s family; it can irritate neighbors and trigger other animals that live nearby.
If your dog barks excessively, you don’t have to accept it, find out why, as it’s important to understand in order to deal with the problem. Let’s explore some of the most common reasons for excessive barking and what you can do to help reduce it.
Loneliness or Boredom
Because dogs prefer to run in packs, they can grow lonely when left by themselves for long periods of time. Your dog may excessively bark to entertain themselves while alone at home.
Dogs have very keen senses, and they’re always on the lookout for potential danger. If your dog sees, hears, or smells something unfamiliar or startling they could bark out of alarm. This is a very emotional type of barking and is difficult to curb until your dog feels safe enough to quiet down.
Your dog thinks of your home as their territory, and they believe it’s their job to protect it from intruders. If your dog barks at unfamiliar stimuli out of fear, that fear may trigger barking out of a desire to protect their home and family.
Usually, protective barking will get louder and more frequent as your dog senses the threat getting closer to your home.
Dogs can experience separation anxiety when their owners leave, especially if they’re not used to spending time by themselves. Usually, excessive barking due to separation anxiety will also come along with other unwanted behaviors such as destroying furniture or going to the bathroom inside the house.
In some cases, your dog is barking a lot because they sense a friend nearby and want to greet them. Some dogs also tend to bark excessively during play because they can’t contain their excitement about the interaction. This type of barking is usually accompanied by a wagging tail and an eagerness to get closer.
What Can I Do About It?
Though there are many understandable reasons why your dog might have trouble settling, excessive barking is a significant problem that needs addressing. The way you go about reducing your dog’s barking will depend on what type of emotion is causing the barking and what types of correction your dog responds to best.
Teach a “Quiet” or “Stop” Command
Did you know that you can train your dog to stop barking using a command as simple as “sit” or “down?” Just like these other commands, you can teach your dog that it pays to be quiet by rewarding the behavior you want with high-value treats.
Next time your dog barks excessively, have some treats on hand and reward them as soon as they become quiet. Over time, you should associate the word “quiet” or “stop” with this motion. Eventually, your dog will learn to stop barking as soon as they hear the command.
Use a Bark Collar
If you’re interested in corrective collars for your dog’s barking but don’t want to hurt your pup in any way, you’re in luck. Bark collars are a humane, 100% safe way to effectively curb your dog’s barking habits in just a few uses.
When the collar senses excessive barking, it emits a warning beep that lets your dog know it’s time to quiet down. If your dog ignores the beep, the collar will send a small vibration that irritates your dog, prompting them to stop barking. Over time, your dog will learn to be quiet as soon as they hear the warning beep.
Be Patient and Understanding
Many dog owners are so focused on how bothersome excessive barking is that they forget how emotional barking can be for their dog. That’s why it’s important to be patient with your dog as you work to improve their habits. The safer and more supported they feel, the easier it will be for them to learn new behaviors.