Barking is natural for dogs. But what is unusual and unacceptable is excessive barking even during ungodly hours or when you are not at home. This is when barking becomes a problem and a nuisance not just to your household but to your neighbors as well.
But what are the reasons dogs bark too much, and how to stop it? We’ll cover all of this below.
Reasons your dog barks nonstop
WebMD shares several reasons why your furry companion barks too much:
Protective or territorial
Your dog considers your house (and the yard) their territory. So when strangers (aka the mailman) or a wild animal comes near the area, your dog will bark at them to chase them away.
Unfortunately, as the threat gets closer, their barking becomes noisier or stronger. Your dog will be in an aggressive stance and in an alert mode until the “threat” leaves.
Lonely or bored
Canines are pack animals, which means they are happiest when surrounded by someone close to them. That is why sometimes dogs can't handle being alone for long periods.
When your dog is bored or sad, they will either create havoc in your house or bark excessively. Imagine this scenario in an apartment building. How will your fellow tenants react?
Alarmed or scared
Dogs get startled easily, especially when an object or noise catches their attention. Once this happens, your dog will bark out of alarm or fear. This can take place anywhere, not only in your house.
Some dogs are not only content wagging their tails to say "hello." They will execute their killer combo with tail wagging and nonstop happy barking. While this is endearing, excessive barking is unnecessary.
Similar to us humans, dogs will call or bark at you when they want something. Maybe they want to go outside, play with you, or eat some treats.
Unfortunately, this behavior won't stop until they get what they want from you. It can be frustrating because you don't always know why your dog is barking at you.
Dogs suffering from separation anxiety will often bark when left alone. Besides barking, they will also exhibit symptoms like chewing your things, scratching doors or windows, and drooling or panting excessively.
Separation anxiety in dogs is a severe medical condition. If you noticed your dog behaving oddly, it would be better to talk to your vet immediately.
How to stop excessive barking
First, you must take note of the following while training as advised by the Humane Society of the United States:
- Don't yell at your dog to be quiet—it just sounds like you're barking along with them.
- Keep your training sessions positive and upbeat.
- Be consistent, so you don't confuse your dog. Everyone in your family must apply the training methods every time your dog barks inappropriately. You can't let your dog get away with inappropriate barking sometimes and not others.
More importantly, have loads of patience because reducing your dog's barking behavior will not happen overnight.
Now, let us discuss how to reduce or stop excessive barking:
- Limit what your pup sees to lessen their fear and territorial nature. Start from your yard by fencing it with solid wood as opposed to chain fencing. You may also cover your windows with an opaque film.
- Prevent your dog's boredom or loneliness by providing them toys or other fun activities. Try those food-dispensing toys to tire them out. You may also enroll them at doggie daycare when you are away for a few days.
- Before you leave in the morning for work, ensure that your furry companion has the right amount of mental and physical exercise. They will have a fitful rest or sleep after the tiresome activity.
- The American Kennel Club suggests a popular method called the "quiet" command. Say this word to your dog in a calm and firm voice when they bark excessively. If they follow your command and behave, reward them with treats and affection.
- WebMD advises seeking help from a certified applied animal behaviorist or veterinary behaviorist for dogs diagnosed with separation anxiety: this is a severe illness that needs medication.
Remember that not all techniques may work since not all pups are the same. You must be consistent and invest a lot of time in your dog to curb the excessive barking. That is why, unfortunately, it is not advisable for apartment or condo dwellers or those who go out frequently to adopt a dog.
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