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Why is my dog constantly barking? – How can I reduce it?

Barking is your dog’s way of communicating with you or others around it, although some dogs tend to bark more than others. Dogs bark for many different reasons and it is important for you as a dog owner to know why your dog is barking.

Barking can be caused by many different things, some dog breeds naturally bark more than others. Initially, dogs were bred to assist and work with humans. Barking is how your dog vocalises during different situations and each bark has a meaning. If you listen carefully you will know when your dog is excited, nervous, protective and so much more. Here are some reasons why dogs bark:

Dog Breed:

If your dog is a working dog breed and just chills at home, the chances are your dog is bored and needs to be exercised and simulated. Most working dogs have a brain of a 4 to 5-year-old child, therefore, stimulation is a must! If you do not have time to take your dog for long walks every day, consider getting your dog some educational or stimulating toys. These toys will keep your dog’s mind busy and help prevent boredom and continuous barking.

Territorial/Protective:

Dogs are very territorial and protective of their family and home. If your dog sees another dog coming into its area, your dog will start barking and the barking can become louder and more aggressive as the animal comes closer to your dog’s home. Your dog will do the same when a stranger comes into your property.

These actions are very reasonable, and in a way somewhat comforting in knowing that your pet is on the lookout and that he will make sure that you and your family are protected. He will alert you when something is out of sorts.

When you have guests, teach your dog that it is okay to allow people in your home. Use a demanding word like “stop” or “no” and reward your dog with a treat once the action is complete.

Frightened:

When your dog is frightened, it is normal for them to bark. For instance, if your dog is sleeping and someone walks in or something falls on the floor, and your dog gets a fright, it is reasonable to bark. It is very common for older dogs as their hearing start to fade and they get a fright a lot quicker. Create a comfy and safe zone for your dog and add a dog bed, a dog blanket and a bowl of fresh water. This will allow your pet to feel more comfortable and not to get frightened so easily.

Loneliness and boredom:

Believe it or not, dogs get bored, especially younger dogs who crave running around, exploring and discovering new smells. The following activity is fantastic for bored dogs: take your dog for a run or a walk in the park, but don’t forget your doggie poop bags and ball launcher to throw your dog’s ball with. A ball launcher helps you to throw a ball super far.

It is important to remember that dogs are pack animals and do not like to be left alone for long periods. This can also cause a lot of barking and can upset your neighbours.

Attention-seeking:

Dogs can often bark when they seek your attention. It can be to inform you that they would like to go outside or to let you know that they are in the mood for a fun game. Grab dog toys and have a bit of one on one time with your dog; it will put both you and your dog in a great mood.

Separation anxiety:

Dogs that suffer from separation anxiety often bark excessively when their owners are not home. These dogs do not like to be left alone and can cause significant damage to your home, garden and themselves. Here are a few blogs to help you understand what precisely separation anxiety in dogs entails.

More tips on helping you to make your dog bark less:

Making sure your dog barks less will take time, hard work, practice and consistency. Your dog will not stop barking overnight, but with proper technique and time, you will see progress. Here are some tips to remember as you start:

  • Do not shout at your dog. Shouting encourages your dog to bark even louder as he or she thinks you are joining in on the barking. Therefore keep calm and in a firm tone say: “No!” Do not yell.
  • Dogs do not understand when you are yelling “shut up” or “stop that”. Use one word like “no” or “quiet”. Keep calm and do not scream.
  • A tired dog is a quiet dog. Take your dog for long walks and play a few games, it’s good for you and them.
  • Do not allow a bad habit to go on and on. The longer a dog does something, the more ingrained it becomes. Constant barking can give dogs an adrenaline rush, which makes barking more exciting and addictive. By allowing your dog to bark in certain situations, such as when the mailman arrives, can eventually make your dog aggressive in those situations. What if your dog gets out one day as the mail is being delivered? Deal with the problems as quickly as possible and stop your dog from barking. Do not encourage that behaviour.
  • Consider getting a barking collar to assist you with training, and some dogs learn quicker with a barking collar.
  • If you do not like the idea of using a barking collar, try PetSafe Ultrasonic Bark Deterrent for outdoor use. It is only for outdoor use and does not work well with dogs with floppy ears.