Barking can be an endless source of frustration for both dog owners and their neighbours. As natural as it is for a dog to bark, and there are many good reasons for them to, it’s also the responsibility of their owners to reduce this noise as much as possible. In this guide we will examine many aspects of what makes dogs bark and how you can help reduce the stimuluses that lead to the behaviour.
Check which breed fits best for you:
Deciding which breed of dog to bring into your home is a big decision and can be a daunting task. While all dogs are prone to barking, which dogs bark the most heavily depends on their breed. Some popular breeds, including Basset & Bloodhounds, Huskies and Terriers/Chihuahuas, have been known to have more vocal personalities.
That said, certain breeds are generally less vocal than others–Shiba Inus, Lurchers and Greyhounds tend to stay quite calm so if it's a quieter canine that you're looking for, these may be the right fit. It’s important to remember that every dog is unique in their behaviour but there are general habits which should keep in mind based on which breed they come from. Knowing this information before bringing a pup home could help ease any anxiety or stress related to their vocal habits which may become overly problematic later down the road. After all, knowing is half the battle!
With this knowledge at hand, bringing a new dog into the home can be an exciting journey for you and your pet which will hopefully last you many years.
They are barking for attention:
Unlike humans, our canine companions can’t speak to give us requests or alerts. Instead, they have to rely on other signals, like barking and whining. When dogs bark, it's often their way of asking for something—a drink, a treat, or a bit of attention. Barking may start out as a plea so basic that we don't even recognize it; but if this behaviour continues without response it can soon become worse and more frequent.
One of the best strategies to train your pooch out of his excessive barking is to simply pay absolutely no attention when he barks. Over time, they will realize that quietness brings rewards while noise earns them nothing in return. In some cases, this approach may require patience and consistency; severe cases may even call for professional intervention from an experienced dog trainer.
By taking steps towards teaching your pup proper communication methods from the beginning you will find yourself with a much happier and better behaved pup in the long run.
There is someone at the door:
This can be a tricky issue to address but with the right methods, you can successfully desensitise your pet and prevent this behaviour. The most immediate solution is to distract your pup with a toy or game, however this is just a temporary plaster on the problem and doesn't provide long-term results. To achieve success, it's best to start by desensitising your pooch to the stimulus of the knocking or someone walking by the house.
A good starting point is to try gradually exposing them to recordings of these sounds at increasingly louder levels. During each session reward and praise your pup for good behaviour - eventually they should come to realise that there’s nothing harmful or upsetting about these noises, making them less likely to react.
You may also want to consider altering their physical environment so they can’t spot people passing by. If doggie sights trigger their attentiveness use some strategically placed fencing boards or shrubs in front of windowsills and pathways that block visual access from inside the house. With patience and consistency you’ll soon be able to enjoy peace of mind knowing that even if someone does knock at the door, your furry friend won’t bark out of alarm at their presence!
They are barking because they are bored:
Dogs that are working breeds or higher energy dogs often bark in response to boredom. This behaviour can be managed by increasing their physical exercise with more walks or activities; by providing them with mental/sensory stimulation with scent-based play; and making sure they’re getting enough rest.
Targeting boredom-induced barking can help decrease loneliness or anxiety and allow your pooch to concentrate on something other than barking. Both physical activity levels, as well as enrichment activities such as nose work, will help reduce boredom-related barking in most dogs. By providing an outlet for energy while stimulating their senses, you should see an overall improvement in the behaviour of your pup!
In addition to this, a professional trainer might be able to provide advice on managing problem behaviours so you can enjoy time with your furry companion without the nuisance of excessive barking.
They are barking because of separation anxiety:
Barking and Howling when left alone are usually indicative of a lack of companionship and security for the canine. It is their way of trying to be heard by their beloved owner, missing them greatly and keen to keep in communication.
Just like humans, dogs too require clean and clear communication from those around them in order to feel secure and validated. This tricky situation can be remedied by taking steps to improve your pup's sense of security while you cannot be there. If a dog is engaging in Howling or Barking due prolonged periods apart from its owners, chances are they are struggling with separation anxiety -a very different and complicated issue than simply being unable to manage the time apart.
As such, further steps must be taken in the form of providing comfort during this transition period, such as providing hiding spaces when leaving so that they can feel safe while they wait. In more severe cases however, it may be necessary to discuss professional help with an experienced animal behaviourist who will be able to offer tailored advice on how best proceed with tackling these hard behaviours at their core. Although this process may seem daunting initially, rest assured you do have options available which will turn things around for your beloved fur family member for good.
With time, patience and dedication to implementing new strategies, both you AND your pup will soon enjoy happy days not just together but also apart - safe in the knowledge that quality bonding time (as well as free from Howling or Barking) awaits!
They are barking at other dogs:
Barking at other dogs can signal fear, frustration, aggression or other feelings of insecurity. How you react to this behaviour can often make the problem worse and suffer from premature consequences. To address the issue of dog barking, it’s important to understand why exactly your pup behaves the way they do. Often times, an improperly socialised or trained young puppy may display such behaviour as a sign of insecurity that needs to be addressed and corrected before it becomes a long-term problem.
For this reason, professional help may be necessary on how best to handle the situation and teach your pup not to bark at other dogs; while also teaching them appropriate socialisation skills when out in public. Depending on the severity of the behaviour and the underlying motivations behind it there are a wealth of tools available to help you tackle this tough task so that you can put an end to your pup's disruptive barking once and for all!