All dogs bark. All of you believe that there are countless reasons why a dog will bark and that it is perfectly normal. In reality, there are a few reasons why dogs bark, and each one is easy to understand. But why do dogs bark is just half of the story. You also need to know when this must end and how you can do it. Without further ado, let’s begin.
Main Reasons Why Do Dogs Bark
There are seven main reasons why dogs bark. This can be applied to any dog and any dog breed. The first thing you need to do is to understand why he is doing this and should you do something and make him stop. Once you know the reasons, you will know why your pet barks.
Your Pet Is Bored
If or when your dog is bored, he will probably bark. He does this in order to start playing with you. His ears may be pushed all the way back, and he may run around or lower his front legs. The goal is to help him do something. The only thing you can do in this case is play with him or take him outside for a walk.
This is a very common reason these days because many dog owners don’t have enough time to invest in their dogs. As we all know, dogs like to be outside as a way to use their energy (they have a lot of it).
He Needs Attention
When a dog needs attention or food, it isn’t uncommon for him to bark. This is a positive type of barking, so we can see positive body language and relaxing behavior. Of course, you need to tell the difference. Is he barking because he is hungry, wants something you are eating, or just wants attention? Try and see what will help and stop barking.
He Is Excited
One of the most common reasons why a dog will bark is when he is excited. This usually happens when you come home from work and he sees you. The barking is followed by high-pitched sounds and a positive body position. There is nothing wrong here, and many dog owners like and appreciate this barking.
Your dog may also run around you or in circles, and he will always tap his feet. All of these are perfectly normal and usually last a few minutes.
Your pet is happy, and he is trying to tell you that in his own words.
He Is Scared or Aggressive
If your dog is scared, he will bark. There are a few variations in this scenario. If he barks aggressively and shows his teeth, he may discover an enemy approaching. It can be a stranger. If he barks due to anxiety, he will keep his tail between his legs. If he bars to show his territory, his barking will be strong and usually accompanied by elevated head and ears. The latter is commonly followed by aggressive behavior.
When a dog barks because he is scared, there is no need to do anything. If he barks because of anxiety, you need to help him overcome this. Territorial barking is perfectly normal as well and there is no need to do anything.
Pain Is Present
Obviously, your pet is in pain, and he is trying to tell you that. You should take your dog to a veterinarian and see the main cause. If your dog limps or shows any discomfort, this is usually the main reason for barking.
This happens to old dogs. They may develop canine dementia, and they will bark the entire night without any reason. You should take him to a veterinarian and try to make the symptoms less severe. Sadly, this is a severe issue, and it cannot be cured. On the other hand, it affects a small number of dogs, and it is impossible to see in young dogs.
In this scenario, you will hear your dog bark just once. He was surprised by your action, or he reacted in this way. There is nothing bad about this, and there are no related issues. All you need to remember is that your dog reacted like this and won’t start barking at everything that comes near him. This is also known as being reactive or barking due to a surprise.
When And How You Can Stop Excess Barking?
In most of these cases, there is no need to do anything. Dogs bark, and this is the case. But if your neighbours are complaining and you need to stop this, there are a few things you can do. First of all, you need to find out why your dog is barking. If he is scared, help him. If he is in pain, take him to a veterinarian. Obviously, this matter cannot be generalized.
Secondly, you may want to consider training your dog. This is very helpful, and it works like a charm. Your pet will understand he doesn’t need to bark all the time and should behave differently. This can be a complicated process, so you may want to hire a professional.
Last but not least, you need to address a problem. For example, if your pet barks due to a lack of physical activity, you need to sort it out. Hire a dog walker or help him exercise more. You may want to make certain changes in the environment so your pet has more things to do and isn’t bored.
Tips to Mitigate Excessive Barking
Excessive barking can turn into a nuisance if left unchecked, not just for you but for your neighbors too. Here are some strategies to help reduce your dog’s excessive barking:
- Figure Out the Cause: Try to identify the reason behind your dog’s barking. Are they bored, anxious, hungry, or trying to get your attention? Understanding the cause can help you address the problem more effectively.
- Provide Physical and Mental Stimulation: Often, dogs bark out of boredom. Ensure your dog gets plenty of exercise and has enough toys to keep them mentally stimulated. Interactive toys can be particularly useful.
- Use Training Commands: Use commands like ‘quiet’ or ‘enough’ to train your dog to stop barking on command. Remember, patience and consistency are key when training your dog.
- Positive Reinforcement: Reward your dog when they stop barking on command. Treats, praises, or petting can act as positive reinforcements. It helps them understand that being quiet has its rewards.
- Ignore the Barking: If your dog is barking for attention, ignoring them can be an effective solution. Once they realize that barking doesn’t gain your attention, they may stop the behavior.
- Consult a Professional: If you’re finding it challenging to manage your dog’s barking, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional dog trainer. They can provide personalized training strategies and help you better understand your dog’s behavior.
The Final Word
Why do dogs bark? The simplest answer is that they are trying to tell you something. As an owner, you need to understand your pet and why he barks. After that, you can address the issue and work on solving it, if there is a need for that. In most cases, there is no need to do anything.
Learn Why My Dog Is Ignoring My Commands here.