Dogs barking? Nothing new. When it comes to the duration of barking, the volume, etc. it can weigh on you a bit and you start to wonder why your dog is barking so much. Don’t fret! In this tips and tricks post from Joyride Harness, we’ll walk you through the reasons why your dog may be barking so much and the steps you can take to alleviate if not eliminate the excessive barking.
Why is my dog barking so much?
It is no secret that barking is just one form of communication that dogs use and it happens to be the most noticeable of their communication types. Your dog may be barking excessively because of one of the following reasons (or multiple reasons):
- Separation Anxiety
- Desire for Attention
- Protectiveness (Territorial)
- General Communication
Explained: This term/phrase refers to the anxiety that comes about when your dog feels threatened by separation of division from you for brief to long periods of time depending on how set in their separation anxiety they are.
Solution: We have a great blog post on dealing with separation anxiety with your dog. Check it out at this link.
Desire for Attention
Explained: Barking that’s driven by the desire for attention usually comes with specific expectations for the attention your dog is aiming to receive. This could be their way of trying to shake more treats out of you, get you to take them outside, etc.
Solution: When your dog is barking for attention, do not give them an immediate reaction. This teaches them that you are at their beck and call, and while we are in a way, it’s best to guide them through better ways of communication. If they bark, don’t react with treats or anything of the sort. Simply ignore the barking while observing their essentials like water bowl, food bowl, etc. If you observe anything is running low or gone, wait a few minutes after they stop barking before giving them what they need.
Boredom + Loneliness
Explained: Boredom and loneliness go hand in hand. Because dogs are social creatures originating from a pack mentality, you might notice your dog will be a little down in the dumps and other times it comes out as barking to try and break that boredom and restlessness.
Solution: This excessive barking due to boredom and loneliness is more common when you leave the house for long periods of time like for work or errands. Before leaving the house, make sure you try to burn out some of that energy with playtime or a good, long walk.
Fear + Protectiveness (Territorial)
Explained: This is their house and you are their human. Some dogs will showcase a level of territorialism with barking when they are motivated by things unfamiliar that might be coming too close for comfort. Your dog may seem like a completely different dog when this happens because as this unfamiliar threat closes in, they can bark louder and be more aggressive sounding.
Solution: The key is in the blinders. In other words, try to block off areas where they can easily see those threats that cause them to bark so much. For example, do they chill by the window at the front of the house and bark when a dog walks by? Find a solution to closing off that visibility especially when you’re away from home. Perhaps a different type of blinds.
General Communication + Compulsiveness
Explained: Some dogs just bark...to bark. They hear themselves and want to keep up the conversation.
Solution: This tip goes for barking in general, but train your dog with a reward system. Teach them how to respond to different words like “shhh” or “quiet” and when they silence, then reward them with a treat. Reinforce this by teaching them to bark on command because then they will know the different cues and when it’s time to bark or not bark. If you need added assistance or more insight, seek out local dog behaviorists and trainers!
As you go through this journey with your dog, remember that patience and love is required. Things can get frustrating but even the slightest expressions of disappointment or frustration can jolt your dog from getting to the right point with barking control!
This is just a sampling of tips we offer at Joyride Harness. You can find more tips and tricks and how-to’s for caring for your dog on our blog at this section. Feel free to leave a comment with tips you’re looking for!