Reasons Dogs Bark and How to Manage the Behavior

Excessive barking can be extremely frustrating – not only to owners, but also to their neighbors. But it\’s important to remember that canines bark in order to communicate, not to annoy those around them. If you\’re able to identify the reason your pet is barking, you can address the trigger, and successfully curb the behavior.

In this article, we\’ll describe the most common reasons dogs bark. Some are easier to address than others. Realize that regardless of the trigger, you\’ll have more success in shaping the habit if you take prompt action.

Nervousness Or Fear

Canines can become nervous in the same way as people. When they do, they often bark in order to comfort themselves. Their nervousness is not driven by a perceived threat, such as someone lurking outside a window. Instead, it is based on fear. Examples include thunderstorms, a visit to the veterinarian, and even a noisy vacuum cleaner.

Attempt To Attract Attention

Dogs love the attention of their owners and families. Some will bark in order to attract it. This happens more commonly with young puppies since they have not yet learned that barking for attention is inappropriate. That said, adult canines do it, as well. If their owners neglect to address the issue through behavior modification training, the habit will become increasingly persistent.

Warn Of Potential Threat

When canines hear a potential intruder outside their homes, they bark to warn the person away. This is their way of informing the person, \”I\’m guarding this house. If you enter without my owner\’s permission, you\’ll have trouble.\” The barking is also an alert to their owners that someone is lurking outside.

Boredom

Dogs that are left by themselves without any form of mental stimulation quickly become bored. When this happens, they bark to amuse themselves and spend the energy they have accumulated throughout the day. This type of barking, in particular, can be frustrating to neighbors since it often continues until the owner returns.

Attempt To Prompt Others To Play

Experts claim that a typical canine has the mentality of a 5-year-old child. To that end, they love to play, and become excited while doing so. Dogs will bark to encourage others – people and other animals – to play with them. The sound is sharp, excited, and good-natured.

Sometimes, while playing, a canine will become so excited that he barks continuously. This marks a good time to take a break.

Separation Anxiety

This is a behavioral problem in which a dog cannot stand being separated from his owner. When separated, the animal will continue barking until his owner returns. This behavior is accompanied by many other symptoms, such as drooling, inappropriate elimination in the home, and whining. It can be a heartbreaking problem for the canine and his owner.

Ideas To Curb The Behavior

As noted earlier, the steps involved with managing the behavior will depend largely on its trigger. For instance, suppose your pet barks because he is bored. Give him more exercise, so he can use the energy he has stored. If your dog is barking for your attention, avoid telling him directly to stop. Doing so sends the message that he has been successful (he has your attention).

If your canine suffers from separation anxiety, addressing the problem is more complicated. It involves desensitization training. This is a long process during which you train your pet to become accustomed to your absence. It includes downplaying your departures and arrivals, providing sources of mental stimulation, and giving your dog rewards for remaining calm. Resolving separation anxiety – and by extension, excessive barking – can potentially require weeks of effort.

If your dog barks to the point that it becomes annoying, take the time to modify his behavior. Again, remember that your pet is not trying to frustrate you. But he may need you to tell him when his barking is inappropriate.

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Category: Pets
Keywords: pets, dogs, dog barking, excessive barking, nuisance barking

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