An old proverb once quoted, “Question the dog that does not bark.” This explains eloquently in words how barking is just a completely natural, normal doggy behavior. It is just another way they use to try and communicate with us.
A dog might bark because they are happy or over-excited, on the other hand, they might bark out of fear or anxiety. A dog might even bark because they have become bored, and want to get your complete attention. “Hey. Hey. Look at me! Treats please!”
A barking dog will bark, but when does the barking become just too much to take?
Any dog or new puppy that won’t stop barking can be a real headache for you and quickly become a neighborhood nuisance. If your dog has an incessant barking problem, down below are some simple, extremely helpful ways to reduce the amount of bothersome barks in and around your home. But first, let’s talk about why your dog might bark.
Why Do Dogs Bark?
Simply put, humans talk, and dogs bark. It is just another natural function our lovable canines share with us daily. One of the main reasons dogs bark at us is because they are trying to say hello or get our attention.
Secondly, dogs may start to bark a lot when calling out to another furry friend. Dogs also become vocal to express an array of different emotions, especially when they become upset and/or territorial. Dog pets are notorious for barking when their owner leaves them at home alone, which can be particularly bad if you live in an apartment with thin walls.
In general, if you hear a dog barking there is a definite reason why. So it’s important to check up and identify the cause or possible problem your pup is experiencing.
The range of reasons can be astounding if you think about it. Canines have been known to bark when alerting to danger like house fires, and in the same way, bark at the slightest little noise they hear. A lightning strike, the rustling of a leaf, a squirrel running by the window, or a sudden knock at the door.
Barking is normal, but when dogs are barking too much, good owners should identify the issue so you can quickly help your dog work through the problem. Putting a stop to the excessive barking, so you don’t have to pack up and move town!
How To Correct Barking Dogs
You can always try to remain calm and understand the why behind the bark before correcting it. Things like regular playtime and exercise can keep your dog distracted and too tired to keep up with the constant noise.
Bark prevention can also be very helpful. Preventing your dog from barking in the first place with things like puzzle toys, chews, and exercise is much easier than trying to stop the excessive howling once it starts.
It’s best to attempt not to yell or reward their bad behavior. It is key to be calm, and consistent and remove the motivation to bark while rewarding good behavior.
First, Figure out why they are barking, then gradually work to remove the need to do so. Let’s discuss some other easy steps you can take to put a stop to the barking:
Retrain the Behavior Once You Find the Trigger
Once you find out the exact triggers of the barking such as, (doorbells, wanting attention, and outside distractions), the next step is retraining the barking behavior. It is true, canines are known to bark at people or other dogs more if they have not been taught to socialize properly when they were young.
It is best to begin bringing them around bikes, cars, children, and wheelchairs when they are puppies. When your puppy starts to become triggered by these things, gradually get them to be desensitized by what is causing them to bark.
Luckily at any age, getting them accustomed to their triggers can work. If you are persistent with the training, and give it time to process, eventually you will help encourage your dogs to not alert and bark your ear off every time the telephone rings.
Retraining the bad behavior in a way where they learn when to bark rather than to never bark. For example, If you are on a walk with your best friend and they tend to bark at people, dogs, or squirrels passing by you can easily say a quiet command to prevent barking.
As the subject comes into view, make sure to keep their attention away from that direct stimuli by introducing a positive reinforcement quickly. Repeat the process over and over, and remember good training takes time and dedication. Soon enough, your dog might not even bark at all when they see the common distractions on their walks.
Teach Your Dog Incompatible Behavior
Similar to retraining bad behavior, teaching your dog incompatible behaviors to replace them is also effective. So when your dog begins to bark too much, encourage them to do something that’s incompatible with excessively emoting about it.
This will eventually teach your dog to react differently to certain stimuli with something different that inhibits that behavior. Instructing them to a time-out rug they know is theirs with positive reinforcement, or giving them a treat when laying down on their favorite bed can help them learn new behaviors when the urge to bark arises.
What happens in time with this form of calm conditioning is that when the doorbell rings, instead of barking they will go to that special spot and sit quietly instead, waiting for your attention. (and maybe a special treat too!)
Change their Environment
Managing surroundings can also really be beneficial when retraining your dog to not bark excessively. When you leave your vocal dog at home alone, leave them in tranquil environments. Leave them with calming familiar sounds, like TV or music. Close the blinds and dim the lighting before you leave them. This creates a tranquil atmosphere while simultaneously removing the opportunity to be distracted by outside stimuli.
A newer method gaining popularity is the teaching of a “quiet command”. This method involves curtailing the barking issue by using a calm, yet firm voice to command your dog to be “quiet”. Then reinforcing positive behavior with praise. Sticking with this method, or any method is crucial because dogs learn by routine.
How To Teach Your Dog A Quiet Command
When you have a dog, you naturally will have barks to accompany that greatness. But when the barking becomes too much, it is important to curb that bad behavior with much more positive reinforcement. Whether your dog is barking out of anxiety or simply to just get your attention.
If you feel like their barking has become excessive, it is important to find out the exact cause, address the issues, and then fix it with consistent training, patience, time, and lots of love. You may also want to consult with a professional behaviorist.
And don’t forget to reward your dog when they do something right! Barking Buddha Pet has plenty of healthy, affordable treats for your dog. Shop Now.