When it comes to getting a furry friend, most jump on the dog bandwagon. They’re considered man’s best friend for a reason. However, one issue that many dog owners find themselves dealing with is excessive barking. Understanding why your dog may bark excessively and how to curb those root issues can mean the difference between a healthy and a frustrating friendship.
Why Do Dogs Bark Excessively?
It’s essential first to get a good understanding of why dogs bark. There are many reasons that they will be vocal. When you take the time to identify the root cause of their barking spat, you can successfully treat the problem.
It would help if you thought of your dog as the protector of your home. When a person or animal enters the property, your dog will likely bark. This is a bark that alerts the intruder of their doing and lets you know that someone or something is at your home.
Unexpected noises or objects can easily catch our attention. As humans, we may find ourselves jumping up in fright or screaming. Dogs turn to barking. This type of barking can take place at your home or anywhere else your dog senses fear.
It’s not uncommon for your dog to start barking when they feel lonely for long periods. These periods typically happen when they’re stuck outside or at home by themselves.
When you walk into your home after a long day at work, you can always expect your pup to meet you with a bark. This is considered a greeting when it’s accompanied by tail wagging and jumping.
Some dogs experience anxiety similar to humans. When they’re separated from their owner or people, in general, they will bark excessively. This can be alongside other behaviors like destructiveness, pacing, waste elimination indoors, and depression.
Seek Your Attention
Dogs have needs just like human beings. They may bark if they’re hungry, need to go outside, want a treat, or to play with you. If your dog’s barking doesn’t fit into any of the categories above, they’re likely seeking your attention for something they need.
Treating Excessive Barking Successfully
Treating excessive barking is going to take some time to do. You must set your goals for the long-term health and well-being of your dog and you. To stop the excessive barking, you’ll need to practice tactics taught below consistently. Before we start with the tactics you’ll want to use, here are some things you’ll need to keep in mind throughout the process.
- You’ll need to pick a keyword that you’ll consistently use to calm down your dog. Instead of yelling ‘shut up’ like most owners, you’ll want to use the word ‘quiet’.
- Realize that shouting at your dog is going to stimulate their barking. Dogs perceive yelling as you’re trying to join them in barking. Instead, speak firm and calmly when responding to their excessive barking.
Always keep these two bits of information in the back of your mind while training your pup. This will not only help you to understand them a little bit better, but it will also allow you to be more effective when training them. Now, let’s take a look at the steps you’ll need to take to eliminate excessive barking from your dog’s regular behavior.
1.) Identify their reason for excessive barking. The list of root causes was above. We suggest printing them out or memorizing them. When your dog starts barking excessively, stop and figure out the cause. This will help you to train them better.
2.) If you notice that excessive barking seems to be stemming from issues like separation anxiety or loneliness, treating the issue may be more effective by treating the root cause. Consider taking them to doggie daycare. You may want to schedule some more walks to tire them out. You may even consider getting another pet to keep them company while you’re not at home.
3.) If you notice the excessive barking stems from another reason, like seeking your attention or greeting you, you’ll want to employ some quieting tactics. Give your dog an instruction to ‘be quiet’. Don’t yell the command. Rather, state if firmly and calmly. Have a treat ready. When your dog stops barking, immediately give them a treat. This way, they know that ‘being quiet’ gets them rewarded.
4.) As your dog starts to understand the ‘be quiet’ command, continue your training efforts to include other practices. If you find that excessive barking stems from a happy greeting, consider training your dog to go to a designated spot when you walk through the door. Have them remain there with treats until you make it inside the door. Consistency is king when it comes to training your dog to stop barking excessively.