Barking too much or at the wrong times gets lots of dogs in trouble. As an owner, there are probably times when you wish your dog would stop barking. Here are some reasons why your dog may bark and how you can control it.
Why Dogs Bark?
Barking is a means of communication for your dog. In the wild, wolves rarely bark, though they may howl or give other vocalizations. Some people theorize that dogs developed barking when they became domesticated and started living with humans.
Dogs actually have lots of different kinds of barks, though they often sound all the same to humans. If you really pay attention though, you can start telling the difference in the kind of barking your dog is doing.
Different Kinds of Barking
To Give Warning or Sound an Alarm
This is the kind of barking your dog will do if there is an intruder or if your house is on fire. This sort of barking is desirable and you would not want to stop your dog from doing this kind of barking. However, some dogs can’t tell when something is a real threat or not. They may bark at the mailman delivering your mail the same way they would bark at someone breaking into your house. You may have to train your dog so he knows when it is appropriate to bark.
When They Are Playing
Most dogs will bark when they play or get excited. This is normal when a dog is having fun, especially for puppies and young dogs. If your dog is playing with you or with another dog, you can expect him to bark. This kind of barking will sound happy and excited. Some dogs will also bark with excitement if they know they are going for a car ride or a walk.
When They Are Bored
Lots of dogs bark when they are bored. This is often considered nuisance barking and it is a problem. Your dog may be left alone at home all day and, to register his disapproval and amuse himself, he starts barking. Some dogs in this situation probably bark out of habit. After a while your dog may not even realize he’s barking. This is the kind of barking that is probably most likely to annoy your neighbors. You can usually put a stop to this kind of barking by increasing the amount of exercise your dog gets so he will be more likely to sleep when you are not home and by providing him with lots of toys and safe things to chew on so he can keep himself occupied.
When They Are Anxious
If your dog has problems with separation anxiety he may bark, whine, and cry when he is left alone. Separation anxiety can be treated with desensitization techniques, with help from a professional trainer, and/or with some medication from your veterinarian.
When They Want Attention
Lots of dogs bark to get attention. If your dog thinks you are ignoring him, he may bark to get your attention which I am sure most of us cannot ignore a dog barking in your face.
When They Are Frustrated
Dogs may bark when they are frustrated. This kind of barking often occurs if a favorite toy has rolled under the couch, or if there is a cat on the other side of the fence. A dog can bark for a long time if he is truly frustrated.
To Answer Other Dogs
If your dog hears other dogs barking he is likely to bark in response as if to say, “Hey! I’m over here!” You can often get a whole neighborhood of dogs barking and responding to each other once one dog starts barking.