Barking problems are among the most common complaints that dog owners have. Barking, whining, yelping and even snorting give us insight as to how a dog is feeling. Why do dogs bark? Well, for a variety of reasons:
- Alert Barkers: These dogs will ‘alarm’ bark if they feel threatened.
- Play Barkers: They may bark or whine when they play and get excited.
- Attention Seeking Barkers: Dogs may bark for attention. Especially when they’re lonely, bored or stressed. Certain breeds or breed types are also genetically inclined to bark more than others.
- Pain: Dogs may also bark, whine or yelp if they are in pain.
When a dog barks he’s usually trying to get your (or someone’s attention) How you’ll prevent or resolve your issue with barking will partially depend on what is triggering your dog to bark. You need to identify the triggers as to what is causing your dog to bark.
- A key decision on your part is to decide do you want your dog to bark if someone is at the door (or worse – climbing through a window!) and how long he is allowed to bark. Often owners say they want their dog to bark if someone is at the door, or at the sound of a doorbell or knocking. Your dog is essentially an alarm clock. At the same time you need to decide how long is your dog allowed to bark – just until you get to the door, as you open the door, is it okay for him to bark at people once they are allowed in? Some dogs get so triggered they bark for several minutes and/or become reactive even though the threat is over (in your mind, not necessarily his.) It’s important to create a protocol for your dog, what are the rules about barking (what noises are okay for him to bark at, if people come in – he needs to greet them politely etc.). If you are having trouble getting your dog to calm down or if he incessantly barks – you may need the help of a professional trainer.
- Additionally, if your dog is barking through the front window as dogs pass by your house, blocking off his access to that window is a simple way to help prevent his barking.
- If your dog is barking, yelping or whining because he’s in pain – schedule a visit to your veterinarian as soon as possible.
- Cameras can be helpful in identifying why your dog is barking. Setting up a camera that can record your dog when he’s home will help to identify what triggers his barking, what time of day, how often he barks etc.
- Keeping barking under control is key to keeping your dog calm and happy. We want dogs to bark when necessary, however, not bark incessantly. Furthermore, many cities and towns have noise ordinances and a frequently barking dog(s) may violate them.
Canine Path’s expert trainers can help you determine what is triggering your dog to bark and help you put in place barking protocols and management techniques.
Keep in mind that the more your dog practices barking the better he’ll get at it. So identifying what is triggering your dog to bark and if all possible, removing the trigger or trying to stop the barking before it occurs is the simplest way to prevent unwanted barking.