Dogs bark as a means of communication. Like howling and growling, barking is a normal behavior of your canine pets. There are many reasons why dogs bark. It can be a way of seeking attention, expressing fear or simply due to excitement.
Some dogs bark when they feel territorial while others bark when they are lonely. However, when a dog barks more than usual, it might be a behavioral problem or a compulsive disorder that must be properly addressed.
Here are some of the reasons why your dog may be barking excessively.
· Separation anxiety
As a dog owner, you have probably experienced that sometimes your dog barks when you are leaving the house. Some dogs may fuss a bit and then calm down after the owner leaves. However, some dogs may experience high levels of anxiety after their owners depart. In addition to the barking prior the owner leaving, a dog may excessively salivate, pace or pant. This may indicate separation anxiety. In an owner’s absence, dogs with separation anxiety may begin destructive behavior while attempting to escape the house or crate.
Dogs that bark excessively may be suffering from pain or illness. If you have an older dog, he may be suffering from Canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD) or dog dementia.
· Response to other dogs barking
Dogs commonly bark when there are other dogs around. Your dog may be feeling excitement and bark as a form of greeting. Dogs can even respond to barking that comes from a distance even if they do not see other dogs.
· Distress or fear
When a dog’s bark is high-pitched and incessant, it may signal that a dog is distressed. As well, if a dog sees or hears something that is stressful for him, he may bark to attempt to remove the stressful trigger.
· Attention seeking behavior
When dogs wants attention from their owners, it is common that they will bark until their owner addresses them. Sometimes dogs will bark at another dog or other wildlife to try to get attention.
Dogs are naturally playful and respond well to mental and physical stimulation. Not uncommonly, when dogs are left on their own for too long, they may get bored. Some dogs will bark for hours until they find something that will pass their time.
· Alert barking
Alert barking is usually a dog’s response to mark its territory. It is usually triggered when another dog or human crosses what the dog considers its territory.
First and foremost, addressing your dog’s excessive barking must start with identifying the underlying cause. Bring your dog to a veterinarian to rule out illness or disease. If your dog is ill, make sure you work with your veterinarian regarding the medication and the treatment that your dog will need.
Ways to Address Excessive Barking
If your dog’s excessive barking is a result of a behavioral problem, there are several ways to address the behavior.
Here are ways to stop your dog’s excessive barking.
1. Remove the stimulus.
If your dog keeps barking when he sees something or someone outside, you might want to make a sight barrier. Cover the window with curtains or bring your dog into a room with no busy view. You can give your dog an activity so that he is not focused on the stimulus.
2. Don’t shout or yell at your dog.
Although it may feel like an automatic response to yell at your dog when he does not stop barking, this may actually exacerbate the problem. When you shout, it may seem to the dog that you are barking with him. Therefore, this stimulates the behavior even further. If your dog is barking because he is distressed or fearful, yelling will only make the situation worse. So, instead, create a more positive environment for your dog so that he feels safe.
3. Give your dog physical and mentally stimulating activities.
Walk your dog every morning and every night. It will give your dog a physical and mental stimulation. You can also play games like a treasure hunt, fetch or catch games.
4. Spend time with your dog.
Your dog may be barking too much when he is left alone often. Dogs are pack animals and are not used to being on their own. Make sure to spend quality time with your dog every day.
5. Bring your dog to a dog trainer or behavioral counselor.
Dog trainers and behavioral counselors are skilled in giving positive and encouraging methods to alter your dog’s behavior. Dog classes can address some problems like chewing, digging and excessive barking.
What is Dog Training?
Dog trainers teach dogs how to be obedient by giving them specific activities and tasks. They employ methods to reinforce positive responses from your dog and promote good behavior. Basic training involves teaching dogs how to:
- Come upon command
- Sit upon command
- Be sociable with other dogs and humans
- Walk properly with a handler
- Stay and not stray
Dog training can address your dog’s excessive barking. Dog trainers have the ability to assess your dog’s undesirable behavior and address it accordingly. There are several methods to train your dog. One effective way is to use positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement rewards a dog’s good behavior and does not resort to punishment.
Bring your dog to a reliable and trusted dog trainer. Positive Paws Pet Training provides only the best dog training and behavioral counseling to your beloved pet.