There is no single reason that drives dogs to bark, and unfortunately not a simple solution to excessive barking. Of course, mild to moderate barking is considered to be normal and part of the dog’s natural behavior. Excessive barking, however, is really frustrating and irritating both for the owners and their neighbors.
While our blog’s mascot is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, this applies to any breed.
Why is My Dog Barking So Much?
The most important aspect of preventing barking is discovering what makes the dog go berserk. Even though it seems that there is no obvious reason, somehow it works for the dogs and soothes them. This canine specific habit can be due to:
Territorial – The dog considers the area as his own and someone or something foreign intrudes.
Alarm – The dog is startled by unexpected noise or movement.
Attention – The dog needs something and barks in order to get your attention. It’s up to you to discover whether they are hungry, thirsty, or just want to play and access the outdoors.
Frustration – The dog’s favorite toy is stuck under the couch and he can’t reach it so the barking starts.
Boredom – The dog is under-stimulated and looks for a way to entertain itself. This form of barking has repetitive sounds.
Play – Dogs also bark when everything is all right and they are just having a good time. This form of barking is cheerful and funny.
Separation – Again, in order to comfort and soothe themselves, dogs that don’t want to be left alone engage in this pitiful bark. The barking stops once the owners return home.
Fear – The dog tries to put distance between itself and something that’s frightening him. It’s considered to be the most menacing barking sound.
Stopping the Barking
Excessive barking, however, is really frustrating and irritating both for the owners and their neighbors. Here are some tips to help stop the barking.
Teach your dog to be quiet on command
In any situation when the dog would usually bark, and looks at you instead, show him the quiet command and be prepared to give him a treat immediately. This way the animal will learn that whenever he decides not to bark, something yummy is coming his way.
Desensitize your dog to objects that trigger his barking
Barking as a result of lack of attention, boredom or separation can be managed with toys, toys and more toys. Whenever you are not home or just busy around the house give the dog hard rubber toys with treats inside so they will be occupied and happy.
Put a head halter on your pet companion if he barks at people or animals when you walk him
On long-term, attention-seek and frustration can be managed with ignoring the barking. Whenever the barking starts just turn away or walk out of the room. In any other case, you will become their slave and they will acknowledge being pushy works.
Provide your dog with daily mental and physical stimulation
The most helpful tool for all types of barkers is physical exercise. Let the simple walks prolong and engage in a series of fetch, find-the-toy, and hide-and-seek so that the dog will eventually feel mentally and physically exhausted. Tired pets are less likely to perceive interlopers or poster their owners for attention.
Break your dog’s concentration so he stops barking
Territorial and alarm barkers can be managed by cutting off any visual access to the outside. It works best when you install a temporary window film and block the dog’s view. The film should be placed a little bit above the dog’s line of sight. Over the next few weeks, you can gradually lower the cover if the dog starts to show less interest in barking.
How do I stop my dog barking when I’m not home?
Keep the dog in the quietest part of the house. A dog with behavior problems has not earned “the run of the house”.
Keep curtains and/or shades drawn. Leave a radio or TV on as white noise. As you leave, give the dog an “only-when-I’m-gone” chew toy with your scent imparted on it.