Dogs bark for a number of reasons and it’s their natural way of communicating, alarming and endorsing social activities.
While our blog’s mascot is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, this applies to any breed.
Common Reasons for Barking
You can’t get mad at your furry friend for an occasional bark now and then, but some dogs really tend to bark excessively which drives the owner and the neighbors mad.
Most common reasons for excessive barking are territorial and alarming issues when the dog barks to defend his property and his family members from other animals and people.
Boredom and Separation Anxiety
Other times the excessive barking is due to boredom (attention seeking) and frustration when the dog is separated from animals and people he likes. To choose the right tool and method to stop your dog from barking you need to recognize the trigger of the barking thunderstorm.
Addressing Triggers of Barking
Sight and Sound Barriers
Regarding the first cause, i.e. territorial and alarming barking the owner needs to install a sight, and if possible sound barriers in the household. If you don’t own a yard and your dog is strictly indoors, you need to block the sightline by covering the reachable windows. This can be achieved by using curtains, spray-on coating for glass and a removable film made out of plastic.
In the yard, it’s advisable to build some privacy fencing to block the views of the street and the neighboring backyard.
Spend Quality Time with your Dog
When was the last time you spent a quality outdoor time with your dog? Sometimes the problem can be as simple as ‘the dog is just bored’. What you need to do is to provide some physical and mental activities that will make the dog both tired and satisfied. Wash away his frustrations with a game of fetch, some obedience training, and Frisbee games or a long walk. A tired pooch won’t have the energy for maniac barking.
Address Separation Anxiety
One thing that doesn’t drive you mad is when the dog is suffering from separation anxiety. That’s when you leave your dog home alone and he starts excessively barking, potentially giving your neighbors a nasty headache. If you missed crate training while the dog was still a puppy you need to invest in a little something called a ‘dog quite zone’. This is a place, a room to be exact, somewhere far from the front door where the dog will feel safe and relaxed until the owner returns to him. The essentials for the quiet room are a crate, or a baby gate to prevent the dog from leaving the space and a comfy bed with a cozy cover. Add some toys or a puzzle feeder to keep the dog busy. The quiet space should be sound proof as much as possible to block any exterior sounds and distractions. Moreover, you can prepare a set-list of relaxing songs and play them at low volume.
If nothing works, then it’s time to introduce technological advancements. Some of the tools you can use are a thunder shirt anxiety jacket that lowers over-excitement, stress-reducing collar with soothing pheromones and a citronella spray collar (the device sprays citronella which tastes nasty for the dogs) to keep them calm. Good luck!