Dogs can go from being a bundle of joy that takes away all our stress to annoying, noise machines that disrupts everyoneâ€™s peace. All it takes is loud, excessive barking.
Barking is a primary method of canine communication and is usually done for a specific reason.
The most effective way to prevent dogs from barking is to tackle the root cause. So, letâ€™s look at the major reasons that lead to dogs barking uncontrollably and how we can stop them.
Reason 1: Seeking Attention
Dogs can use barking to get what they want. This may be our attention, food, toys or simply to go outside.
If your dog is very clingy and barks for attention every time you are busy with other things; distracting them would be a good solution.
If you are busy with something, just give your dog a toy to play with and keep them occupied. If they get busy playing, they wonâ€™t require your attention.
When your dog throws a tantrum, they will continue doing so if you acknowledge or pay attention to these activities. All you have to do is ignore their woofs and howls and just let them be.
You can walk out of the room, try not to look at them or engage with them while they are still barking during the process.
Reason 2: Protective or Territorial Barking
Whenever a dog feels threatened by something or someone, they may bark to protect their territory and claim dominance.
When triggered, they will also bark to alert or warn the owner to protect them as well .They are likely to be loud and aggressive during these situations.
Every time your dog barks continuously, let them know that you donâ€™t like it. You can let them know through your expressions or specific sounds.
The key here is to be persistent, donâ€™t take the shortcut instead, keep communicating through your sounds and gestures until the dog gives in and becomes silent.
Block your dogâ€™s view thatâ€™s triggering them to howl. So, if they are triggered by the car or mailman outside, just pull the curtains or close the windows.
This is a technique where you record a sound that your dog likes and play it to calm them down. Start from a lower volume and as you increase the volume, reward them with treats.
This trains their subconscious mind to react to the sound positively in different situations.
Reason 3: Separation Anxiety
If your dog barks continuously when left alone while pacing, running in circles or making repetitive restless movements, then the dog suffers from anxiety and increased stress when alone.
Exercise like a brisk walking or playing fetch for a while anything really can ensure your dog a good time. Once your dog is tired, reward them with a treat.
As you leave the house, your dog will be tired and in a resting mode. This will make them less stressed and calmer.
This will help the dog adjust to empty environments better rather than shocking them all at once. The sound of a human voice can help keep them calm when they are alone.
You can also use pheromone diffusers that give off soothing chemicals of female dogs to relieve your dogâ€™s anxiety.
Some dogs love barking when they are excited or when they want to greet others. Their initial barks and tail wagging are all cute and lovable; however, it can soon turn annoying when they become unruly.
Train Dogs to Bark on Demand:
Train your dog to bark using a specific word like â€˜speakâ€™ and reward them whenever they follow. This can teach them silence.
When training, we have to remember to reward them a few moments later after they are silent.
This teaches them to follow instructions and also instills in them the importance of remaining silent to get rewards. You can even use bark collars to curb their excessive barking.
What to Do When You Canâ€™t Pin Point the Reason behind Your Dogâ€™s barking Habits:
Unless your dog is visibly barking for a specific reason mentioned above, most times it may be difficult to exactly pinpoint why your dog canâ€™t stop barking.
In this case, you may want to resort to universal techniques that can help all dog owners to thwart their dogs from barking unnecessarily:
In situations where you expect your dog to bark, but they donâ€™t like when someone passes by or a car pulls over, acknowledge this act with a treat or a pat. This encourages them to continue the behavior.
Ensure your dog has an active lifestyle by making them exercise quite a lot every day. This can include fetch, going for a run or hide and seek.
By keeping them mentally and physically active, you Â will help reduce their stress and keep them distracted.
If the situation worsens and you are really struggling to control your dogâ€™s excessive barking, then you may consider visiting a vet or a pet behaviorist.
Dogs are a manâ€™s best friend. They are there for us through sickness and health. If they can accept us through all our flaws, I think we too can make an effort to accept this specific flaw of theirs and help minimize it.
Now, with a better understanding and more tips and tricks mentioned above to help prevent dogs from barking excessively, we can all go back to enjoying our lives to the fullest with our precious pups.
Shawn is a content writer at Feedfond. He is an avid dog lover and the owner of two Golden Retrievers. Check out his articles at Feedfond.com.