January 17


Reasons Why Dogs Bark

Reasons Why Dogs Bark

Dogs are capable of a number of different vocalisations. These include barking, whining, howling and crying. They are all natural behaviours and are used as a method of communicating.

Probably the most characteristic of these sounds is barking. As dog owners, there are times when we want our dogs to bark. We want them to tell us when strangers are around. At the same time, it will be telling strangers to stay away.

But, at other times the barking can become excessive and be a nuisance to us and to our neighbors.

We should train our dogs not to bark inappropriately. At the same time, it is useful to know why dogs bark. Here are some of the reasons.

Related Article: How To Stop A Dog From Barking

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Barking As A Warning

Many people keep a dog to guard their homes. After a short time in your home your dog will consider it to be his territory. When a stranger approach the house your dog will bark a warning. In effect, he is saying “this territory belongs to our pack - you are not a member so keep out”

At the same time, he is warning to strangers stay away, he is alerting us to the fact that someone is around.

This is one of the ways that a dog’s natural behaviour benefits us as owners.

We would not normally want to discourage this kind of barking,

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This type of barking most often develops when a dog is left alone for long periods of time. Soon after the owner departs in the morning, the dog will bark start to bark and continue almost all day. The barking pattern will be characterised by long periods of monotonous barking separated by short periods of silence. The owner, who is the way is not really affected by their behaviour, but it makes life pretty unpleasant for the neighbors. Strangely, neighbors are often reluctant to complain to the owners about the barking. It seems they would prefer to put up with the inconvenience rather than cause an upset in the neighborhood.

The dog is barking to pass the time. He actually enjoys it. It is certainly preferable to lying around doing nothing.

It can be a hard problem to fix and you may need help from a professional trainer.

There are some things you can try to help fix the problem.

You need to stimulate your dog both physically and mentally. Before you leave each day take your dog for a long energetic walk. This should be for at least half an hour. When you are at home, spend some time playing vigorously with your dog. Playing games like tug exercises your dog’s mind and body.

For the period you are away, leave stimulating toys for the dog to play with. Something like a Kong can keep him occupied for more than an hour.

Try different exercise regimes and different toys to find out what works. You will need to talk to at least one of your neighbors to check if there is any improvement.

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Attention Seeking

Barking for attention is when the dog wants you to take a particular action. You may have trained your dog to bark when he needs to go to the toilet. This is fine.

However, he may bark on other occasions which are not as desirable. If you comply with his “request” you are encouraging the unwanted behavior.

If your dog does bark for attention, you should completely ignore him. You could even leave the room. Wait until he calms down and stops barking before you pay him any attention.

Do not yell at your dog to be quiet or punish him for barking. As with all training, you should use positive reinforcement. You ignore the bad behaviour and reward the good. 

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Anxious barking can be a method of self-comforting for your dog. It can be related to separation anxiety.

Dogs can also bark anxiously for other reasons.

To help your dog with this problem, you need to identify the source of his anxiety. It is then a question of working out what you can do to remove that source.

They could be fearful of strange noises - particularly thunder.

If the problem is serious you should discuss solutions with your vet.

About the author 

Stan Jones

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