Why Is My Dog Barking?

barkingdogBy Scott Erickson

Bark! Bark!! BARK!!!

The dog barked the neighbor boy right off of his bicycle last week, and they complained. Other people have complained about his barking, and it’s getting hard to sleep through the night without getting woken once or twice by his barking fits. GRRR!!WOOF!!!

Can’t anything be done?

You can learn how to deal with your dog’s excessive barking. It’s possible to correct and deal with this behavior. There are many reasons that dogs bark, and all dogs will bark from time to time. You wouldn’t want to stop your dog from barking when it’s appropriate. It’s important to be aware of the possible causes of excessive barking so that you can correct it properly. There are 3 or 4 reasons that dogs will bark too much.

They’re Bored

Your dog may bark because he isn’t getting enough mental or physical stimulation. Just like a little kid acting out, your dog may bark because he’s bored. Make sure
that he’s getting the exercise and attention that he needs from you. Don’t give him attention when he barks for this reason, though. A direct reaction to this type of barking, even a negative reaction, will only encourage your dog to behave in the same way again.

Breed

Certain dog breeds bark more than average. Because of the job that they were bred to do, many herding dogs and hounds are like this. In spite of this, you can train her to bark a great deal less, almost a normal amount.

Separation

Dogs are pack animals. Your dog may bark too much when you leave him home alone because he’s separated from his pack and doesn’t know how else to find you again. This can be one of the most difficult excessive barking problems to address, but it can be done when you know what is causing the problem.

There is one major pitfall to avoid. When you arrive home and he’s barking, don’t give him positive or negative attention. If you do, he may think that it was his barking that caused you to come back. If he’s barking when you get home, ignore him, no eye contact, and turn your back. As soon as he stops barking, pet him and praise him to show him that he can get attention by NOT barking.

Strangers

Your dog may bark when a stranger comes near the house. This could be anyone that your dog perceives to be a threat. It can be difficult to eliminate this behaviour if your dog is barking at the mailman or other delivery person because these people are guaranteed to reward the behavior. The mailman comes, the dog barks, the mailman leaves. It’s not an impossible cycle to break, but it takes extra work.

Certain breeds, boredom, separation from the pack, and strangers will sometimes make dogs bark too much. Although it can be annoying, there are times when it’s appropriate for your dog to bark. Barking is one of the ways that dogs express themselves. They just need to know when YOU think it’s appropriate, or not.

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