To prevent our dog from becoming an inveterate barker or to eliminate the excessive barking of a barking dog, we must first understand why do the dogs bark. Dogs can bark for endless reasons, some external, such as stimuli that trigger territorial behaviors, and others internal, such as fear, frustration or boredom. In any case, letting the dog keep barking without paying attention to the reason that leads him to do so is always a serious mistake.
Those dogs that do not stop barking when they are alone at home, when they want to get something or have a health problem, require that we pay attention to the change in their behavior to put a solution as soon as possible and offer the best possible quality of life. Keep reading and discover the main reasons that explain why dogs bark.
Apparently barking serves dogs, among other things, to release stress. Although it is very difficult to determine when a dog becomes a stress barker, it is common to find barking dogs in situations that, without a doubt, are very stressful for them.
Dogs that are subjected to extreme training conditions or hard living conditions may develop the habit of barking. Dogs that spend a lot of time in isolation can bark at the stress caused by loneliness, as well as boredom and frustration.
Some dogs get so excited about certain things that they can't help barking. This enthusiasm is a form of stress that we can teach to channel promoting tranquility and relaxation.
On the other hand, this type of barking is also seen in some dogs when they play or when they perform an activity that stimulates them excessively. Many canine agility and freestyle dogs bark throughout the test and during training, simply because they are very stimulated. In such activities this behavior is not a problem, however, in other sports such as schutzhund performing a routine of barking obedience is a penalized practice.
Many dogs bark out of boredom. Simply they have nothing else to do and they are not destructive dogs, so they bark or howl. These are dogs that usually spend a lot of time alone, without any toys or company. Likewise, barkers can be dogs that spend almost their entire lives isolated in a garden or patio, or dogs that are left alone all day while their owners go to work.
Generally, this situation is very difficult to solve because the owners are not present when the dog barks, and because the barking behavior tends to reinforce itself positively. In addition, the behavior can get worse if many neighborhood dogs are in similar conditions and the barking "spreads" between them. To try to solve it, it is best to leave the animal with toys such as kong, which provide entertainment while the owner is away from home. Similarly, try spend a little more time to the can and avoid spending so much time alone is always advisable. It should be noted that boredom from spending long hours alone at home can trigger anxiety if the right solution is not established.
Many dogs bark because they want something they can't get And barking is the answer to your frustration. A clear example of this is the game with laser lights. If you usually use a laser light to make your dog chase it and try to catch it, and observe that it starts barking when it fails to reach it, stop practicing this "game". Failure to catch his target (laser light) causes him a huge frustration that triggers in a series of barking.
On the other hand, frustration is also a frequent cause of barking in dogs that remain alone for a long time and in a small space, since they have no way of controlling their environment or feeling free. In other words, dogs that bark in frustration do so because without the presence of their owners, they are completely vulnerable and incapable inside the home.
External stimuli that we do not perceive
Many times dogs bark because they realize things that we don't perceive, or that we overlook. Animals that the dog sees through the window, such as cats or squirrels, people who walk by the other side of the door, objects that move with the wind creating strange images and other things can be the triggers of the barking of the dogs. Sometimes they are easy to detect stimuli, but sometimes we are not able to realize them. The same happens when our dog starts barking without stopping when we take him for a walk, it is likely that something we have missed has caught his attention.
The home removals and the important changes that occur inside the house can also trigger the barking of a dog. Particularly important may be the absences of other people or pets that previously lived in the home, either by death or by transfer.
One of the most common reasons why dogs bark is unconscious training. Many dog owners teach their dogs to bark, without realizing what they are doing. Thus, many dogs come to this practice to demand food, ask them to open the street door, get attention, etc.
Every time the dog barks because its bowl of water has become empty, for example, and we have not realized it, we must wait until it stops to fill it. Otherwise, the dog interprets that every time he barks we will respond to his demand. Thus, we reward their behavior instead of correcting it.
Genetics also play an important role in the degree of barking a dog has. While the influence of the environment can modify this behavior to some extent, some dogs have a greater need to bark. In fact, there are races that are more barking than others, and that is because barking behavior has been fixed by selection in certain races. For example, hunting dogs that follow hound-like traces are often very barking, while molosoids tend to be little barking.
It is practically impossible to eliminate a behavior that has a strong genetic component without affecting other aspects of the animal's behavior. Therefore, if you have a dog of barking breed, the best thing you can do is to channel that behavior to appropriate situations. If you try to eliminate it, it is very likely that you will fail but if you succeed, it is more than certain that you will cause some new behavioral problem in your dog.
In some cases dogs bark because they have a health problem. For example, elderly dogs may have decreased vision or hearing, which leads them to be more easily surprised and bark in reaction to fright. Therefore, it is always recommended go to the vet If we see that our elderly dog barks more frequently for examination, determine if his health is being affected and explain to us why the dog barks so much.
How do I prevent my dog from barking
Now that you know the most common reasons that answer the question why do the dogs bark, we encourage you to consult our article in which we detail how to prevent a dog from barking, always through positive reinforcement, promoting tranquility and dedicating time to our furry companion.
If you want to read more articles similar to Why do the dogs bark, we recommend that you enter our Curiosities section of the animal world.
What are the reasons why dogs bark?
Apparently barking serves dogs, among other things, to release the stress or the accumulated burden due to some circumstance: enthusiasm, frustration, loneliness, boredom, and so on. In addition, it is often very difficult to discover when a dog becomes a stress barker, it is very common to find barking dogs in situations that are undoubtedly very stressful for them.
Those dogs that are exposed to extreme training conditions or harsh living conditions may develop the habit of barking. As well as dogs that spend a lot of time apart, they can bark at the stress caused by loneliness, as well as boredom and frustration.
We must never forget that dogs are pack animals and therefore do not handle loneliness as well as cat.
Most canines get so excited about certain things that they find it impossible not to bark. This enthusiasm is a form of stress, but it can be used to teach the dog new things.
This type of barking is seen in some dogs when they play or when they are doing some activity that stimulates them in excess.
On many occasions dogs bark for boredom. Simply because they have nothing else to do and they are not destructive dogs, and for that reason they bark or sometimes howl. These are dogs that usually spend a lot of time alone, without any company or toys.
In some cases, barking dogs can be dogs that spend most of their lives isolated in a garden or in a yard, or dogs that are left alone all day while their owners go to work.
Generally this situation is somewhat complicated to solve since the owners are not present when the dog barks, and because the barking behavior usually positively reinforces itself. On top of that, this behavior can get worse because many times the neighborhood dogs are in similar circumstances and the barking is spread among them.
It is your responsibility to spend time with your dog, take care of it, do activities with it that provide stimulation and pleasure, take care of it, feed it well and walk it daily. Apart from exercising it, you have to activate your mind. The bored dog needs to alleviate that frustration in some way and therefore almost always resort to barking. Do not in any way allow your dog to get bored and end up overwhelmed.
On several occasions dogs bark because they want something they can't get and barking is usually the answer to that frustration. In addition, it is also a very frequent cause because dogs that are left alone for a long time have no way of controlling their environment and that causes them frustration.
In other words, canines that bark in frustration do so because without the presence of their masters, they are completely vulnerable and incapable inside the house.
5. Lack of exercise
A dog that does not exercise has plenty of energy and causes some discord wherever he goes, as it jumps, barks and carries an excitement that not even its own owner can control. When this happens, the dog needs to release that energy, enjoying long walks, sports and some dog training will help him improve this behavior. If you have a medium or large dog, take it for a run for at least 20 minutes. If you work all day you will need to take it out before you go to work and agree with someone to visit and take it out as well. Your dog's life will be much more enjoyable if he is exercised and obviously yours too.
6. Alert and warning
As noted above, the dog can also bark as a warning signal when something is new in the environment: a stranger, a dog, an unexpected sound. But you can also choose to bark as a warning sign. For example: your dog sees another and does not want him to approach, immediately barks to tell him that he should not take another step. This type of barking can precede an attack. It is advisable to socialize the dog from an early age to avoid aggressive symptoms.
7. Unconscious training
One of the most frequent reasons why dogs bark is because of the unconscious training. As the name implies, we are reinforcing without realizing unwanted behavior in our dog. Many dog owners teach their canines to bark, without realizing what they are causing. Thus, many dogs become barking machines that bark to receive food, to open the door of the street, to get attention, among other things.
A very particular case of this unconscious training is the dog that barks in the garden because it is alone (whether it barks out of frustration, boredom or stress). Next, the owner goes out to challenge his dog, but what he receives is the dog (what does it matter if the company comes with some shouting). As a consequence, the owner is unconsciously training his dog to bark in the garden.
Another example, when we open the door of our house the dog is barking because we have arrived, and sometimes we caress him. The dog learns that when it barks we open the door and arrive, therefore that behavior will increasingly increase.
The genetics It plays a very important role in how barking a dog is. The influence of the environment can transform this behavior to some degree, some canines have a greater need to bark. There are races that are more barking than others such as the Beagles, Bassets, Bloodhounds, among others, and this is because the barking behavior has been fixed by selection in certain races.
For example, hunting dogs that follow footprints, investigative type, are usually very barking, while molosoids are usually little barking.
It is practically impossible to eliminate this behavior since it has a strong genetic component without affecting other aspects of the animal's behavior. Therefore, before deciding to integrate a dog into your family, you should consider what your needs and peculiarities of the breed are with the type of dog we want.
9. Health problems
In certain cases dogs bark because they have some health problem. For example, old dogs may have decreased vision or hearing, this usually makes them surprised by other dogs and people, and obviously their reaction may include barking. Another example, blind or deaf dogs often bark much more than others as a defense by not hearing or seeing.
It is important to check the barking dog with a veterinarian to rule out any health problems that could cause barking.
10. Possessiveness or shyness
Other dogs bark as the external stimulus alters them. Being located on a busy sidewalk, under a ladder, on a playground or in any other area of high human activity will cause dogs to bark to protect their territory or for fear of strangers.
Never leave your dog in an area where he can be disturbed by passing children, as this torment causes high aggression in dogs and can result in an attack or bite.
NOTE: We have to learn to hear the barking of our dog because through it we can try to interpret what they mean and act accordingly. It is important to understand the reasons why it barks and, if necessary, eliminate or treat such behavior.
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