Our pups’ barks musicalize our lives most of the time. We are more than used to hear our pups barking due to different reasons since it is the way dogs have to communicate with humans and other peers; however, if it doesn’t respond to any stimuli, incessant or excessive barking in dogs can be very frustrating and upsetting.
Emotions Behind Excessive Barking in Dogs
Dogs express their emotions through barking. Depending on the situation, it can have different intentions:
- Anxiety/stress: This type of barking is a stress response, and it usually presents when dogs are left alone, as a result of separation anxiety. It can also appear as a result of an stressful situation, like thunderstorms, fireworks, or loud noises.
- Boredom: You can easily recognize this type of bark because it is monotone and repetitive. Dogs, as humans, can easily get bored if they don’t have the right stimulation, both physical and mental. If they don’t have that external stimulation that keep them entertained, they might create it themselves.
- Alarm/Scared: Have you ever seen your dog barking at a new random object in your house? Or at a friend that just entered your home? Well, that is because barking is their way to show fear and alarm. Dogs use it to defend themselves, and it’s their way to scare off possible dangers.
- Protection: This is somehow related to alarm barking. Dogs can be very territorial, so they bark whenever they feel threatened. Protection can be a cause of excessive barking in dogs, since they won’t stop until that potential danger is gone.
- Excitement: The type of barking we all want to get when we come home! If barking comes accompanied by energic and frenzy tail wagging, it’s probably a happy barking. Dogs can cheerfully bark when they see another dog, a person they love, or when they are in a playful mood. There is nothing to worry about.
How to make excessive barking in dogs better
There are some techniques that can help your dog reduce barking. Take into account that the longer your dog has had this behavior, the more difficult it is to change it, so don’t expect it to happen overnight. As in any other behavioral change, patience is key.
1. Don’t ever use punishment methods: Avoid using shock collars, water squirting, or any other punishment method. These methods not only don’t work (dogs don’t understand the concept of punishment, they can’t possibly know what they did wrong and why they have been scolded) but also can be very hazardous and harmful to your pup.
2. Give him Calming Support: If you notice your dog gets really upset and starts barking when you are about to leave, he most likely suffers from separation anxiety. Mokai’s Hemp Calming Treats and Soft Chews will relieve his anxiety with all-natural ingredients. Our Calming Support has been specially designed for dogs who exhibit nervousness, excessive barking, and hyperactivity.
3. Ignore the barking: Turn your back on him and ignore him (I know it’s hard!). Once he stops barking, turn around and reward him with a treat. Repeat as many times as necessary.
4. Speak firmly and loudly: If you shout or scold him off, your dog may think you are joining his bark, and will only make it worse. So instead, speak firmly and choose a clear command to repeat when your pup is barking. (Calm, quiet, stop, etc.)
Excessive barking in dogs can be a reason for concern. If you’ve tried everything on the list, and nothing seems to be working, you should go to the vet to have a full evaluation of your dog’s behavior to assess if he needs a specialized trainer.