Dogs bark for a variety of reasons. Dogs don’t bark just because they can (though it might seem that way at times). They do not bark just to annoy you and your neighbours, nor do they bark for spite or revenge.

Introduction

Certain dog breeds have a tendency to bark more than others. In fact, some types of dogs were actually bred to be barkers. This may be so they could alert people about danger, protect homes, or even scare prey out of hiding for hunters. On the flip side, the Basenji does not bark at all, though the breed can vocalize in other ways.

Listen closely, and you will eventually learn the sounds of your dog’s different barks. Then, you may be able to figure out what each bark means. The first step towards controlling the behaviour is to understand why your dog is barking.

Recent research shows that the domesticating of dogs began between 20,000-40,000 years ago. In that period of time, dogs have learned how to understand large vocabularies, compound sentences, and upwards of 1,000 words if trained properly.

Like us, dogs use verbal and nonverbal cues to communicate. For dogs, barking is a completely normal behavior—it’s one of the most effective ways dogs know how to communicate with their owners.

They use barking to communicate a variety of feelings, so in order to fully understand what a dog is communicating, pet parents need to contextualize a dog’s verbal cues within their nonverbal cues (dog body language).

It is as natural for a dog to bark as it is for a kid to talk. So, we should not expect a dog never to bark. However, if the barking has become too excessive to the point of irritating the neighbours, you have to either move the dog away from build-up areas, confine it to a sound proof room or train the dog to stop barking. To stop the dog from barking, we have to first understand the cause of the problem.

“REASONS FOR DOG BARKING”

Let us explore the reasons for dog barking:

#1. Communication

Barking is a form of communication. If you listen closely there are different tones and different types of barking.

#2. Intrusion

Dogs are territorial and protective against any intruders. A guard dog’s duty is to guard the property. Naturally it will bark to alert you to possible intruders when it senses any intrusion by people or dogs. The closer the threat, the louder the barking. When the dog is aggressive, it takes on a threatening posture, with a high tail and ears up and forward.

#3. Spirits

Some people say that animals are sensitive to the presence of unseen spirits or ghosts.

#4. Reaction to Noise

Some dogs bark when car drives by, when the doorbell rings, or when the neighbour’s dog bark.

#5. Attention

Dogs bark because they want attention. They want something. Maybe they are hungry or thirsty. They want to go outside to play. They want a treat.

#6. Boredom

Dogs can be frustrated if they are confined to the same place for a long period of time, or they have been left outside day and night. Dogs are pack dog and do not like to be left alone for long period. If they become bored or sad, they will bark.

#7. Fear

They bark when they are afraid, be it objects, people, places, other animals, or loud noise such as thunder and fireworks. How do you tell if the dog is afraid? The ears are back and the tails are held low.

#8. Excitement

Dogs can be playful and excited when greeting people or other animals. It’s usually a happy bark, accompanied with tail wags and sometimes jumping.

#9. Health Problem

We should not discount that barking can be cause by deafness because it cannot hear itself barking. It could be due to age related dementia.

#10. Separation Anxiety

Dogs when left alone can suffer from separation anxiety. They exhibit symptoms such as pacing, depression and destruction.

#11. Compulsive barking

Compulsive barkers bark just to hear the sound of their voices. They also often make repetitive movements as well such as running in circles.

 HOW TO STOP DOG BARKING

It is a natural instinct for a dog to bark and we should not suppress this instinct.
The dog must be taught when to bark and when not to bark. When the dog bark for a good reason, for example someone is at the door or entering your territory, praise the dog.

When you let the guest enter your house, you give the dog a command to stop barking.
Put your finger to your lips and give the command “Quiet” in a calm and firm voice.
Train your dog to understand the word ‘Quiet’.

However, if the dog barks at the wrong time or for the wrong reason, then we should not let this problem continue. A dog barking become unwelcome when the dog will not stop barking and such incessant barking disturb the neighbours especially in build-up areas.

” To solve the problem, find out what is the cause of the problem”

If the barking is due to boredom then bring the dog out for a work every day. Play with it for at least an hour a day. If the barking is for the attention, then give it sufficient attention by spending time with it. A dog is not a toy to be left alone; it is a living animal with feelings and need affection and interaction.

Spend time by taking it for a long walk or run. Play ball. Take a trip to the dog park. When the dog is tired, it will be quiet.

Do send the dog to a vet for a check-up as some medical problems can cause excessive barking. These problems can range from dementia, brain disease, pain, to senility.
There are a few methods to solve a dog barking problem.

Someone suggested a beans-in-a-tin solution. Put beans in a tin and seal it. When the dog is barking, shake the tin vigorously near the dog and say ‘No’ firmly.
As soon as the dog stops barking, praise him.

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