WHY DO DOGS BARK?
How to Restrain it
BARKING IS IN A DOG’S NATURE, BUT WHEN BARKING IS EXCESSIVE IT CAN CAUSE PROBLEMS. USUALLY, DOGS BARK FOR A REASON, SO FIGURING OUT THE ‘WHY?’ IS THE FIRST STEP OF ACTION
EXPERIENCED IN DIFFERENT SITUATIONS.
Some dogs are more protective than others, so when their territory is ‘threatened’, it can be met with barking. Looking alert or even aggressive is not uncommon. It’s also not surprising that dogs bark, yelp or howl when they’re scared or startled.
|If your dog is scared, wants to protect you or has territorial concerns, barking could be curbed by reducing the dog’s visual exposure. Obstructive materials, for example wood, can be incorporated to limit street views.|
A sad, lonely or bored dog is bound to let some form of vocal noise escape.
If a dog’s ‘pack’ is away, it’s understandable that lonely moments get intense.
BARKING IS ALSO A WAY OF SAYING HELLO AND OFTEN FORMS PART OF PLAYING. JUST BE SURE THOSE TAILS KEEP WAGGING AND JUMPING DOESN’T OCCUR (OR IS BRIEF AT LEAST).
BARKING ALSO SEEMS TO WORK WHEN IT COMES TO GETTING YOUR ATTENTION.
It is often advised that a veterinary behaviorist or a certified
applied animal behaviorist is approached if barking is compulsive
or seems to be rooted in separation anxiety.
SOME DOGS MAY SIMPLY ENJOY BARKING BECAUSE IT GIVES THEM A RUSH.
ONCE THE BARKING GOES ALONG WITH CERTAIN OCCURRENCES OR SITUATIONS, FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN DELIVERY MEN OR SERVICE PROVIDERS COME KNOCKING, IT COULD PROMPT MORE AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOUR OR THE DRIVE TO ESCAPE AND CHASE. BARKING FOR THE SAKE OF BARKING COULD BE A WAY TO KEEP THEMSELVES COMPANY, BUT NEIGHBOURS USUALLY FIND THIS VERY ANNOYING. WITH COMPULSIVE BARKING YOU MAY ALSO NOTICE REPETITIVE ACTIVITY.
If your dog barks all the time, or for long periods at a time, you might want to try an indoor trial.
For most dogs this could be comforting and encourage sleep.
MEDICAL ISSUES SHOULDN’T BE RULED OUT
Chronic pain, brain disease or even an encounter with an insect or reptile could cause barking. If you suspect any of these factors, take your dog to a veterinarian to rule out medical problems.
A modified collar or fencing solution can be persuasive, but these type of corrections may become ineffective or simply aggravate dogs. Water sprayers or noisemakers activated by barking could help, but if discontinued barking is not rewarded it may not reinforce behaviour.