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Why is My Dog Barking? 5 Common Reasons
Why is my dog barking? It’s a question a lot of pup parents have. Dogs are very expressive animals and they are constantly trying to communicate with us. Sometimes they are trying to warn us of potential danger or scare away someone at the door. Sometimes they seem to be answering other dog barks in the neighborhood. And sometimes they seem to be barking at nothing at all.
The truth is, dogs bark for a variety of reasons. While we may not always understand what they are trying to tell us, you can be certain they are communicating with us. Keep this in mind when your pup starts making noise. Don’t become instantly annoyed. Your dog is not barking to upset you. And, if you wanted peace and quiet in your house, you should have gotten a goldfish.
To help you understand your fur baby better, here are some of the most common reasons why dogs bark:
Most dogs, no matter their size, want to be your protector. They need to have a job and that job is to make sure the house and family are safe. One of the main reasons dogs bark is to alert you to some kind of danger, while also warning that danger that they should take their threat elsewhere.
The sound of a warning bark is specific. Your pup will make a loud, sharp and authoritative sound and they will be very focused on the front door, window, or wherever they perceive the threat to be coming from.
Anxious barking seems to be a way dogs try to self-soothe. It is common with dogs who suffer from separation anxiety or fears (fear of fireworks as an example). The sound of this bark is usually high-pitched and often accompanied by whining.
Barking from excitement is typically seen in puppies and young dogs. Your pup may bark when they are playing with other dogs at the doggie park or when you come home from work. You can absolutely tell this bark by its sound. It has an upbeat, fun tone to it. Also, you’ll probably see your pup’s tail wag exuberantly. Most dogs will grow out of excited barking, and you can certainly train them to be more calm as they grow.
If you live in a neighborhood with many dogs, you know that at a certain time of day, they all seem to begin talking to one another. This usually happens in the summer when the weather is nice and dogs are outside and windows are open. Dogs are social creatures just like people and they want to share information with each other. The question is, what do they talk about?
“I see your human got a new car.”
“Yeah, I got to go for a ride in it yesterday.”
“Does it have that new car smell?”
“Not any more!”
Dogs need physical and mental stimulation just like we do. When dogs don’t get walked everyday or playtime with you, they get bored. And bored dogs develop behavioral issues. Some bored dogs begin to destroy things like furniture while others start barking out of boredom. It’s a bit like us talking to ourselves.
Bored dogs also bark to release tension and excess energy. They will also bark out of loneliness.
Be sure to walk your dog each day and interact with them. If they are the only dog and left alone often, consider getting another dog or cat friend so they won’t be so lonely.
How to Stop Your Dog from Barking
As you now see, dogs bark for a variety of reasons. That’s really important to understand. Pup parents should never yell at their dog for barking, as they are trying to tell you something. Once you determine why your dog is barking, you can take steps to address the cause.
For instance, if you believe your dog is barking as a response to other dogs, you can try shutting your doors and windows so the sound of neighborhood dogs barking doesn’t travel inside your home.
If your dog’s barking stems from boredom, be sure to be better about getting them enough exercise and mental stimulation each day. Also, give them some puzzle toys to stimulate their mind. If you’re not home enough and they are alone every day, think about doggy day care or having a dog walker come and exercise them and give them some much-needed attention.
And finally, if you believe your dog has anxiety, you may need to either work with a behavioral therapist or your vet to find a solution. A therapist may be able to get your dog to feel more comfortable with whatever is triggering them (fireworks, a thunderstorm, car rides, etc.)
In some cases, a vet may prescribe anxiety medication to help calm your dog.
Why is my dog barking? Your job is to figure out why. Once you get to the bottom of your dog’s barking, take steps to eliminate the trigger. In most cases, you can curb the barking with things like exercise, mental stimulation and basic training. In more severe cases, you may need to find solutions with your vet and/or a professional behaviorist.
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https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/excessive-dog-barking-causes-stop/ “Excessive Dog Barking: Reasons & and How to Stop It”
https://www.petmd.com/dog/behavior/why-do-dogs-bark “Why Do Dogs Bark?”