Expecting a dog to never bark is as ridiculous as expecting a child to never talk. Barking is a natural part of your dog’s behaviour. These guys bark for several reasons.
However, some dogs bark excessively. You just need to figure out what causes your dog to bark too much and how to manage it. In the post, we are going to highlight some reasons for dog barking and some tips to manage excessive barking.
Let’s get started.
Related Reading: Why Has My Dog Started Barking at Night?
Do Dogs Get Tired Of Barking?
Are you wondering, do dogs get tired of barking? Well, no they don’t!
All dogs bark and usually do not get tired of barking. The act of barking is 100 percent natural. Barking is genetically “wired” in dogs. It is one of the many behaviours in dogs that are self-reinforcing. This means that the simple act of barking doesn’t make them feel tired or bored.
As a matter of fact, barking doesn’t place enough burden on your dog’s vocal cords to cause stress or fatigue. The more your fur buddy barks, the more it will want to continue barking. However, a tired dog generally barks less.
What Is Considered Excessive Barking?
Excessive barking is when a dog barks, whines, or cries uncontrollably, often at inappropriate times of the night or day.”
Excessive barking, according to the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995, is: “When a dog creates a noise, by barking or otherwise, which persistently occurs or continues to such a degree or extent that it unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience of a person.”
Laws regarding excessive barking vary significantly from place to place. Generally, many consider barking excessive if:
- Your fur buddy barks for 30 minutes straight.
- It barks more than a combined total of one hour in 24 hours.
- The barking occurs during “quiet hours,” normally after 10 PM and before 7 AM.
What is considered excessive barking depends entirely on your dog’s breed. You need to figure out what’s normal for your dog breed.
Barking is a normal activity for dogs. However, excessive barking is an irritant and can be considered a behaviour problem.
Why Do Dogs Bark?
Barking is one way your furry pal communicates. It can represent anything from playfulness to anxiety or stress. Many dogs bark when the owner returns home while some of them bark to protect their family and property.
However, some don’t pick their moments for barking. There are certain situations when you will find your dogs tend to start barking more than usual.
To help you understand what your dog may be trying to communicate, here’s a breakdown of the most common reasons a dog barks.
To greet their owner
A greeting bark is usually a friendly bark. Many dogs bark when they see people or another dog. In greeting barking, dogs are excited, have relaxed bodies and wagging tails. However, it can become a problem when the greeting is given to everyone the dog meets.
Most dogs are instinctively territorial and protective dogs. They will do everything in their power to protect their family. If they sense danger, they will start barking to alert you. This is called a ‘warning bark or territorial bark.’
Your dog’s territory includes your home, yard, and anywhere your dog has spent time including your car and the areas you walk together.
Dogs are social and affectionate companions and need the attention of their owners. If your dog is kept alone for a long time, it may start barking to draw some attention.
Attention seeking bark can signal the dog is hungry, needs to go out, or just wants some attention. Your fur buddy might be barking in the hopes of attention or rewards, such as food, toys, or playtime.
Your pooch may be barking because it is full of energy and is playing around with its owner. This is called a ‘playful bark.’ You can take your furry pal for a long walk or throw a ball at them. They will woof rather than bark loudly.
If your furry friend answers when he hears other dogs barking, it is usually a social response. Dogs often engage in communal barking but it depends on your dog’s personality.
Dogs are naturally pack animals, meaning they prefer the company of others. If they’re alone for excessive amounts of time, they may bark as a sign of loneliness or unhappiness. A bored dog or one that isn’t getting enough physical and mental stimulation can also bark excessively.
Dogs often bark in response to pain. Dogs that bark excessively may be suffering from pain or have another health issue.
Examine your dog if it has a tender spot or inflammation somewhere or it may bark if that area is touched. Some dogs are good at hiding symptoms of pain or injury. You should have your dog evaluated by your vet.
Separation anxiety barking
In separation-anxiety barking, dogs bark excessively when left alone for longer periods. This barking is usually accompanied by more signs of separation anxiety, such as pacing, destructive chewing, scratching furniture, walls, and doors, or depression.
- Distress bark
No matter how happy-go-lucky your dog is, they all get anxious and stressed from time to time. They will start barking more often when under stress. This is called ‘distress barking.’
It is quite common for ageing dogs to become more vocalized. This could be due to some medical problem or just your ageing dog’s way of getting your attention.
Arthritis and joint pains are very common in elderly dogs. Ageing dogs have partial visual or hearing loss and this causes them to bark excessively. Often, it can also be a sign of canine cognitive dysfunction.
If your dog is fearful, it may voice its concern through barking. This could take place anywhere, at home, yard, or away. Some dogs bark at any noise or object that frightens them. It could be a person, a loud noise like thunder, fireworks, or a strange or chaotic situation.
Dog Breeds That Do and Don’t Bark
All dogs, either small or giant, have the potential to bark. Some breeds have a high barking potential and tend to bark at everything that moves. Breeds with low barking potential rarely utter a peep.
Breeds that tend to bark less than others include:
- French Bulldog
Breeds that are considered yappy and tend to bark more than others include:
- Yorkshire Terrier
- Siberian husky
10 Tips For Excessive Barking
Although barking is deeply compulsive in dogs, we understand that excessive barking can be distressing for neighbours.
The best way to stop barking is to prevent this habit in the first place. Also, try to figure out and remove any potential sources of the behaviour. Try to discourage the barking and give your dog better things to do.
Here are a few ways to help your dog to stop excessive barking and have a calm and happy life:
Check their health
If your dog is having some type of medical issue or ailment, you need to take it seriously. Talk to your vet about your dog’s barking issues if you suspect there might be an underlying medical problem.
Your vet will rule out any medical conditions or injuries that are causing them to bark. He will help you develop an action plan based on your dog’s needs. He may also suggest activities and medications specific to your dog’s needs.
The action plan varies from breed to breed. The causes of barking also vary with age. A senior dog will have different medical needs and an action plan than a young dog or puppy.
Teach quiet command
Teach your dog the “speak and quiet command.” It will help you to deal with excessive barking. The purpose of these commands is to train your dog to bark on command and to be quiet on command.
Remember that all dogs are not the same. It may take weeks for some dogs while others might learn these commands quickly. If your dog has been trained and continues to bark too much, you’ll need to understand the root cause of this behaviour.
Increase your dog’s impulse control
Boosting your dog’s focus is also known as teaching them “impulse control.” It is the ability in dogs to resist sudden instincts, such as excessive barking.
Dogs are not born with natural good manners. You need to teach them basic manners and obedience. You can improve your fur buddy’s impulse control through training, patience, and consistency.
To help cease barking that is caused by fear, anxiety, loneliness, or attention-seeking, try to identify the exact trigger. If possible, remove that trigger from your dog’s life and work on behaviour modification training.
Start with basic commands, like sit and down to shift the focus from barking and reward your dog for good behaviour.
Give your dog plenty of exercises as it helps channel your dog’s energy positively and constructively. Exercise could be long walks, running off steam at the dog park, or playing your dog’s favourite game.
The brain game
Keep your dog’s mind occupied and give them mentally stimulating activities. There are plenty of interactive toys that can help with this. Mentally stimulating chew toys or puzzle toys are also helpful.
Put up barriers
Consider putting up barriers like a fence. This will not let your dog easily see its “trigger.”
Use a humane anti-bark device
Anti-bark devices transmit signals or sounds to your dog every time it barks without a reason. Consider a humane anti-bark device to help reinforce commands. With the use of anti-bark devices, you can stop your dog’s constant barking habit quickly.
Rule Out Anxiety
Anxiety is one very common reason for excessive barking. Dogs are at their best when human companions are around. When left alone for longer periods, they will start barking more often due to separation anxiety. Avoid leaving a lonely dog by itself for long periods of time if possible.
Seek professional help
Finally, if training and other techniques are not working for your dog or it continues to bark excessively, you should seek professional help. You can get expert help by enrolling in dog training classes. An expert’s opinion and professional guidance can be invaluable.
Here’s what we will never recommend to stop excessive barking:
- Punishment-based training is never recommended.
- Never attempt to surgically cut your dog’s vocal cords.
- Never yell at your dog. It will reinforce this behaviour and make the dog more stubborn.
- Do not hit your dog for barking.
- Never use devices like shock collars. It is not only painful but unkind as well.
- Don’t let your dog bark constantly when it’s outside. This is one of the fastest ways to turn neighbours into enemies.
Dogs often bark because they are trying to tell you something. If you can figure out the cause, you can fix the issue.
Remember that you and your furry friend may have 10 to 15 years to live together. Make these years to be the best ones possible for both you and your dog!
Unfortunately, excessive barking is a common reason many pet parents rehome their dogs. However, with the right help, most dogs’ excessive barking can be prevented.
Family Dog Expert Author
Hi there! I’m Stuart, a devoted dog lover and family dog expert with over a decade of experience working with our furry companions. My passion for dogs drives me to share my knowledge and expertise, helping families build strong, loving bonds with their four-legged friends. When I’m not writing for SirDoggie, you’ll find me hiking, playing with my beautiful dog, or studying music.