November 2, 2021 by Hanford Veterinary Hospital
All dogs bark. There are plenty of situations in which it is okay (and even helpful) for a dog to bark, like to alert you of potential danger, or to let you know when the mail has been delivered. There comes a point where barking becomes excessive, however. How can you prevent your dog from barking too much?
Why Do Dogs Bark?
There are many reasons you might hear a bark from your pup. Some of the most common include:
Dogs are territorial and will bark at intruders—humans, other dogs, and animals
If dogs are lonely or bored, they may bark for attention
Dogs may bark at you or other dogs as an invitation to play
They might bark when people tease them over toys or treats
They bark to warn us of danger
They bark when they’re upset, anxious, or depressed
Good Bark vs Annoying Bark
It’s important to know your pet so well that you can understand his bark. Good barks should last long enough to get your attention.
Incessant barking can quickly become annoying to you and your neighbors. If your dog is an incessant barker, it’s time to take a close look at his environment, health, or emotional triggers:
Left too long alone in a cage or crate or pen
Cage or crate is too small, too hot, too cold, or does not provide adequate shelter from the weather
Hunger or thirst
Physical ailment or injury
Barkus Interruptus, That’s the Trick.
Certain breeds of dogs tend toward the barky side. Beagles and terriers and many of the smaller breed dogs seem to live to bark. They throw their entire body into a bark, and they don’t like to let up for a minute.
If you’re trying to dissuade your dog from too much barking, start with an interruption. Just like kids throwing a tantrum, if you can get their attention onto something else, you can often stop the bark before it leaves your dog’s lips. Try to:
Distract your dog with the sight and smell of a training treat
As soon as he quits barking, praise him, and offer a treat
Make him sit for the treat and praise him again
Yelling vs. a “Quiet!” Command
Yelling at a dog to stop barking sounds to your dog like you’re barking too. Fido won’t pick up a clue that barking is undesirable if you do it when he does it!
Once you’ve distracted your dog from barking, begin teaching him a “Quiet!” command.
Give him a few barks before giving the “Quiet!” command
Show him the training treat
As soon as he stops barking, reward him with a treat and praise
Pet Wellness Includes Good Training
At Hanford Veterinary Hospital, we love all our pet clients. We want them to have happy and healthy lives. For dogs, the happiness factor increases when they know how to behave and are praised instead of scolded. Training is not only about good manners, though. Teaching dogs to respond to your commands can keep them safe and out of danger.
Barking dogs can be a nuisance for household members and neighbors. Tasty training treats are often the key to successful pet training. Ask us for recommendations on best training practices and healthy training treats.
And if your pets aren’t up to date on their vaccinations or wellness visits, make an appointment to see us today!