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All Dogs Bark: Here are 5 Reasons Why

As the title says, all dogs bark. Barking comes naturally to dogs. Some barking is fine. Barking becomes a problem when it’s excessive. When I say problem, I mean both a problem for you AND your dog as excessive barking is a sign of an unhappy dog. Not only that, but excessive barking impairs your ability to think and raises stress levels.

For more types of barking & ways to make it stop, download my free ebook 8 Game-Changing Tips to Stop Nuisance Barking for Good!

In fact, excessive barking is considered a type of noise pollution!

To reduce excessive - or nuisance - barking, give your dog enough of exercise, enrichment and engagement.

Here are 5 common reasons dogs bark, some serious and some less so.

Boredom Barking

A bored dog may entertain themself by barking (sort of like a human singing in the shower). Barking is fun. Dogs get bored for the same reasons we do: they don’t have enough to do! Dogs are like small children, if you don’t give them something fun to do, they’ll entertain themselves - often in ways you don’t appreciate.

Separation Anxiety Barking

Separation Anxiety (SA) is a serious and complex canine panic disorder. Excessive barking is a sign of SA, although not all dogs with SA bark. When they do, it tends to be constant, loud and heartbreaking. Dogs with SA may also cry, have potty accidents, destroy things and/or harm themselves. In this case, barking is a symptom of underlying anxiety.

Barrier Frustration Barking

Like leash frustration, barrier frustration occurs when a dog’s freedom is limited to the point where it stresses them out. For example, a dog left in the yard without enough engagement, may take to barking at everything that wanders past (this can look similar to territorial barking but they have different underlying causes). The more a dog can see what’s on the other side of the barrier, the more likely they are to bark. Think of it as doggy FOMO. 

Demand Barking 

Dogs are smart and quickly learn that barking can get them what they want. It’s easy for dog parents to fall into this trap: your dog barks and you realize they want you to throw their ball, so you do. Next thing you know, your dog barks and you jump to serve them. That’s great if you enjoy being at your dog’s beck and call, however, if you don’t you’re stuck. Stuck because as soon as you stop doing your dog’s bidding, the barking gets worse - so much worse! If you catch demand barking early, you can eliminate it by ignoring it. If you don’t happen to notice what’s going on until the behavior is well and truly ingrained, you’ll have to teach your dog an alternative behavior instead. My go to is the “quiet” cue where you teach your dog to stop barking upon request.

Watchdog (Excitement) Barking 

Similar to alert/protection barking, watchdog barking is a way to announce that “something” is happening! However, where alter/protection barking is triggered potential danger, watchdog barking is the result of visual or aural stimulation. Quite simply, your dog watches the world like a movie and when exciting things happen - like a rabbit running by - they make a big announcement. Adding more enrichment to their day and teaching your dog an alternative way to let you know something exciting is happening will curb this behavior.

It can be tricky to figure out why your dog is barking so you can address it appropriately so be patient and observe your dog’s body language and the situational context when they bark! For more types of barking & ways to make it stop, download my free ebook 8 Game-Changing Tips to Stop Nuisance Barking for Good!


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