Do you know this situation: The front doorbell rings. A friend you haven’t seen in a long time comes to visit. And then it starts, the barking. Your dog seems to scream his head off at the sound of the doorbell. Quickly you open the door and see a panicked look. You didn’t know your friend was afraid of dogs and the barking still hasn’t stopped. What should you do?
Even though dogs are the favorite pets of Germans, one habit of four-legged friends makes life difficult for pet owners: constant barking. Whether it’s a doorbell, a neighbor’s dog, or a quick goodbye to their master, your dog always seems to have a reason to bark. As a dog owner, I know that the annoying habit often seems hopeless, but through targeted training, I’ve even managed to break my little pug of the constant dog barking habit.
How Do You Start To Break The Habit Of Dog Barking?
It is important to stay calm and not give up. Just like humans, dogs have to learn things first. So you should not expect to break his barking habit overnight. Before you start with the actual training or targeted anti-barking measures, you should find out the reason for your dog’s persistent barking. The four-legged friends have few possibilities to communicate directly with their masters and therefore usually resort to barking. Dogs do not bark for no reason, but they want to communicate something to you. By paying attention to the situations in which your dog barks excessively, you can do something about it. However, you must not forget that every dog barks from time to time. You should only do something about it if it happens uncontrollably and excessively often. To help you, I have listed some symptoms that cause a dog to bark uncontrollably.
Causes Why Dogs Bark
Breed Related Guarding Instinct
Often, persistent barking is not related to poor dog training, but to the breed of dog. Animals like my Pug or Spitz, German Shepherd, and Jack Russell Terrier are particularly communicative and enjoy barking. This should not be forbidden to the sweet pets in any case, however, barking should be kept in moderation through proper dog training.
In addition, some dog breeds get a very strong guard or guardian instinct in the cradle. This hereditary disposition makes them more likely to become noisy towards other dogs and to want to defend their territory. Since the four-legged friends defend their pack in nature by loud barking, they now want to protect their owner’s family by the loud noises. So it can happen that already a quiet ringing or even the smell of another dog in front of the property leads to a loud barking.
Lack Of Movement
Most dogs have a very strong urge to move. If they live in a small apartment and get little outdoors, they quickly feel confined. Dogs communicate this frustration through their barking. If your dog is barking at pedestrians at the fence, it’s usually a sign that he lacks exercise. Ask yourself when the last time you took your dog for a long walk was and if he was really exhausted afterward or if it was just you.
Fear And Insecurity
In most cases, however, dog barking is a sign of fear or timidity. Unknown situations, strange people, or new noises often unsettle the four-legged friends. Especially if your dog has had bad experiences with unknown people before, he reacts to new faces very scared.
Lack Of Attention
As mentioned earlier, dogs use barking to communicate with their owners. When they bark, the animals usually want to gain attention in some way. It may be because they feel threatened, they are afraid or they are insecure. Therefore, a reason for constant barking can also simply be that your four-legged friend feels disregarded and neglected by you. A dog needs a lot of closeness and affection. Like us humans, he wants to feel every day anew that he is loved. So ask yourself when was the last time you really took time for your sweet companion. Maybe you’ve been very stressed or on the go a lot lately and didn’t even realize your dog was missing out.
Boredom And Loneliness
Maybe you’ve also got a complaint from your neighbors that your dog always barks when he’s home alone. This is because dogs often bark out of boredom to keep themselves busy. Also, your dog may not like being alone and may have separation anxiety. He then finds it very difficult to spend time without you. Why not teach your loved one a game that he can play alone and show him how to keep himself busy. In addition, you should not unnecessarily dramatize your daily parting and drag it out. This way the situation will not seem so bad to your dog.
The best reason for a loud bark is, of course, joy. When you come home from work or get the leash out for a long walk, your dog will probably start barking at the top of his lungs most of the time. As long as the dog doesn’t bother anyone else with it, it’s okay to keep up this kind of barking. For owners, a joyful, affectionate bark is usually the nicest greeting after a long day at work.
Solutions: Avoid Dog Barking
Dogs are good at remembering rules and routines. So the best way to get them out of the habit of barking is through specific training. This can be done either by visiting a dog school or independently at home. For the latter, special online dog training programs can also be used.
Find A Dog Trainer When Your Dog Is A Puppy
It is important to train your dog while he is still a puppy. At a young age, your four-legged friend can still be strongly shaped and influenced. In addition, a puppy is more receptive to new information. To ensure good dog training, you should visit a dog school with your little puppy as soon as possible. Make sure you check thoroughly beforehand whether the dog trainer and the training offered are suitable for your little one. By the way, special anti-bark training is offered at the dog school. This can also be worth a visit for older dogs. If you have been having problems with your dog’s barking for a while, it never hurts to ask the dog trainer for advice. He is an expert in dog behavior and knows your sweet companion intimately from training sessions.
Train And Untrain Barking On Your Own
Of course, you can also try to train your dog to stop barking by yourself. Here you can work with rewards like treats or also with a clicker. From experience, I know that it helps to get your dog used to barking. Find a typical situation where your dog usually barks, like when you take his toy away. Then give him permission to bark with a command like “bark” or “make loud”. This will create an awareness in the dog and he will understand when and to what extent he is allowed to bark. The second step is to stop his barking with a stop command. Your sweet playmate understands, he is allowed to bark, but not as much as he wants. As a reward for proper barking, you can then give him a treat. The important thing is to remain patient and calm: no perfectly trained dog has ever fallen from the sky.
In dog training, you can explain to your dog exactly in which situations he may bark and how often. You should make compromises here. For example, your puppy may bark when the doorbell rings. However, after three times it must be enough. Through the fixed rules, the dog knows how he should behave. The whole thing can then be disguised as a little game, then your little one has even fun. So give him treats at the beginning or praise him exuberantly when he has followed the ringing rule.
Ignore Dog Barking
You should definitely let your dog know that barking does not get your attention. If he barks loudly and you give him a treat, you are communicating to him that this is the only way to get your attention.
However, you should not ignore the message your dog is sending you by barking. If you haven’t spent enough time with your fluffy roommate lately, you should urgently do something with him again. The next time he arrives and wants to cuddle with you, devote yourself to him. This way you show your dog that this is a good way to get your attention. In general, though, you should try to spend enough time with your dog and give him plenty of attention and affection. That way, he won’t end up barking loudly in the first place.
Activities For Your Dog
When was the last time your dog was really exhausted? Lively animals need a lot of exercises. Constant barking can often be stopped by exhaustion. Why don’t you take a really long walk again, where not only you but also your dog can completely let out his energy. A good possibility can also be to harness the active companion next to the bike. This way, your dog can really get moving and let off some steam.
For The Head
To avoid boredom, you should also show your dog games that are mentally demanding. Search and hide-and-seek games or easy puzzles are particularly suitable here. You can also add a little variety to your dog’s daily routine by changing the route more often.
For The Body
If your four-legged friend’s health allows it, dog sports are a great way to add more exercise and excitement to your cuddly pet’s life. From agility to training to becoming a rescue dog, there are plenty of great options to keep your dog challenged and busy with sports.
Take two lonely dogs and you create a good friendship. Just like people, dogs need social contacts. This can be beside their owners, but also other conspecifics. So the animals can romp together and have fun. It is especially great if your dog’s friend is older and well-behaved. So he can serve as a role model for your pet, as far as barking is concerned.
Mitigate Guarding Instincts
If you notice that your dog has a very strong protective instinct, you can try to consciously counteract it. Your attentive pet should not sit directly in front of the pet and in case of strange visitors you can first relegate your fluffy guardian to his little body.
Take Time For Your Dog
If the barking does not stop despite dog school and training, it is important that you take more time for your dog. Give him more attention and closeness. If you don’t have time at the moment, you can put off your cuddly friend until later instead of turning him away in annoyance. Of course, you have to keep your promise. You can also set an exact time when you will only take time for your pet. This way, your sweet dog can already look forward to it and knows that you haven’t forgotten him.
Dog Barking Has Individual Reasons
Every dog is different, that’s why their barking always has different reasons. Therefore, the most important thing is to pay attention to the situations in which your dog barks. So you can understand what he wants to tell you and solve the problem easily.
Remember that you cannot and should not completely stop your dog from barking. Instead, set firm rules and teach your dog when to be quiet. Good luck with this!