Is Your Dog Barking Driving You Mad?


Stop your dog barking blogLet’s face it, dogs bark! It’s their way of communicating, but excessive dog barking becomes a nuisance for not only your neighbours but stressful for the whole family.

Before you start managing a dog barking problem, it’s very important to identify the cause of excessive barking and your dog’s motivation or trigger as barking serves a variety of functions.

A Dog Barking Means Something!!

Dog BarkingDogs can bark for appropriate and good reasons, such as when strangers approach our house, they hear an odd noise, or they are herding sheep. Most of us want our dogs to be “watch dogs” and alert us to anything unusual.

But no-one wants a dog that barks incessantly and for ‘no good reason’. You may not even be aware that your dog barks all day when you’re not home unless your neighbours tell you, that is if they’re still talking to you!

There are many reasons for problem dog barking such as:

Territorial Protection  –  when one comes near their territory, the dogs bark
to show that you are intruding

Startle Barking occurs in response to an unfamiliar or sudden sound or movement. This one often startles us as owner too! As with an alert/warning bark, we need to be able to control this type of dog barking quickly.

Separation Anxiety  this occurs when you are separated from your dog or when you leave them to strangers for some time.

Self-identification barking   is what you may be hearing when your dog seems to be answering other dogs he hears other dogs barking in the neighbourhood. It is his way of saying, “I am over here.”

Play or excitement barks   are often short and sharp. These barks are common if the dog gets too excited with a game. Often a time-out is in order.

Lonely/anxious barking    occurs if your dog is experiencing separation anxiety. The barking can become self-reinforcing as he becomes more stimulated and anxious. Anxious barks tend to get higher in pitch as the dog becomes more upset. This type of dog barking can be very distressing to your dog and extremely annoying to your neighbours.

Lack of Exercise   your dog may need some time to stretch those muscles  and give them time to play

Improper Confinement     when their muscles due to small confinements in crates or cages, they bark or whimper. This type of confinement is cruel and should not be used without fully understanding the purpose of crate training.

Fear and Phobias   Dogs can also bark due to fear. They may be afraid of  unfamiliar movements, people coming near their territory or fearful of noises. Particularly at night when all is quiet, any tiny little noise may stimulate anxieties. Dogs can also be fearful of fireworks, thunderstorms and lawnmowers and any other loud noises. Especially if they can’t see the  source of the noise, this could increase their fears and anxiety.

Frustration & Loneliness    dogs too feel lonely and when they do, they bark and howl.

Boredom Barking  Bored barkers simply need an outlet for their energy and a more stimulating environment.Dog Barking

Alert/warning barks  are the type of barks some owners encourage. They want their dog to alert them to the presence of a danger or suspicious stranger. Warning barks tend to become more rapid as the intruder approaches. Aggressive barks are low in pitch and may be combined with growls. We need to be able to distinguish warning barks and those due to fear.

It is natural for dogs to bark at things they don’t know or they think is a threat. The more we try to silence them, the more they will bark.

Our goal should be to decrease dog barking, rather than eliminate the amount of barking. Bear in mind that some dogs are more prone to barking than others.


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