Dog Barking is perfectly normal as all other animals make their own unique noises, too. Birds chirp, foxes howl, pigeons coo and children laugh or cry. However, when dogs bark too much and bark for quite a long time or bark more than normal or necessary, causing annoyance and disturbance in the part of the owners and the neighborhood, it should be considered as a warning bell that something is not right with the dogs. There could be pressing problems among the canines which the owners should address immediately.
What causes dogs to bark excessively?
There are several reasons why dogs bark more than necessary. “Noisy” dogs could be socially isolated, attention-deprived and frustrated; fearful; protective of territory; and, anxious from being separated from the owners.
Dogs may show their frustrations and boredom through barking if they are unattended for a long time and deprived of the company of the owners and the company of other dogs; if their immediate surrounding is dull, without things or other dogs to interact with; if they are 2 years old or younger and are not given activities or toys which will serve as their avenues for releasing energy; or if they belong to a breed which is really active by nature.
Dogs bark when they are frightened. A variety of hosts could scare dogs like loud sounds coming from explosives and pyrotechnics, noisy construction tools, and thunder claps etc.
Dogs bark to protect their territories. They “shout” at invaders which include the delivery men, repairmen, postmen, joggers, cyclists, children, neighbors and passersby, and other dogs in the neighborhood. When dogs bark protectively their ears are erect and so are their tails. In other situations, the owners have trained the dogs to respond at the sight of other people and at the trigger of noises.
Dogs bark when the owners are gone or when owners leave. This is called separation anxiety. Dogs follow the owner wherever they go in the house, a behavior which displays the dogs’ firm attachment with the owners. In addition, dogs greet the owners frantically and respond apprehensively when the owners are about to leave. Furthermore, the dogs bark when they are separated more often from the family members because of a drastic change in the schedule. Further, dogs bark when there is a change of residence.
How to prevent and stop problematic barking?
There are a variety of things that owners and dog-lovers can do to solve the problem of excessive barking in dogs.
The owners should give dogs adequate exercise on a regular basis. Dogs should be given enough time for socialization with other dogs and other people. They should also be properly and comfortably confined. When the owners are absent, dogs should not be put in a dog crate nor should they be confined outdoors over a long time period.
Dogs should be given toys which are suitable to them and toys which will stimulate their minds.
Owners should spend a few time each day to bond with the dogs (e.g. Bathing and cuddling the dogs) everyday. When owners are not able to look after the dogs, they should take them inside. Or when the owners need to work for long periods of time, dogs should be taken to a day care or they should be left to a caretaker. Dogs should also be taken to the owners’ workplace from time to time, if permissible.
Owners should teach the dogs commands which will help them bark at the right time and at the right circumstances only.
Lastly, owners should desensitize dogs from noises which tend to frighten them.
Read more about how to stop your dog from barking at http://www.dogtraining-atoz.com/barking.html