Barking plays a basic role in canine communication, as they are a way of relating to their environment. Beyond normal, a dog being excessively noisy can be due to various causes: from physical discomfort to a sign that you are not paying attention.
Either way, this behavior can alert us that something is wrong with their education or their health. Read on to identify what may be the most likely cause, and take note of some tips to prevent a dog from barking non-stop.
What makes a dog bark a lot?
It is not uncommon to meet barking dogs in any part of Spain. Among the most common causes that explain this behavior, we find:
- Separation anxiety . You’ve probably heard this expression before, as it is a common disorder. It usually appears in homes where humans are absent for most of the day. This causes the dogs to remain without company for many hours. Separation anxiety is not only evidenced in barking, but also in destructive behaviors, in the tendency to dig or in the development of surly behaviors.
- Excessive territoriality . It is not uncommon for a dog to bark when it hears the doorbell or even earlier. Through his barking he is telling you that there is a visitor and this should not worry you. If the specimen is very noisy and insistent in these situations, it surely indicates that it is a dog with a strong sense of territoriality and a dominant character. You must instruct him correctly and socialize him to prevent him from developing aggressive behaviors.
- Incorrect socialization . Socialization is essential so that the dog can relate to its environment in a healthy way. Progressively, as other animals and people come into contact, they lose their fear and distrust of the unknown. If this process is not carried out correctly, the dog’s response will be to bark at what it does not know and that, therefore, causes fear.
- Breeds prone to being noisy . Some canine varieties have a natural disposition to bark as a result of their heritage. Among the best known are small breeds such as the Chihuahua or the Pekingese dog, but also the Poodle and the Miniature Schnauzer or those with hunter heritage such as the Fox Terrier, the Beagle or the Cairn Terrier.
These are just a few reasons that can explain excessive barking in the dog, but not the only ones. Other triggers can be age or some health problems. If you suspect that he may be ill or losing his faculties, go as soon as possible to a professional for a proper examination.
Tips to stop a dog from barking
Once you detect the causes why a dog barks excessively, it is time to put into practice a series of tips to end this habit once and for all.
Create a quiet environment
Many times a noisy dog is a reflection of the environment in which it lives. A relaxed, stress-free home is sure to help a very barking dog to calm down.
Avoid scolding him excessively and any form of violence
Many breeds do not respond well to harsh instruction. In fact, methods that use physical punishment are almost always counterproductive. Although education must be firm, you should never lose patience. Remember that due to their strong temperament, many breeds are not recommended for first-time educators.
Use exercise and play
Physical activity is essential for a dog to be balanced. Games and daily walks are a good way to get rid of barking caused by stress. Remember that tensions affect them. Therefore, it is important to detect in time if your dog suffers from this problem and avoid any type of punishment.
Use the prizes correctly
Positive reinforcement is a suitable method for dog education, but you must know how to apply it. Never offer him treats or treats when he starts barking nonstop. Even if you think you are distracting him, you are only rewarding his bad behavior .
In other words, you will encourage him to do it again. The ideal way to distract him is with a different activity. For example, take him to the garden to play or order him to sit down. Once he has listened to you, you can reward him and thus, he will associate the treat with an appropriate behavior.
Take control during rides
Control the timing of exits and make sure you never lose control of the situation. Don’t go for a walk unless you are relaxed and in a firm, confident posture at all times.
If he barks when crossing paths with other dogs, don’t panic . Never stretch the leash, because you will only transmit your nervousness. The best thing in these cases is that you continue walking calmly.
Choose well the place and time for the outings
Try to choose quiet places for walks, where your partner feels comfortable. Avoid places with high traffic or annoying noise, as this will cause stress and trigger your need to bark.
Try to go out every day, always at the same times and at times with little influx of people. This way you will feel calmer and establish routines that will give you greater confidence and security.
Define your territory
The barking can appear when something directly affects them within what they consider “their” territory. One solution is to mark that stimulus – which can be an object, a corner of the house or a person – as yours. To do this, you must get between the dog and what motivates its barking . In the end you will understand that it does not belong to you. If he considers you the leader of the pack, he will get the message soon.
In short: each dog has a different personality and circumstances, something that you must take into account when addressing options to combat excessive barking. Many times it is a difficult habit to remove, so turning to professional advisers who give you guidelines on how to approach a specific case can be of great help.