Why Do Dogs Bark? – Reasons and Tips to Control the Habit

dog barking (3)

If you have been a dog owner for a while, you are probably used to listening to its bark sounds. Barking is common in dogs, but it can be difficult to understand. Understanding why dogs bark is important if you want to communicate with them more effectively and avoid frustrating them or making them upset.

Constant barking can lead to frustration in you and your neighbors alike. Fortunately, you can do various things to reduce your dog’s barking and maintain the serenity in your house and neighborhood.

Why Do Dogs Bark

Dogs Bark for Many Reasons:

Your Dog Is Trying to Communicate With You

There are a number of reasons why dogs bark. But I’ve tried and listed the most prominent ones out here. When a dog barks, he’s trying to alert you of something. For instance, if there’s an intruder in your yard or on the street outside your home, he may be trying to alert you by barking out of fear or anxiety. By doing this, he hopes that his barking will keep the dangers away and secure him against any harm. 

Barking is one of the ways your dog seeks out your attention. When you are too busy with other tasks, he may bark to remind you that it’s time for playtime. By barking, your dog may be showing excitement for something new happening around him (like a guest arriving) or sharing some information about himself (like needing a bathroom break).  

dog barking

Dogs Bark Because It’s Instinctual for Them to Do So

Dogs bark to alert the pack of danger, other dogs, animals, and even people and other dogs barking. For example: if you leave your dog alone in the house while going out all day. After some time, your dog will probably get bored, but they also know the time you will come back home and feed them, so they don’t need food right away.

When it gets dark outside, and your dog feels alone in the house, he may start to feel scared or anxious because there aren’t any people around for him to interact with. So, what does he do? He starts barking. 

dogs bark

Dogs Bark When They Want Something

Dogs also bark when they expect something from you (or other dogs), not just as a way to communicate with other animals or humans. In fact, dogs bark because they want your attention and/or food. There are many different things that cause dogs to bark:

  • To get your attention
  • To let you know they need to go outside
  • To play with another dog
  • Because it’s time for dinner

However, you can always reduce this excessive barking by inculcating appropriate behavior in your pup. For example, if he wants attention but won’t stop barking until he gets it, then try ignoring him rather than giving in to his demands every time.

dog barking

Tips to Minimize This Habit

Use an Anti-Barking Device

Anti-barking devices are an excellent tool to curb barking. These devices produce high-pitched sounds that can only be heard by dogs but not humans. And this actually works. You can use the best anti-barking device, which would be an effective solution for your dog, who will stop barking when he hears the sound and will learn to connect it with silence.

These devices are not very costly and are easy to use. However, you may need some help from a professional trainer or an animal behaviorist if you want to make the most out of it. And don’t worry about hurting your dog’s ears. Anti-barking devices produce sounds at frequencies that won’t cause any damage.

Check for Medical Causes

If your dog barks excessively, then you must check for medical causes. There are a number of medical causes that require treatment before you can start working on reducing the barking. Some examples are:

  • Painful joints, such as those in the hips or elbows
  • Arthritis can lead to stiffness and pain in the joints and muscles
  • Ear infections, which cause inflammation and ear pain
  • Anemia (low red blood cell count) caused by cancer or other illnesses


Reward Quiet Behavior

If you really want to reduce barking in your dog, it’s important that you should reward them for being quiet. You can reward your dog with treats/toys/praise when they do not bark at strangers or other dogs. This will teach them that barking isn’t appropriate behavior and won’t get them any rewards, and can help reduce future occurrences of excessive barking episodes.

The best way of rewarding quiet behavior would be through positive reinforcement training techniques like food rewards (treats), playtime, or verbal praise from yourself.

Hence, these factors can help you minimize the barking in your dog without even suppressing the natural instincts. 

Summing Up

I hope that this article has helped you become more confident about how to understand and respond when your dog barks. Remember, if you’re having trouble with their barking at home, try some of the tips mentioned above.

As barking is a natural instinct for dogs, you can let your dog bark unless it becomes trouble for you and the people around you.

Mehul D

I’m Dedhia. I’m a computer science engineer from India who lives in Boston, MA. I love dogs and cats, traveling, watching movies and listening to music. I believe it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating well and exercising regularly. I founded the ProactivePetProducts.com website which provides pet owners with information about buying the best products for dogs and cats.