How to Stop Your Dog from Barking Too Much
Tips on Solving Excessive Barking Behaviour
Sep 25, 2009 Roberta Goli
The barking dog causes frustration for owners. Discover tips on how to use food, change in routine and veterinary care to prevent problem barking.
A dog’s bark can reach 90 decibels, which is equivalent to the noise of a lawnmower. Excessive or prolonged barking can result in gradual hearing loss, but mostly it is incredibly annoying. Smaller dogs tend to have a ‘yappier’ bark, which is just as annoying if not more so, than that bark of a larger dog. Dogs bark for a number of reasons. These can include: Stress Excitement Boredom Loneliness Separation anxiety Pain or discomfort
Wild ancestors of dogs howl to communicate rather than bark and when dogs were domesticated, their way of communicating with their pack, human and canine alike, was to bark. Most dogs simply bark as a warning for the owners, for example, as a visitor approaches the property or knocks at the front door. Barking becomes a problem when: A dog barks when left outside or alone for extended periods of time. A dog barks whenever people pass the property on the street. They may not need to enter the property at all for the barking to occur. A dog begins to bark as soon as owners leave the house A dog barks continuously to get owner’s attention When owners or neighbors are losing sleep due to overnight barking.
Understanding the reason why a dog is barking excessively is the first step to solving the problem. Using Food to Prevent Excessive Barking
Most people feed their dogs once or twice a day, which is fine in most cases. But for a dog that is barking due to boredom, separation anxiety or loneliness, hiding kibble and dog treats around the house of yard can keep a dog busy for hours.
It gives them a job to do and requires the use of their brain and body to find every dog biscuit. Large raw bones are also a good distraction as they can last for hours and a dog with its mouth full cannot bark.
Using a Change of Routine to Prevent Excessive Barking
Because dogs generally have the same routine day in day out, a change of routine, such as walking or feeding dogs at a different time, can be stimulating and minimize barking. Building a wall to block the view of the street may prevent dogs barking at passers by.
Dogs that bark due to separation anxiety notice things such as owners grabbing keys and putting on shoes. Changing the routine of leaving may help reduce anxiety for these dogs, as will minimizing the fuss made over the dog before leaving the house and upon arrival home. Using Veterinary Care to Prevent Excessive Barking
If owners cannot manage the barking problem or suspect that the behaviour may be due to pain or a medical condition, veterinary care should be sought. If the barking began suddenly for a previously quiet dog, it can be as a result of illness. A veterinary check can rule out physiological problems and when barking excessively is a behavioural problem, veterinarians may prescribe medications along with training. In serious cases they can refer owners to behavioural specialists.