Understanding Why Your Dog Barks

Understanding Why Dogs Bark, Will Help You To Control it


Let’s face it, dogs bark. It is a very natural and normal means of communication. We would all agree dog barking can be a tremendous benefit to us at times, such as when an intruder is breaking into the house, or somebody is approaching our child while they are playing. We expect this when we bring home a beloved dog, big or small. We hope they will alert us to any impending danger.

However, excessive barking or barking at inappropriate times can turn into a real issue. This is where understanding why dogs bark will help your ability to control it.

Here are seven common reasons why dogs bark:

    1. Dogs bark as a warning or as an alert to perceived danger, such as a stranger approaching or a burglar prying open the window. Of course dog owners want to encourage this because it is a great benefit to us. You will notice a difference of the tone and tempo as a dog’s bark turns from an alert to a direct warning. Alerts are often more rapid in may hear growling mixed in, and the dog making more of an effort to intimidate the threat.
    2. Dogs bark when they are seeking or demanding attention. Often this bark will start as a whine quickly followed by sporadic, high-pitched barks. This behavior is common in dogs of all ages that become bored and exercise deprived, and is also very common in puppies. This bark is hard to ignore and must be dealt with immediately to prevent future problems. You don’t want your dog to think he can bark at you anytime he is bored. Make sure you do not respond to these barks by giving your dog attention.
    3. Dogs bark when they are excited or playing. Generally they are quick high-pitched barks mixed with lots of jumping around. We want our dogs to have fun and play, but we need to prevent them from getting over stimulated. Don’t be afraid to have your dog take a break until they reach a more calm submissive state.
    4. Dog barks when they want to self-identify. Self-identification can be seen when a dog hears another dog barking and feels the need to respond with an “I hear you, I am over here.”
    5. Dogs bark when they are lacking exercise and bored. These barks maybe the most common to dog owners. This is the kind of barking that you will hear all day long while a dog is in a backyard. All dogs need an outlet for their energy. In the wild, they are always on the move and rarely build anxiety due to a sedative lifestyle. This type of barking is easily solved if caught early, but can develop into a habit that is hard to break.
    6. Dogs bark when they feel lonely or anxious. This is what we refer to as separation anxiety. These barks will general carry a high-pitched tone, will sound panicked, and can be most upsetting to the neighbors. Separation anxiety is quickly fixed with a little time and effort. Don’t make a big deal when you leave the house or when you come home, to reduce the anxiety that your dog feels at these times.
    7. Dogs bark when they become startled, although this barking usually ends quickly in normal dogs. In dogs that are not very confident, this barking can be a commonplace occurrence. Teach your dog incompatible behaviors to give them other things to think about and focus on.