Barking dogs is one way of productive conversation
Barking dogs transmit information to humans and other dogs. There are various dog barks that signify excitement, boredom, loneliness, playing, seeking attention, information, fear, pain, guarding territory, confusion over canine dementia, anxiety about separation, and compulsive barking. Some dogs simply like the sound of their own barking / voice. Barking is a normal behavior of dogs. If barking becomes constant and excessively frequent then it is a sign of alarm. Dog owners can prevent excessive barking.
- A dog needs some stimulation — excessive barking can be the result of a lack of mental stimulation. Take your dog for long walks instead of a few short walks. Get a toy that will interest the dog (for example, a food ball). Include the dog in socializing with other dogs (for example in parks). Provide the dog with enough time to explore and sniff during the walk. Dogs use sniffing to search for information about other dogs that have gone that route.
- If the dog has certain triggers that cause barking then the owner needs to make some changes or remove the dog from the stimulant. If, for example, a dog barks constantly in the yard in front of strangers and passers-by – then put thicker curtains on windows or blinds (which will absorb some of the outside sounds), get a device that creates white noise or play a playlist from “iCalmPet”. If the dog is still barking when the owners are not at home, then you should think of another fun activity that will prevent barking (for example, a beef skin snack, or a licking pillow, etc.).
- Don’t pay attention while the dog is barking (because the owner’s reaction can be even encouraging). Wait for the dog to be quiet for a few seconds, then give the dog some reward. This encourages desirable behavior. Continue to reward the dog every time the dog is calm and quiet.
- Another method is to use basic skills such as “sitting” command to redirect the dog’s behavior. Try the desensitization method. For example, if a dog barks every time it passes another dog, then often and quietly let the dog record the barking of another dog during the day. A recording of another dog barking will eventually make the dog ignore the other dog and bark at the other dog while outdoors.
- Continuous barking can be a signal of a dog’s illness. Barking can be caused by pain due to injury or infection, or emotional distress due to separation or dementia. Then the help of a veterinarian is needed to solve the problem.