Why does my dog bark so much?

Why does my dog bark at everything?

Dogs bark when they want to communicate; you cannot expect a dog not to bark. But excessive barking is not a good thing for both dogs and their parents. If you want to change an excessive barking behavior, you need to understand their feelings and the reason for this act.

Why dogs bark?

Barking is normal for dogs as they consider it necessary in a particular situation to make their point. To help them reduce the amount of this loud act, you need to look for cues and understand the situations and reasons. The following list will help you do so:

  • Territory guarding

    Canines are territorial beings, and they are conscious of their territory. When dogs are not fully socialized, they will be overprotective toward their territory. When an overprotective dog sees an animal or a person coming towards their specific territory, their instinct will urge them to shout and stop them from intruding. This shouting and restricting instructions are considered barking by the humans. When a dog is guarding the territory, you will see the aggressive body posture, and often dogs charge towards the newcomer. When a dog runs towards a stranger or other animal, it doesn't always result in biting or fighting, but still, there are high chances of accidents. 

  • Boredom

    Dogs are social, and they cannot stand the idea of being alone and left with nothing to do. A bored dog is a dangerous thing, especially for neighbors. You won't mind the excessive barking of your dog the way your neighbors would. The bored dog will bark for a long time without any reason and disturb the people around. The boredom makes the dog bark for some extended time as it feels like a reward, and they think that they are doing something real to come out of this situation.

  • Alarm or fear

    When your dog has aggression and anxiety buried deep inside, the result will be unbearable for all. An insecure dog will get startled by anything around. The intruder in the territory is not the only thing that will make them alarmed. Loud noises, horns, and sounds of other objects will make them start the barking frenzy without any reason. The next thing is fear which will also make them start barking for no apparent reason. When your dog is in a state of fear, you will see the tail stuck between the legs with the ears laid on the head. A dog will be miserable in a state of fear, and it will be a heart-wrenching phenomenon.

  • Loneliness

    As you already know, the dog is a social animal, and they need someone around them to stay happy. When you bring a new puppy home, the all-night-long barking will make you believe that dogs cannot stand loneliness. But as they grow, they will start accepting a few lonely hours daily. As grownups, when left alone for long periods they can become bored or sad when left alone and often will bark because they are just unhappy.

  • Greeting

    It is an occasional form of barking where you will see happiness flowing around them and in their body. When a dog greets a person or an animal, the communication will be in the form of barking. A happy dog will bark and welcome the next person or animal. When your dog sees the favorite person, the barking will be accompanied by jumping around and on that person.

  • Attention

    You will not hear barking when you are in the house and your dog is playing around. But when the same pooch needs something from you, whether it is attention or company to play, you will hear barking. When you are going outside, the dog will bark more to convince you of their worthiness for the journey outside. Dogs think of you as a family member, and they don't wish you to have all the fun alone.

  • Separation Anxiety

    The most painful condition for the dog, owners, and neighbors is when the dog is barking because of separation anxiety. When you are about to leave home, your dog will start whining and whimpering to beg you not to leave them alone. Once you leave, your dog will start excessive barking frenzies, destruction, and chewing. The anxiety can turn into depression and make your dog suffer from various diseases and medical issues.

  • Compulsive barking

    A compulsive barking dog will bark just for the sheer fun of it. When you have a dog who has become addicted to barking, you are in great trouble. The compulsive barker will enjoy barking, and the duration of barking will increase day by day. You need to take corrective measures right away to stop them from falling into the hands of addiction.

  • Medical conditions

    If your dog is in pain or has some disease, a natural response can be excessive barking. No matter what you do to make them happy or comfortable, a dog in pain will not stop barking. This pain could also become evident through physical reactions (shaking, panting, trembling), behavioral changes (excessive licking or aggressive attitude, and/or mobility issues. These might be subtle, so keep a close eye and consult your vet if necessary.

How to Treat Excessive Barking

Here are some tips to help your dog stop barking frantically:.

  • Avoid shouting

    When your dog starts shouting, you should not try to calm them by shouting back at them. If you do so, you are taking part in their ritual and making them do it with more energy. You should remain calm and focus on the environment to find out the cause of your dog’s behavior.

  • Avoid barking rewards

    If your dog barks to get something for you and you do the same, this is a kind of positive reinforcement. You are implying to your dog that when they need something from you, the best method is to bark out loud and get what they want.

  • Obedience training

    This is as simple as making your dog understand what to do on the word quiet. Say this word while you hold out a toy or treat and when barking stop and always praise your pup’s silence.

  • Exercises and activities

    Take your dog for a good walk in the morning before you leave for work. This can help to tire the dog out and reduce anxiety levels thereby reducing barking. This applies for the rest of the day. Your should also try playing some fun games. Blow some soap bubbles up and let your dog catch and play with them, play doggie soccer or play with water.

  • Limiting the sight of your dog

    Try using curtains on windows to limit the sight of your dog when left alone. This way there is no external stimuli that can cause excitement or sadness.

  • CBD oil

    CBD can help manage anxiety levels. CBD oils, especially the ones specifically formulated for dogs can alleviate anxiety by interacting with the dog’s naturally-occurring endocannabinoid system, facilitating the production of serotonin signals that manage mood in an effective way.

If you believe your dog is barking reactively to strangers, family members or other dogs, or if the above tips prove unsuccessful, consider reaching out to a certified professional dog trainer for help.