Bark! Bark! Bark!

Canine Culture


Dogs bark. But some bark too much. Why is this? There’s no simple answer, in fact there are probably as many explanations as there are dogs. So what to do?

Dogs generally will bark for any of the following reasons, Greeting or play, Alarm or fear, territorial protectiveness, boredom or separation anxiety. But it could also be barking because it see’s you “barking” & wants to join the conversation.

Some medical problems can cause excessive barking, from bee stings to brain disease to chronic pain. Older pets can develop a form of canine senility that causes excessive vocalizations. It’s always a good idea to have a pet checked by a veterinarian to be sure there’s no medical reason for a problem.

If your dog is barking too much too often, you need to find a solution. It may take time & patience. The longer a dog does something, the more ingrained it becomes so don’t put off correcting excessive barking.

First don’t lose your cool & start shouting. Your dog may think your joining in. Teach them the word, “quiet” & as soon as they are, reward them. Be consistent.

Lots of exercise may help. Exercise can burn off energy as well as ease anxiety.

See if a simple distraction can “break the spell”. Playing with a toy may be all that’s needed to stop the barking. Dogs live in the moment & if at the moment your dog has a favorite toy, then he or she may be quieter.

For dogs with pathological barking or additional behavioral problems, it’s best to use a team-approach. The team consists of all family members, an animal behaviorist & a veterinarian. Each family member must work with the dog in the same way, using the same commands. The animal behaviorist may be able to cue in on unique characteristics of your dog’s behavior & help you set up training situations that will be most effective. Your veterinarian may also be able to give you insights.

CEO Olivia

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