While some dogs are quieter than others, barking is a perfectly normal behavior in dogs. They might bark while they play or to greet you when you get home. Are you noticing excessive barking and aren’t sure why? Pay attention to your dog’s behavior and you may be able to figure out the cause as well as get the barking to stop.
They’re Telling You What They Need
Your dog might not be barking for no reason, there might be something that they need your help with that they’re trying to alert you to! This might be a reminder that they haven’t been fed dinner yet, if your schedule is off (although keep tabs to make sure they aren’t tricking you into giving them extra food!) or maybe their water bowl is empty. They might be asking for a trip outside so they can relieve themselves or maybe a favorite toy has been dropped somewhere that they can’t reach. Checking on your dog’s immediate needs is a great way to troubleshoot before you consider other concerns.
They Want Your Attention
You are the centerpiece of your dog’s world and sometimes they will bark to remind you that they need attention. If you think your dog might be barking just for attention, consider if they’re getting enough playtime. Bored dogs may bark to amuse themselves, according to the American Kennel Club.
You can cut down on this sort of barking by making sure they’re tired out — a nice long walk to the dog park or a great game of fetch in the backyard might be exactly what they need. Just take care to make sure that you aren’t rewarding bad behavior; if your dog’s needs are being met, the best way to get them to stop barking is with consistent discipline.
Someone (or Another Dog) Is Nearby
There’s a reason that the term “watchdog” exists. Traditionally, dogs have been seen as a great pet that can help you keep your home safe by altering you to visitors — and potentially scaring off unwanted visitors with their bark! They also might bark if another animal (in particular, another dog) wanders onto your property, either in excitement or out of a desire to chase them away.
This territorial behavior may be desirable if you are concerned about your family’s safety (or if you often don’t hear your doorbell), and it can be a good idea to teach your dog the “quiet” command. According to the Humane Society, this can be done so your dog’s barking will stop as soon as they hear the command which can help quiet your dog when visitors come over or whenever their barking is a nuisance. You can also try teaching them another behavior that will prevent them from barking, such as asking them to lay down in a specific spot or to bring you a toy so their mouth is occupied.
They Might Need Medical Help
As nice as it would be for your dog to be able to use words to let you know that they don’t feel their best, barking might be their main tool for communication and according to the ASPCA, they might use barking to let you know something isn’t right. If your dog is barking excessively, it’s a good idea to get them checked out by a vet so you can rule out any medical problems. Your veterinarian might also have additional resources and advice for you regarding your pet’s behavior.
If you’re interested in more information about your pet’s health and behavior, schedule an appointment today with Bregman Veterinary Group to keep your pet healthy and happy!