We’ve all had the experience of listening to a dog barking and wondering when it will ever stop. It sometimes seems as if they could carry on forever, which begs the question as to whether dogs get tired of barking.
Dogs don’t get tired of barking. Dogs bark to communicate, and they are capable of carrying on until they get a response. There are various reasons dogs bark excessively, including fear, boredom, seeking attention, and separation anxiety. All of these can be addressed and controlled with the right approach.
This article seeks to explore why dogs bark, how to recognize the cause of your dog’s excessive barking, and what to do about dealing with it.
Why Do Dogs Bark?
Dogs need to bark — it’s their way of communicating, and it’s very normal unless it’s done excessively. If a dog receives a reward for barking and gets what they want, they will learn to use barking as a tool (source). Dogs bark for various reasons, the most common of which are detailed below.
Dogs will often bark when someone or something approaches what they consider to be their territory. This is generally the area around your home, but it can also include familiar places, such as your car, walking route, and other often-visited spots.
Dogs bark in greeting other dogs and sometimes even people. This kind of barking is friendly and excited and not aggressive.
Alarm barking is triggered by something, such as an object like lawnmowers or a noise like thunder or the doorbell. The dog’s body language will be stressed, and the dog may also pounce with the barking.
This occurs when the dog barks to get people or other dogs’ attention to get a response or a reward.
This is barking triggered by other dogs and occurs in a social context, usually a neighborhood. It’s not uncommon to hear many dogs in an area barking together as they all add their voices to the mix.
This occurs when your dog is distressed by your absence and barks, along with exhibiting other typical behaviors such as pacing, howling, or destructive habits.
Mild separation anxiety can be treated with some of the techniques described below and largely involves turning being at home into a pleasurable rather than stressful experience. More serious cases may need professional intervention so that they don’t become an insurmountable problem.
Most barking is normal when it occurs in context as dogs call out to other dogs, mark their territory, express emotion, or try to get someone’s attention. But when your dog’s barking becomes a behavioral issue, you need to understand what is causing it and address that issue.
If your dog is barking because of pain or injury, it needs to be immediately addressed with a veterinarian.
Dealing With Barking Issues
When barking has become a problem, then action is required to understand what the issue is and address the behavior. The first step is to discover what triggers the barking and whether it is something they’re scared of, if they are bored, or perhaps just seeking attention (source).
Once you start trying to control the barking, it’s important that you avoid yelling at your dog, keep positive, and remain consistent. The following approaches can all work in various situations.
Take Away the Reward
When a dog is barking because it results in a reward, then you need to remove the reward. If your dog barks when people walk past, then keep him from seeing them so that he doesn’t get the opportunity to continue barking.
If your dog is barking simply to get your attention, then it’s best to try ignoring the barking for as long as possible. Avoid eye contact or any recognition, and give them a treat as soon as the barking stops.
This method requires patience, so it’s best to start with small amounts of time and reward them quickly so that you can work up to longer periods (source).
Desensitize Your Dog
This method involves getting your dog accustomed to whatever the stimulus is if it is something physical like a lawnmower, children, etc. You can start with the stimulus quite far away and then keep rewarding your dog as you move closer without barking. You must do this slowly so that the habit of not barking starts to form.
Request a Different Action
This involves asking your dog to do something that would be difficult to do while barking, such as lying down on their bed. It can only work with a dog that has been trained to obey commands. If the dog complies, then give treats to encourage the behavior.
Ensure Your Dog Is Tired
If your dog’s barking is due to boredom, then it can work to ensure that he gets more exercise and stimulation. Walks, games, and interactive toys all work to tire out your dog. If you don’t have the time to do it yourself, it could be a good idea to employ a dog walker.
Consult a Professional
Should all else fail, it might be best to contact a professional dog trainer. They can help work out what is causing the barking and work with you to eliminate the behavior. To avoid receiving noise complaints from neighbors, act quickly to sort out the behavior.
Barking is a normal canine behavior used by dogs to communicate. Dogs will keep barking until they get a result and are able to keep barking almost indefinitely until their needs are met.
It’s important to understand what triggers your dog’s barking so that you can adapt the behavior before excessive barking becomes a problem.