How to Stop Your Dog from Constantly Barking

How to Stop Your Dog from Constantly Barking

Learn how to get to the bottom of why your dog is barking — and how to curb it.

By: Lisa M. Gerry

It’s hard to believe that your little fur-ball, who’s always such an angel when you’re home, could be making so much noise when you’re away. But if your neighbours are at their wit’s end with your dog’s barking, it’s important to get to the bottom of why he’s doing it, and then figure out how to stop it. Here are a few tips for you if your pup loves to bark.

Not all Barking is “Excessive”
Dogs communicate with other dogs and with humans through barking, so it’s unrealistic to expect a dog not to bark at all. But what constitutes as “excessive barking” is really up to the owner and their particular situation. Many owners only discover that their dogs are barking when they’re not home because their neighbours tell them.

What do the Different Types of Barking Mean?
If the barking is intermittent, the dog is likely “alarm barking,” or alerting to noises it hears outside. But if the barking persists throughout the day while the owner is absent, it could be because of something like separation anxiety.

Why do Dogs Sometimes Suddenly Start Barking More?
Some dogs don’t begin using their voice until they have reached a certain age. If they transitioned from puppyhood into adolescence, they may have just found their voice. This is normal. If an adult dog who has been typically quiet for most of their lives begins to bark, this may be a signal that something wrong in their environment, their health or a behavioural problem.

How to Curb Excessive Barking
Barking is motivated by different emotional states, and there are different causes for it. The first step is to identify why a dog is barking. To do that, you need to find out whether the dog is barking intermittently or consistently throughout the day. To figure this out, try recording the dog when you’re away. You could also try asking a neighbour for their observations on your dog’s barking patterns if they’re home throughout the day.


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How to Curb Intermittent Barking
If the dog is barking due to environmental noises (construction, someone walking down the hallway, etc.), the first thing you want to do is provide them with entertainment and stimulation while the owner is absent.

Try some sort of enrichment toy filled with food to keep their mouths busy and their minds stimulated. Aside from that, block block the outside noises. Provide some sort of consistent white noise from a white noise machine, classical music (which studies have found calms anxious pups) or even a simple, inexpensive box fan placed near your entrances or windows.

If the barking is attention-seeking, the last thing you should do is give the dog attention, because then you’ve essentially reinforced that they will receive attention when they bark. It’s hard, yes, but you should ignore them when they’re barking and then pay attention to them when they’re quiet.

Could a Dog’s Bark Indicate Duress?
Yes, a bark can indicate that a dog is injured or ill. Most people know what their dog’s typical bark sounds like. If it sounds different than what you’re used to, you should you take your dog to the veterinarian.

Lastly, certain breeds also tend to be more vocal than others, like beagles or Yorkshire terriers. So, if you are sensitive to barking or live in a building or neighbourhood where a barking dog wouldn’t be welcome, do your homework when picking out your new furry friend.

Lisa is a freelance writer, animal lover and contributor to Exceptional Canine. She is proud aunt to an adorable rough collie named Dundee that enjoys sitting on the couch, meeting new friends and stealing people’s treats.

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Very interesting, but our problem is with barking any time people or other strange dogs approach, and in some cases does not stop until said person or dog leaves.

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