As you can presume, barking is a natural reaction for every dog. Being that they are pack animals, there is a variety of emotions and messages they are able to convey with sounds. If you are not a dog owner, you will probably notice when a dog barks in public. For you, this might be an indication that a dog is aggressive. However, there is a variety of things that barking can be used for. Dog might show excitement or worry when it barks. In most of the cases, barking shows us that the dog is very emotional, attentive or simply undisciplined.
Regardless of your dog’s character, barking is something that most owners put a stop to. As I already mentioned, it can pose a concern when in public and especially when your dog is near kids.
Type of sounds that dogs produce
Have in mind that barking is not the only sound that dogs produce. Yelping is also very common as a way of showing their discomfort or dissatisfaction. This sound reminds of baby’s cry where baby is trying to notify us that there is something wrong. Growling is another thing we need to pay attention to. It is commonly used as a way of telling us that a dog is not satisfied with the way we are treating it. It is a bit more aggressive than yelping and it can show us that dog is getting annoyed. Lastly, some kinds use howling as a common form of communication. This is especially common for animals that are used to living in packs.
Why do dogs bark?
There are two main reasons why dogs bark: excitement and worry. Excitement is especially common for young dogs. They will start barking when they go out or when you start playing with them.When such a situation occurs, inexperienced owner will start yelling in an attempt to put a stop to it. This is usually counterproductive and it can lead to even more barking as the dog gets more and more excited.
On the other hand, the dog might start barking as a way to notify you of impending peril. Given they have much better senses than us, this their way of protecting us and diverting our attention. Even if a peril is manageable, dogs may perceive it as a big one. Your task is to check it out and show the dog there is nothing to worry about. Anyway, best course of action is the one that keeps your dog calm.
How to stop dog from barking?
First of all, you need to understand that it is counterproductive to completely prevent your dog from barking. Like for humans, these sounds are a way of communication and by if you forbid them from communicating, it can be very stressful for animal and can lead to some other undesirable types of behavior.
Here are several quick tips on how to stop a dog from barking:
- Do not stimulate your dog to bark As I already said, when dog is excited or worried, it will bark. Best way to prevent it is to avoid getting it even more excited or by playing it “cool” when dog is worried
- Removing the source of barking If the dog notices another dog and starts barking, best way to stop it is to move away from the dog. Same goes for any other source
- Give dog something else to do By giving a dog rubber toy or a treat, you are effectively stopping it from barking as its mouth are preoccupied. Rubber toy is of course much better solution here
- Have a command If you train your dog, it is possible to stop it from barking with a right command
- Force your dog to run and get tired If your dog is excited while you’re outside and starts barking, pick a stick and play fetch. Get your dog tired quickly and as it gasps for air, it will be harder to bark
Ideal way to train your dog is by providing stimuli and placing it in a situation where it commonly barks. If your dog barks when you have guests, invite guests all the time so it gets accustomed and stops barking. Relieving stress and calming your dog is another way to reduce barking as your dog will be more relaxed to its surroundings.