Excessive Barking

Excessive Barking

Problems such excessive barking can result in neighborhood disputes and violations of animal control ordinances, and that means problems with your pet can soon become “people problems.” If your dog’s “talkative nature” has created tension with your neighbors, then it’s a good idea to discuss the problem with them. It’s perfectly normal and reasonable for dogs to bark from time to time, just as children make noise when they play outside. But continual barking for long periods of time is a symptom of a problem that needs addressing – from the perspective of your neighbors and your dog.

The first thing to do is determine when and for how long your dog barks, and what causes him to bark. You may need to do some clever detective work to obtain this information, especially if the barking occurs when you’re not home. Ask your neighbors what they see and hear, drive or walk around the block and watch and listen for a while, or start a tape recorder or video camera when you leave for work. With a little effort you should be able to find out which of the common problems discussed below is the cause of your dog’s barking.

Types of Barks :
Social Isolation/Frustration/Attention-Seeking
    Your dog may be barking out of boredom and loneliness if:
  • He’s left alone for long periods of time without opportunities to interact with you.
  • His environment is relatively barren, without companions or toys.
  • He’s a puppy or adolescent (under three years old) and doesn’t have other outlets for his energy.
  • He’s a particularly active type of dog (like the herding or sporting breeds) who needs to be occupied to be happy
Territorial/Protective Behavior
    Your dog may be barking to guard his territory if:
  • The barking occurs in the presence of “intruders,” which may include the mail carrier, children walking to school, and other dogs or neighbors in adjacent yards.
  • Your dog’s posture while he’s barking appears threatening—tail held high and ears up and forward.
  • You’ve encouraged your dog to be responsive to people and noises outside.
Fears and Phobias
    Your dog’s barking may be a response to something he’s afraid of if:
  • The barking occurs when he’s exposed to loud noises, such as thunderstorms, firecrackers, or construction noise.
  • Your dog’s posture while he’s barking appears threatening—tail held high and ears up and forward.
  • Your dog’s posture indicates fear—ears back, tail held low.
Separation Anxiety
    Your dog may be barking due to separation anxiety if:
  • The barking occurs only when you’re gone and starts as soon as, or shortly after, you leave.
  • Your dog displays other behaviors that reflect a strong attachment to you, such as following you from room to room, greeting you frantically, or reacting anxiously whenever you prepare to leave.
  • Your dog has recently experienced a change in the family’s schedule that means he’s left alone more often; a move to a new house; the death or loss of a family member or another family pet; or a period at an animal shelter or boarding kennel.