Know and understand why your dog is barking.
Barking, along with growling and howling, is a dog’s natural means of vocal communication. It is in their nature to bark, and thus, expecting dogs to never bark is as reasonable as expecting infants to never cry.
A dog’s barking can mean different things, may be to play, express feelings of happiness and excitements, mark a territory, or express a basic need, among other things. Here are some of the reasons why dogs bark:
Genetics: Some dog breeds are inherently more prone to barking. In Bejnamin and Lynette Hart’s book “The Perfect Puppy: How to Choose Your Dog by Its Behavior,” the group of dogs most likely to bark when they are expected not to include: (Yorkshire, Cairn, West Highland White, and Fox) Terriers, Miniature Schnauzer, and Beagle.
Physical or Basic Needs: Dogs may bark to let their owners know that they are feeling hungry, thirsty, hot, or cold. Their barking may be their way of getting your attention and requesting you to attend to their needs. They may also bark to mark and protect their territory, and protect themselves from impending danger. In this case, the dog may look alert and a little aggressive.
Emotional Needs: Barking may also be a dog’s way of expressing emotions. Maybe the dog is feeling giddy and thrilled to see its owner, or wants to initiate play with another dog. This is usually expressed through a happy barking, which is most of the time accompanied by jumping and tail wagging. Perhaps the dog is anxious or fear seeing something that startles them, or it is frustrated with something it cannot do. The dog may also bark to express his feelings of loneliness or boredom.
Separation Anxiety: Like young kids, dogs may also experience separation anxiety with their owners. Dogs with this separation anxiety often bark excessively when left alone.
Environmental Stimulus: Barking may also be triggered by stimulus in the environment, such as strong winds and thunders, loud sirens and firecrackers, and other dogs barking.
Other Needs: A dog may also bark just for mere attention and companionship, or for a reward, may it be freedom or a treat. This, unfortunately, is probably the most likely to develop into excessive and problematic barking.
Barking is indeed a natural phenomenon of dogs. However, it becomes a problem when some dogs bark excessively. Getting your dog to bark less will definitely will not be achieved overnight, for it will take consistency, time, and patience. With proper training and techniques, you will be able to observe your dog actually progressing. The first thing to do is to know the root of the problem. Identify the reason why your dog is barking excessively. Once you pinpoint the reason(s), you can start to treat his barking problem. Some turn to training using negative and positive reinforcements; the dog’s quiet and behaved disposition is rewarded while its excessive barking behavior is not reinforced. Other dog owners who do not have much time to train their dogs turn to technology devices for help. No Bark Collar are devices designed to regulate a dog’s barking by detecting vibration it its vocal chords, and then sending a signal that would warn the dog and or serve as a consequence of its excessive barking. These No Bark Collars of several variations can be purchased online.