Shut The Eff Up – Stop your dog from barking.
It’s 3am, and the neighbor’s dog starts barking and then your dog starts barking. It only lasts about a minute, but it’s enough to make you exhausted for work the next morning. Next scenario, your dog leaps onto the couch peering out the window and barking at every person, place, or thing that walks by your house. No matter how much you yell or pull him away by the collar, he just won’t stop. You just want the dog to shut the eff up! Over the course of this two part series, we’ll show you how to stop your dog from barking.
Barking is one of the most common issues dog owners have. It’s one of the things people email us about the most. The interesting thing about barking is that many barking fits will include a combination of the 7 reasons below. The complexity of the diagnosis with barking is also why it’s super difficult to give a canned response on how to stop it. In this two-part series we will cover a few common reasons behind why your dog may be barking and some possible remedies.
Generally, there are seven common reasons behind most dog barking. Some of these will definitely ring a bell.
- Group Barking. – Many dogs bark simply because other dogs are barking. The alert can even go into a call & response of sorts.
- Territorial Barking – Dogs exhibiting a this sort of barking will do so because people other dogs, or animals have “invaded” a space they’ve claimed. This bark may be a little more aggressive as it’s a challenge.
- Alert Barking – This is when your dog barks at foreign sights or sounds. A knock at the door, a raccoon darting out of the bushes… that sort of thing.
- Boredom/Attention Barking – This type of barking happens when the dog wants you to engage with them. They will often throw out a higher pitched bark to get your attention.
- Excited Barking.- This is very common especially for younger dogs or dogs with high drives. When they get overly stimulated they will bark.
- Separation Anxiety Barking – A lot of dogs will start barking the moment you walk out of the house or a room. However, barking is just one symptom of Separation, and sometimes people will confuse Attention Barking for Separation Anxiety.
- Compulsive Barking – This is when a dog barks repeatedly in a rhythmic tone. It’s reminiscent of a broken record. This type of barking is usually accompanied by another compulsive behavior like spinning, or pacing.
Barking is a form of verbal communication for dogs. I would never encourage anyone to extinguish the behavior entirely. Instead, try to assess the situation and figure out which of the reasons behind the barking, then you can determine the best way to manage it.
Assess The Situation
There are a few questions you should ask yourself when your dog starts barking:
- What’s going on when your dog starts barking; is there a specific trigger?
- Is your dog barking at someone or something?
- Where is your dog when the barking occurs?
Once you’ve narrowed down the potential reason your dog is barking, it’s time to figure out how to address it.
In part 2 of this series we will discuss different approaches to dealing with barking.