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Why dogs bark, and how to solve it.

Updated: Apr 1, 2020

Here is a 4 step plan on how to get your dog to stop barking.

1. Make sure to positively reinforce alternate behaviors. You need to understand that dogs bark to get things that they want, so you need to understand how to treat and stop this properly. Dogs like this need to earn praise and not demand it. Dogs who demand attention will not be given it and will instead engage in an appropriate alternate behavior, such as sitting or laying down. This is a way for the dog to get the things that it wants. Make sure to always pick obedience cues that are familiar to the dog so that it can be successful. It is important that the dog quickly learns to perform alternate behaviors that will earn the dog what it wants. You want to gradually increase the complexity of the alternate behaviors. 2. You want to manage the problem and set the dog up to succeed. One possible thing that you can do is to ignore the barking, although it can be very tough to do this. You must be prepared that the dog will increase barking until it finally gives up and stops. The increased barking in a dog is called an extinction burst. These happen anytime when a behavior is almost eliminated, such as a dog being trained to not bark or jump up. One thing that you can do is keep the dog’s favorite toys out of sight except for specific play times. This allows you to be in control of the dogs access to the items. A dog will be less likely to demand an object that it can’t see. When it is playtime ask the dog to sit and stay, or do a down and stay while you get the toy for the dog to play with. In this situation, the dog gets attention and chew time, while inappropriate barking is curtailed. 3. Have consequences for excessive barking. You can also use other alternative ways such as sit stays. Make sure not to use any startle techniques to help solve the problem. 4. Be consistent in dealing with excessive barking. Again, consistency is very critical when trying to eliminate behavior problems. Dogs do respond well to consistency.

After you figure out what is causing the dog to bark then you need to establish the dog’s behavioral threshold. Here is how your do that.

Excessive barking and all the different reasons why dogs bark 1. Excited play alert barking. This is when the dog wants to play with something that it can not get to. The body posture is normally play bowing or bouncing. Solutions to help solve this: Try to play with your dog everyday if you can. If you play with your try to have them earn their toys by putting them in a sit or down command then releasing them from this. 2. Fearful alarm barking. It is usually demonstrated by under socialized or shy dogs. These types of dogs typically bark at things they are fearful of. The body posture is generally backward or low to the ground and he may lean on or even go behind his owner. The dogs ears and tail are generally down and the dogs tail is tucked. Solutions to help solve this: Try to introduce the dog to what it is fearful of and hopefully it should overcome its fears. 3. Demand or dominance barking. This is most often seen in dogs who are otherwise pushy individuals who often get what they want from their owners without working for it. The body posture is normally sitting and interacting with you. Solutions to help solve this: If the dog is being pushy to you do not let this happen. They need to earn that toy or that treat from you. By doing a command. 4. Territorial barking. It is most commonly seen in working or herding dog class breeds. It is a normal canine behavior for dog owners. This is also lead to aggression if not properly dealt with. The body posture is normally when the dog is in a stance with its tail up in the air and is probably barking. Solutions to help solve this: The dog needs to know and understand that you are in charge that you are the Alpha not the dog. Do not let your dog rule the house that is your job. 5. Boredom barking. It is dogs who whine, bark or howl when they are bored. Also they pay not be getting enough attention or exercise everyday. The body posture is normally sitting or laying around. Solutions to help solve this: Make sure that your dog gets 30 minutes to an hour of exercise everyday and is played with and petted too. 6. Learned barking. This is often demonstrated by any dog in an attempt to get things that the dog wants. Such as attention. They will bark at there owners rather then other people. The body posture is normally The dog is barking and probably looking up and into your eyes. Solutions to help solve this: You could do a few watch me commands.

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