Why Dogs Bark and How to Handle It

Barking is a common type of communication of dogs. The reasons for dogs' barking include:

1. Feeling Scared

Sometimes dogs bark because something startles them. 

2. Feeling Bored

Dogs will bark since they feel bored or unhappy.

3. Feeling Lonely

Sometimes dogs will bark because they feel lonely. The dogs that have separation anxiety often bark excessively when left alone.

4. Attention Seeking

Dogs often bark because they want something or playing, even the touching from people.

5. Protecting Their Territory

Dogs are very sensitive to their "territory". Once a person or an animal comes into this area, they usually bark. The barking often gets louder when the person or animal gets closer.

6. Greeting

Sometimes dogs bark because of greeting people or other animals.

What should I do?

1. Ignoring the Barking

Your attention only rewards him for keeping barking. Shouting even stimulates your dog to bark more because he thinks you are playing or joining in. When your dog is barking, ignore him until he stops. Once he quiets, praise him or reward him with a treat.

2. Teaching Your Dog the "Quiet" Command

You can say “Quiet” in a calm, firm voice when your dog is barking. When he stops barking, you can praise and reward him.

3. Tiring Your Dog

Dogs should get enough exercise every day. A tired dog is a quiet dog. If your dog often barks when alone, keep him tired before you go. Then they are less likely to bark from boredom or frustration.

4. Discourage Your Dog from Barking at Others

When your dog barks at another person or animal, stop him and take him far away immediately. After he stops barking, reward him.

5. Providing Something for Your Dog when You Leave

You can provide more activities and companionship, or leave out some dog toys to keep your dog from being lonely or bored. These can keep him busy for several hours and they may not get bored or lonely and stop barking.

What should Not do?

Muzzle, debarking can be dangerous to your dog. Some dogs can even regain their voices after debarking.

This article is written by Dr. Jack Roberts.

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