Barking happens for a variety of reasons. Understanding why a dog barks is the first step is solving the issue.
Reasons for barking:
- Separation Anxiety
In many cases people can misinterpret why their dog is barking. When stopping barking you need to address the problem first. When you do address the problem, the symptom of barking can often go away on its own.
Attention – When your dog is looking for attention or to get something they will bark to get what they want. We can teach them alternate ways to ask things or let them know they cannot have that right now and have to wait.
Territory – When your dog barks at a fence or looking out a window. It is self-rewarding because they think they scared that person or dog away. This can easily lead towards aggression issues so it should be addressed quickly.
Play – Some dogs will be quite vocal when playing. They can even sound pretty aggressive. For some dogs you can leave them be as it is a non-issue. For others we can teach them to be more quiet in play.
Separation Anxiety – When you leave the presence of your dog and they start barking, this can be separation anxiety. We can work in stages to teach your dog that you are coming back and not to worry. Separation anxiety barking most typically happens with people that are usually home with the dog and the dog follows them everywhere.
Fear – If a smart dog is afraid of something they will usually make some noise and it can turn into fear barking. You will usually see them bark and run away, stop and bark, often with a low tail and hackles up. In many cases the scary thing might go away and this can build a dog’s confidence that they scared it off. Fear barking can easily turn into aggression issues so we want to address this as soon as possible.
Aggression – This is where dogs will bark to say get out of my space now or I am going to attack you. Territory and fear barking can easily lead to this.
You can also teach your dog to bark at some things and not at others. Or maybe you want the dog to bark once or twice at the door to let you know someone is there and then be quiet as opposed to crazy barking for 5 minutes straight.