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Why dogs bark

Posted By  
09:00 AM

Excessive barking in dogs can be frustrating and a really annoying habit both for the K9 parents and the people around them. We need to remember that barking is a vocal communication dogs use to express different emotions in different context and situations, so barking is a very normal part of dog behavior.

With each type of bark there is an emotion so we need to look at the emotion behind the bark.


Now you can't expect a dog never to produce an occasional bark, that's just plain unrealistic. That would be like telling us girls never to chitchat. However, if the problem becomes unbearable, you should try to reduce and modify the behavior by figuring out what's causing it in the first place. Remember - a dog never barks for no reason at all or just to annoy you!

So lets have a look at some of the reasons are gorgeous companions may bark for.



Dogs are social animals that connect emotionally with the people around them and other animals in the household. "Remember we love this amazing connection we have with dogs."

They live happily in the group and see the home and the whole property as their group's territory. 


Territorial barking happens when people outside the dog's social group come near or inside their territory. Protection barking is when strangers come near the members of the group. In both cases when the 'intruders' retreat the dog instantly feels rewarded because they got rid of the threat and now they have done their job, good for them.


Now remember it is your job to teach your dog that you are the one responsible for the family - show them you will handle and control the situation. Encourage your visitors to display affection towards the dog and offer toys and treats when visiting. The moment the dog stops barking to sniff the toy or even the visitors, reward them with praise and treat.

You could teach your dog that when visitors come over to go to their Zen spot which could be a crate or mat and stay there until the visitor comes to them to say hello and reward.


If people passing by on the street triggers your dog to bark you need to provide a barrier so he cannot see them or simply prevent access to the area. 

You could teach your dog to settle and that quiet calm behavior gets you a reward when people or dogs are walking past.


Boredom interactive toy for dogs training

This is a big one I mean we all have intelligent and smart dogs living in our household so its our job to optimize their home environment and provide them with fun and interesting things to mentally stimulate them. When dogs lack the necessary mental and physical stimulation they tend to bark excessively. This means they are bored and unable to alter their environment to make things more entertaining. 

Remember it is vital that you optimize your dog's home environment and give them a job to do and this is so darn easy.

Absolutely, and I mean absolutely, all meals every single one of them, and all treats to be provided out of interactive food dispensing toys.

There are heaps on the market and so you just need to find the ones that your dog gets a kick out of using.


If you spend enough time around the house just engage your dog in training and play sessions, ball - games, walks, cuddles, etc. If you live a busy life spend enough time with them before work or take them with you. Well-mannered pups are welcomed everywhere!

If you work from home let your dog keep you company in your office, this can be a great stress release for you while working and even though you would not be interacting with your dog, for them just being with you is actually environment enrichment.


Attention Seeking   

Dog learn soon enough, that barking equals attention from the owner. Every glimpse, touch, word (even a bad one) rewards their barking and encourages them to continuously repeat the behavior.

Gone are the days where we would have said ignore all attention seeking behavior, as we now know how damaging this can actually be to a dog. You see, ignoring an attention seeking behavior can create way too much frustration, which then turns into stress, as the poor dog doesn't know what to do.

So It might take nerves of steel and a bag full of patience to work on this behavior challenge but remember the dog is communicating to you for something, you have got to work out what it is.



Separation anxiety is a very serious behavior challenge and is not a training issue but a mental issue. For this I strongly recommend seeking professional help.

Training still needs to be implemented with dogs that sufferer separation anxiety and what I would have done 12 months ago is very different to what I would do now, yes things have really changed and too much to write in this blog.


Playtime Enthusiasmbarking dog playing training

Some dogs get too excited during playtime and express their emotions through barking. Avoid escalating the excitement and play more calmly. Every time your dog becomes quiet and calmer remember to reward them.

Please remember behavior is in context and some dogs are more vocal during play than others, yes that's right every single dog just like us humans are an individual.



Health Problems

Some dogs bark when they are in pain or not feeling too well. If you think that the reason for barking is an underlying health issue, take your dog for a veterinary check-up as soon as possible.

Once you start to recognize your dogs individual barks then the barking for pain is actually a very obvious one, and remember dogs are really good at hiding their pain so if they are vocalizing due to pain they will be in serious pain so get them seen by a vet ASAP


Don't use physical punishment

Physical punishment will only make your dog resent you and be afraid of you.

Remember your dog needs to feel safe and secure with you. Physical punishment can lead to aggressiveness towards other people and animals. Any physical or verbal abuse or raising your voice to a dog is just plain darn cruel as there is no need for it. Dogs that are barking don't know that you are punishing them for that behavior.

You know the quieter you actually talk to your dog the more likely they are to listen to you.

Calm behavior = calm behavior

Aggressive behavior = aggressive behavior.

 So next time your dog is barking take a moment to assess what sort of bark it is and how you can help reduce the behavior and remember we are only a phone call away if you need assistance.

Need help? contact Zigrid K9 lifestyle coach:/contact