06 Mar How Can I Tell Why My Dog Is Barking?
Does your dog’s barking drive you crazy? We often forget that barking is totally normal for dogs. That is they way they communicate. Just as birds chirp, cats meow, our dog’s bark! Unfortunately, our dog’s don’t know how to control their barking unless we teach them. Some dog’s bark out of boredom, to alert us, they even will bark out of fear. Barking can actually be learned by experience. The dog has learned this way of communication can get them the things they want.
The first thing you must do in order to determine why the dog is barking is to keep a journal. You must determine the pattern, and this is the best way to do so.
You are going to want to keep a journal for the next few days. Write down your answers to the following questions and it will help you determine why your dog is barking.
When does the dog bark? Is it only inside, outside, day, or night? When left alone? Only when it’s raining? When the neighbors are out, or people pass by?
When did the barking start? Has it been since the dog has been a puppy? Did you move lately? Has something changed in the dog’s daily routine?
How long does the dog bark? Does the dog just bark for a few minutes or hours on end? Do they quiet down when you ask for it, and start up again?
Where is the barking? Inside? Outside? In the car? On walks?
Who is present? Is it around certain family members? Strangers? Children? Men?
What is the dog’s focus? Squirrels? People? Nothing at all?
What solutions have you tried? What has worked? What has not worked?
All of these questions are very important in determining why your dog is barking. Some dogs even get rewarded, in just hearing themselves bark! Very similar how some people love to hear themselves talk! It is hard to pinpoint specific categories for barkers, however here are some obvious that your dog may fall into.
LOOKING FOR ATTENTION! This dog is a very social dog. The bark is somewhat high pitched. They may bark, then stop to see if anyone is paying attention to them, and then start barking all over again.
LOOKING FOR CONFRONTATION! This is the dog that displays threatening actions, and is looking to carry them out. This is a low-pitched bark often preceded by a growl.
BOREDOM! I have nothing else to do! The bark is usually medium pitched, flat and boring.
FEARFUL BARKING! They will bark at anything and anybody they feel threatened by. This is a vicious circle that gets reinforced. Usually they bark at something that does go away, and it makes the barking stronger. Like the UPS of FedEx truck! This bark is a sharp high-pitched bark.
I JUST WANNA HAVE FUN! This dog has a lust for life! They are happy and just want to be the center of attention. They move around as they bark, wagging their tail and often panting.
SEPARATION ANXIETY! This dog barks because the are overly bonded with a specific individual. This is a high-pitched often frantic bark.
As you study your answers from your journal it should give you great insight in the determination of the cause of your dog’s barking. It also should give you the insight to fix it! Very simply, remove the trigger and give an alternate behavior.