Aren’t dogs just the best? There are no two questions about it. They’re everything a best friend should be – terrific companions, loving, loyal, protective, entertaining, and obedient. Well, most of the time anyway.
At the end of the day, they do have minds and manners of their own they can choose to exercise. And often, like the naughty little troublemakers they are, things can go out of control. Like excessive barking at nothing. Pooch parents, does this sound familiar?
This is rarely a desirable behaviour (unless your pet is trying to warn about or protect you from something). More enthusiastically than you perhaps, your neighbours will testify to the headache of a dog’s ear-splitting, erratic barks.
But don’t worry, it’s a checkpoint most dog parents reach when bringing up their furbabies.
Know that there will almost always be a reason behind a dog’s barks. A human may scream without purpose, but our four-legged friends know better than that. What’s important while correcting this behaviour and understanding your pet’s emotions is time and patience.
Why is this happening?
These are some pointers to indicate what a dog might be feeling when they bark too loud or too much:
- A) Loneliness:
A barking dog may just be seeking attention and love from people. This is a common behaviour exhibited by dogs suffering from separation anxiety or depression. Don’t let your canine feel lonely; that will make both you and them super sad, won’t it? Proper socialization during puppyhood is mandatory, with adequate touch, interaction and familiarisation.
- B) Fear/Surprise:
Dogs that are afraid will cope and express through barking; either to relay their feeling or try to scare away what’s scaring them. Keep your pooch away from such situations as much as possible. Eliminate the object of their fear/shock/surprise from the scene, if possible. Having something familiar around – a source of comfort – will help calm your pet during these times. If the pet is getting too aggressive or territorial, leave them alone for a little while.
- C) Hormones:
If a dog is older, and especially if they are not spayed and neutered, they may feel the need to demonstrate their survival instincts by barking excessively. This is their form of pet communication of either authority or a release of sexual frustration owing to hormonal fluctuations.
- D) Pain:
A pet barking or vocalising excessively might probably be hurt or in pain or stuck in a situation they may not be equipped to get out of. Check from a distance the condition the dog is in and then gently approach so as to not frighten or aggravate them further.
How to improve the situation?
Proper training with dogs is a must to inculcate disciplined behaviours in them. Don’t think you’re being a strict parent or too harsh on them, because as much as you need your dog to be trained, your dog too will enjoy the order of a routine and learnt behaviours. Start with easy commands – sit, stand, fetch – which can be practiced daily. A trained dog will learn to be well-mannered and listen to you.
Remember to not scream back at your furbaby ever, even if they are barking their chords out. Not only will this worsen the situation at that moment, but might give way to long-term trust issues. Here’s your guide on what to do instead.
And finally, believe it or not, a lot of dogs bark simply because they’re just bored. Nothing else. Curb their boredom by giving ‘em an energy boost. Spend a good amount of time daily playing with them and ensuring they get enough activity in to remain fit and healthy. Pack them up on necessary, well-deserved fuel with fresh, delicious, all-natural food – like what we at Pawfectly Made serve. Wholesome health and happiness for pets guaranteed!