Dogs do not get tired of barking. Dogs that bark non-stop will continue to do so until they get bored or the issue is taken care of. Since dogs always have a reason for barking (although it may seem like it at times), it’s your job as the owner to figure out the cause and train them to stay quiet.
Whether it’s your dog or the neighbor’s dog, we all know how annoying it can be when a dog won’t stop barking. Even the slightest disturbance can cause the dog to bark non-stop. Heck, sometimes it seems like they are barking at nothing.
If you have an especially vocal pup, you might wonder if they ever get tired of barking. The short answer is no, dogs do not get tired of barking. However, you can curb your dog’s barking through training.
The first step in the training process is to figure out why your dog is barking in the first place.
What’s Your Dog Barking At?
Barking can be caused by a variety of factors. Sometimes your dog genuinely needs something and is trying to alert you. Other times it is something as simple as boredom.
Here are the five most common reasons dogs bark. Take the time to read through these and ask yourself if any of them match up with your dog’s behavior.
Separation anxiety is common in dogs. Dogs can become very attached to their owner or a member of the family and have anxiety when they are gone.
A sudden change in family structure or environment may trigger separation anxiety in dogs. For example, if a member of their family suddenly moves away, the dog may go through a period of stress and anxiety.
Dogs with separation anxiety usually act out when they suspect someone is leaving. This ranges from simply barking and howling to pacing, digging, or destroying things in the house. If your dog has severe separation anxiety, it may even try to escape.
Similarly, stress might make your dog bark. There might be something in the environment that the dog is afraid of. Nervous dogs are especially prone to stress barking.
Stress could be caused by something as simple as their routine changing, which can throw your dog’s whole day off.
If your dog seems to bark at everything, it most likely means that there is a source of stress in their immediate environment (such as a car alarm going off that you didn’t notice).
If you know what’s causing the stress but have no way of eliminating it, your best option is to desensitize your dog to whatever may be causing the stress. This process can take a few weeks but is worth it in the end.
Dogs are territorial of their space. If they hear someone or something outside the door or window, they might think there is a stranger in their space and will either bark to alert you or to scare the stranger off.
Territorial barking can also happen if a stranger is entering your home for the first time. Remember, in your dog’s mind, it is their space and they want to protect it.
As long as your dog is not getting aggressive with strangers, barking isn’t a huge problem. Most dogs stop barking when they are familiar with the stranger and are sure it’s not a threat to themselves or their family.
Loneliness, or simply boredom, is a big reason dogs bark. If your dog is understimulated, it will bark because they have nothing else to do. They might want you to play with them or take them out for a walk. A lonely or bored dog is likely to act out in destructive ways out of pure under-stimulation.
Lastly, dogs bark when they want something. Barking is their primary way of communication. If they hear a dog across the street bark, chances are they will bark back. Additionally, if they want to go out for a walk, they might bark at you.
The barking might seem annoying, but you should make sure all their basic needs are met when they do bark. If their needs are met, there is a good chance the barking will cease.
How to Stop The Barking
After reading through that list above, do you have a good idea of why your dog may be barking non-stop? If so, let’s take a look at how to prevent this behavior.
First, you should make sure that all their basic needs are met. Make sure they have water, go on enough walks, and are on a regular feeding schedule. This will make sure they are not barking because they need something.
Use Positive Reinforcement Training
Positive reinforcement is the most popular dog training method. This is also true when it comes to getting a dog to stop barking.
If possible, you should start when your dog is a puppy because that’s when they are most willing to learn new commands and behaviors. However, adult dogs can also learn new behaviors if you work with them.
The key to using positive reinforcement to get your dog to stop barking is to reward your dog when they are quiet or stop barking.
This will work best if you teach them the “quiet” command. Your dog will learn to associate the word “quiet” with not barking.
Do not punish your dog for their barking since barking is usually the result of anxiety or stress. Punishing them will make them more anxious, which can make the barking even worse.
Distractions and Stimulation
This is a simpler, short-term solution that does not directly address the cause of barking. When you notice your dog getting antsy, give them a toy that will distract them for a while. Puzzle toys with a treat inside work great to keep your dog distracted.
Another tip is to keep your dog very well stimulated. One of the best ways to keep them stimulated is to take them on walks each day.
If you have a highly energetic dog that requires a lot of exercise, it’s your responsibility to make sure they are getting that exercise. Take them to the dog park or go on a run with them.
A well-stimulated and well-exercised dog is more likely to be a quiet dog. This is especially true for dogs who need a lot of stimulation. You should also have some fun toys in the home for your pup to play with.
For Mild Separation Anxiety
Separation anxiety can be difficult to treat. Severe cases most likely require a gradual and long-term desensitization process to get your dog used to being alone.
However, if your dog has a mild case, you can offer your pup some tasty treats in a KONG toy. It gives them something to do and makes them associate you leaving with getting treats.
For Severe Separation Anxiety
Desensitization and counterconditioning is the process by which you gradually get your dog comfortable with being alone. This may be required if your dog has severe separation anxiety. In most cases, this requires the help of an animal behaviorist or a dog trainer.
Desensitize to Stress
Desensitizing your dog to the source of their stress is another alternative. The desensitization process depends on what your dog is stressing about.
For example, let’s say your dog is afraid of something in the house. The object that they are barking at should be removed from the environment suddenly. Then after a few hours, re-introduce your dog to the object.
You should take it slowly at first, just letting your dog smell the object for short periods. If your dog doesn’t bark and stays quiet, they should immediately be rewarded. This will teach your pup to associate the object with something positive instead of something to fear.
It’s Natural For Dogs to Bark
While dogs don’t get tired of barking, there are ways for you to stop them from barking. Dogs bark for many reasons. It’s your job to isolate the reason your dog is barking. Once the cause is isolated, you can then train your dog to keep quiet.
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