Dogs do not get tired from barking if it’s a playful (non-aggressive) bark, so if you’re wondering how long it will take for a barking dog to get tired, you may be waiting for a while! Playful barking does not place enough stress on a dog’s vocal cords to cause fatigue.
Some dogs seem to bark endlessly, causing their owners to wonder how long they can possibly keep it up. The answer to how long they can bark is not straightforward, but fortunately, there are many ways to get them to stop.
Can a Dog Bark Indefinitely?
Although it can certainly seem like a dog is unable to bark indefinitely, that’s technically not the case. Two primary factors determine the length of time a dog will continue to bark without stopping.
Dogs use barking as a way to communicate, just like humans use talking (or sometimes yelling). Although our bodies differ from dogs’ bodies, our voice and their bark are produced in much the same way. Air passes through folds in the larynx that we typically call vocal cords. Just like we can talk for hours on end without stopping, dogs can bark for what seems like an eternity.
On the other hand, imagine spending hours at a club, sporting event, or any loud environment where you have to yell to be heard. Eventually, you’re going to strain your vocal cords, and your voice will sound hoarse. If you keep using it, your throat may get sore enough that it’s painful to speak, or you may even lose your voice for a day or two.
The same is true for dogs. If a dog is barking playfully or out of boredom, it may not be putting much strain on its vocal cords and will be able to keep it up indefinitely.
If, on the other hand, it’s barking out of distress, it’s not uncommon for a dog to bark until it gets a sore throat and loses its voice.
Reason for Barking
The other major factor which determines how long a dog will bark is its reason for barking in the first place. Typically, the more threatened or stressed a dog feels, the longer it’s going to bark.
Contrary to what some pet owners say, dogs are never barking at “nothing.” If a dog is barking endlessly, it has a need that is not being met.
Whether that’s a need for food, a sense of safety, or just some company, the dog is trying to alert its owners of something.
If the need isn’t urgent, the dog may eventually give up and go to sleep. Otherwise, it can keep it up for much longer than the neighbors would like.
Why Dogs Bark Excessively and How to Stop It
If you’re trying to get your dog to bark less, it’s helpful to figure out why it’s barking to begin with.
Interestingly, although dogs have descended directly from wolves, wolves rarely vocalize the way dogs do. Scientists theorize that dogs have learned to communicate with humans over the generations by using body language, facial expressions, and vocalizations such as whining and barking.
This proves that if a dog is barking, it’s not for no reason. It’s trying to tell you something.
Occasional barking is natural, healthy, and rarely poses a problem. Usually, people don’t complain if a dog is barking out of joy or excitement because it only happens when the dog is playing or greeting someone and doesn’t last a long time.
If someone complains about a barking dog, they almost always mean a dog that is barking for an extended length of time.
Here are some common reasons that dogs bark excessively and how to combat them:
If a dog is stressed or experiencing anxiety, it will often bark nonstop, in addition to howling, pacing, chewing, digging, and other destructive behaviors. This is especially true if the anxiety is caused by loneliness or separation anxiety.
Depending on the severity of the dog’s distress, there are a few things that may help.
For mild cases of anxious behavior, simply tiring the dog out by playing or taking it for a walk may be enough to help relieve some energy, so it has less energy to spend on destructive behaviors and barking.
If a dog finds being alone stressful, getting another dog will sometimes make it feel more secure when its owner is away. This also gives it someone to play with, taking its mind off the fact that the owner is gone.
However, extreme separation anxiety should be treated with the help of an animal behaviorist who may use a combination of training and medication to help the dog feel more calm.
Dogs perceive their job to be protecting their home and owners. In fact, many people have dogs as a means of protection.
If a dog hears or sees something that it determines to be a threat or an encroachment on their territory, it will bark to warn its owner or scare the intruder away.
Unfortunately, not all dogs have a great sense of what constitutes a threat, leading to them being over-vigilant and barking at everything that moves.
This can be especially annoying in a city where people live in close proximity and there’s always someone or something nearby making noise.
There are a couple ways to stop territorial dogs from barking excessively. The first is simply removing the stimuli by blocking the dog’s view outside the house or yard using curtains or concrete fencing. While this can be effective, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s only avoiding the issue of over-vigilance, not solving it.
While more time and effort is required for the second method, it’s better for getting to the actual root of the problem.
This involves desensitizing the dog to whatever stimuli triggers it – other dogs, people, etc. by slowly introducing the stimulus to the dog, and rewarding it with treats when it doesn’t react by barking, and withholding treats when it does bark.
If a dog isn’t getting what it wants, it will often bark in much the same way a small child will continue to whine until the parent gives in to their demands.
For example, if a dog that is usually kept inside is locked out in the yard, it will often bark until the owners let it back in. This type of excessive barking is perhaps the least annoying since it’s situational and usually only intermittent.
Unfortunately, the quickest and easiest way to get an attention-seeking dog to stop barking is to give it what it wants. Of course, this only reinforces the behavior, ensuring that it will continue.
Although difficult to do, the best way to get this type of barker to stop excessive barking is by ignoring it.
Yelling at the dog is still attention, so it’s important not to react at all if you can stand it. Eventually, the dog will get the message, and over time will learn that barking is not going to get it what it wants.
If you’re having trouble with a dog that won’t stop barking no matter what you do, talk to your vet about it. The vet will rule out any potential medical reasons your dog may bark excessively and recommend a trainer if necessary.
If it’s not your dog that’s doing the barking, talk to the owners and see if they’re willing and able to take the steps necessary to quiet the dog. This is especially true of dogs that mainly bark when their owner is away – the owner may not even be aware that there’s a problem.
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