Does Your Dog Bark Too Much? Here’s What to Do
For most dog owners, barking is a normal part of life. Some dogs bark only when it’s appropriate, such as when mommy comes home from a long day at work, or if dad has forgotten to let Fido out into the yard to relieve himself. Dogs bark as part of their natural communication with people and other animals. In moderation, this is often fine. However, some dogs bark too much or under the wrong circumstances. Besides getting him a fur dog bed, there are several ways to deal with problem behavior.
First, rule out medical issues
While dogs bark excessively for many different behavioral reasons, some causes of barking are primarily medical. For instance, some dogs bark because they are getting old and experiencing cognitive decline. Your poor baby might forget that once-familiar sights and sounds are benign and bark out a warning in response.
Another reason why your buddy might be barking is a need for pain management. Pets that are suffering from injuries or arthritis will often bark from their comfy dog bed. Restlessness along with this barking is a major red flag that they should be taken to the vet pronto. Your vet can examine him and let you know what treatment, if any, is necessary.
Keep in mind, even young dogs can bark as a result of medical issues. Some pups aren’t as healthy as you think, or they could be teething. Even a growth spurt makes that fur dog bed, and the tranquility that goes with it, less inviting.
Next, think about exercise
As with children, pets often get antsy when they don’t get enough exercise. In extreme cases, dogs will bark to burn off steam. According to many behavior experts, one of the easiest ways to (sometimes) cure problem barking is with a lot of exercise. Besides walking in the neighborhood, many dogs enjoy games like fetch in the yard. Don’t have a yard? Consider some indoor games that redirect puppy energy without knocking over the lamp.
Another way to get your dog more exercise is by hiring a dog walker. These are professionals who will come visit Fido sometime during the day. This way, he won’t have as much energy for barking at the squirrels outside your window. Best of all, if you need to work late or run errands before getting home then your dog won’t need to go to the bathroom quite as badly. Getting your furbaby worn out so he can enjoy that donut dog bed won’t take as long, either.
Boredom? That’s easy to fix!
Similarly to barking from a lack of exercise, some doggies bark because they’re bored. This can be a result of being left alone all day, but it can also come from not having the right toys. Luckily, boredom often has an easy fix. Consider getting him some toys that feed treats in return for solving a puzzle. Putting food inside a hollow toy, such as a KONG, and then giving it to your dog helps as well. Cleaning the food out of the toy will keep him too busy to bark.
Of course, playing games with your dog also helps with boredom. Especially if you’re working from home, taking some time out for a bit of fun can be a big help. These days, it’s often necessary to kick the dog out of the room when participating in a virtual meeting. Games and puzzle toys go a long way to preventing your dog from begging to get back in before the meeting is over. Better yet, combine this technique with placing an inviting donut dog bed in the next room.
Barking out the window? Not anymore!
Another reason that dogs bark a lot is if they like to watch squirrels and other distractions out the living room window. Hunting breeds in particular love to “track” the prey in the yard and sitting in front of a window while mom isn’t paying attention provides great entertainment. If you dog can watch quietly, then surveying the scene from his favorite window is probably fine. Your dog is keeping his mind busy without bothering the neighbors.
However, many dogs like to bark at anything that comes into “their” yard. Besides impertinent squirrels and their bird buddies, people sometimes get barked at too. When dogs bark at anyone that walks by the house, it’s often because the person is seen as a threat. Alternately, the “intruder” might need a reminder that this isn’t their yard.
Regardless of what your dog is watching from the window, there are several ways to fix the problem. If you have blinds, consider closing them when you aren’t around. This way, the dog won’t see animals or people in his yard. With nothing to monitor, your dog will no longer have a good reason to bark. Instead, he is more likely to hang out on his donut dog bed with a bone.
Sounds that startle? It can be fixed.
For some dogs, any unfamiliar noise is a reason to sound the alarm. While most pups will be a doggie doorbell on occasion, barking at every sudden noise can become a nuisance. People that live in apartments or busy neighborhoods are especially likely to deal with this problem.
Fortunately, this one is also easy to fix. Most of the time. The first thing you should try is to give your dog a different sound to focus on. If you watch a lot of television, then running the TV on a relatively familiar channel while gone often works. Either your dog doesn’t realize you’re gone, or he has something else to listen to and will relax on his donut dog bed. Other versions of this technique include using a radio or sound machine.
Sometimes it’s psychological
Finally, excessive barking sometimes signals a psychological problem, such as separation anxiety. Besides trying an anti-anxiety dog bed, this problem typically requires professional help to solve. If you think that your dog is anxious, then be sure to get an appointment with your vet right away. She will be able to recommend an appropriate treatment for your furbaby.