Excessive Dog Barking Problems
All dogs bark; that is just part of their nature. When a dog begins to bark excessively; however, it can quickly begin to grate on your nerves and result in complaints throughout the neighborhood. Naturally, you do not want the problem to develop to the point of having to find another home for your dog. Educating yourself is the first step toward resolving the problem. What, exactly, defines excessive dog barking and what causes it?
Understanding Why Dogs Bark
It should be understood that barking in a dog is quite natural and while you may think that your dog barks a lot, this may not be the case. Excessive barking is defined as barking, or howling, that occurs repeatedly over a period of time of twenty minutes or more. If you are not sure whether your dog barks for that long of a period of time or not, you might try keep a log to chart the amount of time that your dog barks as well as the times of day when he seems to bark the most.
Signs of Excessive Dog Barking
The signs of excessive barking are fairly easy to recognize. A dog that suffers from this problem will bark for long periods of time, usually in repeated bursts of barking. In some cases, the problem may also involve howling or yelping as well.
There can be several different causes or triggers for excessive barking in a dog. Loneliness is one of the more common causes for this problem. If a dog feels that he is not getting the attention that he deserves then he may bark simply to get that attention.
Another possible trigger for excessive barking is separation anxiety. Separation anxiety occurs when a dog is terrified of being without his owner. This behavior manifests itself in many different ways and can include excessive dog barking. The dog may begin to bark significantly when he thinks you are about to leave home or just after you have left.
Territorial dog barking is another common trigger. This occurs when the dog barks for the specific purpose of protecting his territory. In this case, a cycle of bark and reward behavior is often established.
Other possible triggers for dog barking may include a desire on the dog’s part to play, the issuance of a threat to someone that the dog perceives to be an intruder, fears and phobias, reactions to specific environmental stimuli and in some cases, illness or pain. Barking can also be related to age, breed or individual predispositions.
Ruling Out Medical Conditions
It is always important to make sure that your pet is not suffering from an illness or injury that could be resulting in less than desirable behavior. This is particularly true with excessive dog barking and especially if your dog has not previously experienced problems with this type of behavior. After performing a thorough examination, your vet will be able to let you know whether there are other health conditions that could be leading to the behavior at question. Once ruling out possible health conditions, it is time to consult a professional to obtain help in overcoming the behavior problem.
Remember that there is no reason why you must continually cope with dog barking. Regardless of the trigger that is resulting in your dog’s barking, help is available that can help you to enjoy your dog without the excessive dog barking.