Lion’s roar, sheep baa’ and dogs bark…
And while it is natural that dogs also want to express themselves like we do from time to time, or may come in handy to scare off threats, an out of control bark can drive you (and the neighbours) bonkers.
If your dog suffers from an overactive bark then luckily there are some things you can do that have an immediate impact in helping them calm down.
Why Do Dogs Bark?
You probably know that dogs bark for multiple reasons.
The beginnings of the bark have an ancient cause. Back in the day whenever a dog (or wolf) was separated from the rest of the pack, or they were in danger, or they needed attention, they used barking as a way to signal their situation.
However in the wild dogs don’t bark all the time. They save it for when it really matters.
So if your dog is barking too much at home, could they be signalling something else?
When Dogs Don’t Stop Barking…
As touched upon, the context your dog barks in matters most.
For instance if they are at home alone… a consistent bark may indicate that they are bored or suffering from separation anxiety… from you!
Other causes of barking might be from excess energy or anxiety about a situation.
The most important thing to know is that all of this is about one thing…
And your dog is communicating that they have underlying needs that are not yet being met.
So the natural solution is to try and figure out how t address the need.
Actionable Advice To Stop The Bark
If you want to stop an out of control bark there are a few options.
The first thing to know is the attitude you approach a dog with matters. And your attitude when applying this strategy matters most.
All it requires is the three C’s…
Correction, Consistency and Commitment.
First pick your tool of correction. Whether that is a wagging of your finger, a stern look or a tap on the dog’s body, let your dog know that out of control barking is not wanted behaviour.
Second, commit to this behaviour and be consistent with applying it whenever the bark comes back.
If you find the dog continues to bark while trying to correct the behaviour, don’t give up, and importantly don’t let your guard (attitude) down.
Extra Tip: Exercise The Bark Away
Now some of this barking could be a result of excess energy.
Taking your dog out on a walk can help drain away this energy. If you make the walks more mentally challenging including games of fetch it will help also.
A Final Note
Remember, if your dog is driving you bark mad, they are trying to tell you something.
By responding back and constantly correcting the behaviour that they don’t have to tell you everything overactive barking can stop sooner than you think.