8 Reasons Why Your Dog Barks, and You’d Better Not Punish It for This

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In the last 5 years, New Yorkers have filed almost 7,200 dog-related complaints, and most of them were based on barking noises made by dogs. A dog is supposed to bark, so having one and expecting that it won’t bark is absurd. But sometimes they bark excessively for no apparent reason. Once you find the reason why they’re acting like this, you can work on the solution.

Here at Bright Side, we’re here to help you figure out what’s going on and we ask that every dog owner out there not punish their dog for barking.

1. Boredom

Like humans, dogs are also social animals and prefer to be in a pack. So when they’re left alone all day in solitude they tend to get bored. They’re social animals and without contact or communication they feel bored and they start barking. This type of barking is monotonous and continuous, it won’t usually tell you anything about them but it stops when they’re in someone’s presence.

2. Demand

If you’re a dog owner, you might have noticed this trait already and, unfortunately, this is one of the most common but easily correctible traits. You just have to give them what they want — it could be a walk, prey, a toy, or something to eat. But it’s not always going to work, and you’ll realize as time passes that dogs can be pretty demanding. So sometimes it’s best to leave them unattended and they’ll stop eventually.

3. Frustration

Dogs also have anxiety and frustration issues when they’re left alone or when they’re doing something repetitively and can’t understand a certain noise or action. They may exhibit the symptoms of being depressed with inappropriate elimination and destructiveness. They may do repetitive things and move in circles while making a low-pitched howling or a bark.

4. Alarms or alerts

You may have seen them react to a doorbell or a telephone ring coming from the TV. Apart from that, they’re actually helpful in situations that involve fire, alarm sounds, strangers, etc. In such cases, they bark non-stop while jumping. To avoid these kinds of situations, you’ll have to expose your dog to such stimuli and train them to bark at specific situations.

5. Stress or fear

This is one of the most important things to look for and it’s difficult to understand. These types of sounds have a sense of fear (fear of abandonment, separation or threat), panic or anxiety (can be from pain or a physical situation), and sometimes they anticipate danger. This kind of barking can be hysterical and sometimes includes howling. This type of barking may irritate you the most but remember dogs are not as good as humans when it comes to expressing their anguish.

6. For fun

This is nothing new to understand because if you’re a dog owner who plays with your dogs, you probably know that they’re playful and like to bark for fun during their game time and whenever they’re excited. They’ll bark occasionally, lick you, or even bite your heels with a wiggling tail. They’ll act impulsively when they see something they’re fond of. So, we suggest that you not play with your dog while children are around since their barking can startle them and they can become somewhat wild.

7. Greetings

Again, if you’re a dog owner, it’s not new to you so see them bark when they see you approaching. It’s kind of like they’re saying, “Hey! Welcome home!” Or, “How was your day?” If you’re visiting them after a long time, it goes on and on as if they’re saying, “Long time no see,” or “I missed you.” These kinds of barks are low pitched, of short duration, and continuous, followed by a wiggling tail and jumping.

8. Territorial claim

We’ve all seen dogs barking at strangers even while on their leash, looking out from their window or front gate. Do they continuously bark at you until you’re out of sight? Well, for years this has been a dog’s trademark to claim their territory. This is one of those irremediable situations — the only thing you can do is keep them inside the house and not let them see many strangers.

Ways to help with excessive barking:

  • Shouting at a dog isn’t going to help because as you shout at them it usually makes them howl or bark louder.
  • Train your dog to understand words like “quiet”, “enough”, or “now-now”. In some cases, these words can work like a charm as long as they’re trained.
  • If you’re a working person living with your dog exclusively, we suggest you to take a morning walk or play with them for a few minutes before you leave.
  • If a dog is tired, it’s quiet. Make sure you take them on long walks or runs daily.
  • Train them for specific situations like passing mailmen, newspaper delivery people, etc. They need to understand that they’re not a threat to them.
  • Excessive barking could also be due to a physical problem like a bee sting, parasites or oral problems. Take them to the vet if you notice anything unusual about their barking.

Does your dog do any of the things mentioned above? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to share it with all the dog lovers out there.

Please note: This article was updated in March 2022 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.


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