Barking behaviour in dogs goes back to their ancestral wolf background. It’s a standard behaviour among all dogs. But, it is also true that some dogs are genetically calm and friendly while others are aggressive. More than this, dogs may also bark due to other situational aspects.
For what reasons do dogs bark?
Apart from being a part of their natural behaviour, dogs may also bark to communicate with their human companion or other dogs/animals. For example, if they sense something alarming around them, any danger or hungry, they may use barking as a language to convey how they are feeling and what they are smelling.
Following are a few common reasons why dogs bark:
- Some dogs bark to attain their territory. If they do not want somebody to enter their space, they often use barking to communicate that.
- Dog owners have also observed barking as a way of gaining attention. Whenever they’re busy, their pet dog starts barking to demand attention.
- Hunger can also be a cause of sudden barking in dogs.
- It is also believed that some dogs bark out of fear. If they feel unsafe at a place or by an individual, they bark.
- Dogs may bark to communicate with their owner and other animals.
Do dogs bark out of boredom?
This comes as a shock to many dog owners but it is true. Dogs can bark out of boredom but this happens due to feeling isolated. When their owner does not give dogs their due attention, they might bark at uncertain times to convey their feeling or when they do not have any activities like playtime, walks or park tours.
How much is barking normal?
While barking is a natural and common behaviour in dogs, you must pay attention to anything unusual about it. For example, if the barking is prolonged and stays until the dog gets tired itself, there might be something wrong. There are many possibilities, including sickness, pain, hunger, fear etc. Excessive barking must not be ignored and should be taken as a sign that your dog is trying to communicate with you.
How to stop my dog from barking at other dogs?
Many dog owners worldwide have observed and shared that when they take their dogs out for walks, park tours, or engage with other animals, their dogs bark at other dogs. This is another common behaviour among dogs. It works just like humans, when we see a friend of ours in a mall or spot them from afar and are unable to say, ‘hi’, it upsets us. Similarly, when dogs spot other dogs, they go through an upsetting feeling. Again, this could be positive or negative.
Some dogs find the company or appearance of other dogs upsetting. They can get scared, especially if a puppy spots a large dog. Your dog may be trying to make the other dog run away because they are scared or uncomfortable by their presence. But, it is also true that some dogs bark at other dogs due to excitement. When they spot another dog, they start barking at them to communicate and express their emotions. This could be out of happiness (mostly) and they would want to escape from their owner.
How to stop your dog from barking at other dogs?
If your dog is unusually barking at other animals/dogs, this could be a sign of isolation, less engagement with other dogs and less socialisation. This is why they become more reactive to certain situations which include spotting other dogs. In such a situation, their body system becomes more reactive and this is why they start barking. This is also a sign that you lack communication and trust with your pet.
What can you do?
Understand what is making them bark excessively. If it is because they are fearful or if they are overexcited, you will have to deal with them accordingly.
If they are barking out of fear, you must understand this as a sign and try to create socialisation activities for them. This shows that you, as their owner, do not take them out for engaging with other dogs and this is why the sudden appearance of another dog is unusual for them.
If they are barking out of excitement, you might want to introduce yourself to the owner of the other dog and let your dog play with the other dog if they are friendly as well.
Excessive barking is also a sign of lack of training in dogs. If they are barking at other dogs, they are most likely to bark at your friend or other visitors at home, and this can cause a lot of disturbance in your home environment. Whenever you decide to adopt a dog, train them both; indoors and outdoors.
This also indicates that you need to understand your dog’s triggers. Sometimes stress-detox and training also may not help. For example, seeing other dogs may just be your dog’s trigger. This needs to be discussed with your dog’s vet and you must get educated on this matter.
Train your dog for your verbal clues. This means they should understand what you are trying to say to them verbally. This works as a clicker in training. Just like dogs understand the meaning of clicker and its purpose, they will also start connecting the sound of your words with specific commands. Some dogs also have training of no and stop. They will stop reacting or behaving the way they are if their owner verbally or with a sign tells them to stop.
In conclusion, such behaviours are usually a response to a lack of understanding of the dog’s breed, behaviour, and personality. Such behaviour indicates your lack of interest and attention towards the dog which needs to be addressed. To prevent such things from happening that disturb the surroundings, understand your dog’s triggers and train them according to that. You might have to change their visiting places as well.