For any problem, including barking dogs, it is important to understand the reasons behind the problem, to come up with a solution.
A barking dog will bark excessively for many reasons. Boredom, territoriality, and separation anxiety are the three main reasons why many dogs bark incessantly.
Reasons for dog barking
“Boredom barkers” simply like to sing to themselves when there is nothing else to do.
Barking to stake out the territory is also for common if the barking dog feels a threatening encroachment on its territory.
The problem usually arises when a dog begins to bark indiscriminately (i.e. a car door slams down the street, or the sound of another dog barking blocks away). This is simply a method of communicating to all outsiders – “Stay away!”
Lastly, separation anxiety is another common source of nuisance barking. Some dogs have it so bad that they bark continuously when their owner leaves them, even for a short period.
Often, owners return home to find their dogs hoarse from so much barking.
Solutions for dog barking
The first and most important rule to remember is this: if you respond to your dog’s barking fit by yelling at it or physically punishing it, you are going to make the problem worse.
Dogs that are isolated fro their owners for most of the day do not care what kind of attention they receive (positive or negative), as long as they get some.
If dogs bark out of boredom or separation anxiety, they will soon learn that they will eventually get attention as long as they keep barking, if you punish them every time they bark.
No matter how annoyed, angry, or sleepy that you are – you must avoid the urge to punish your barking dog!
Realistically, your dog is probably barking for a combination of the above reasons.
Dogs that bark for reasons other than separation anxiety need to be given more attention throughout the day.
A dog that barks during the night should be given plenty of exercise in the evening to encourage a good night’s sleep.
Additionally, you can use a chew bone to divert the dogs’ attention. Also, feeding your dog later in the evening will promote sleep to your dog.
Never rule out bringing the dog inside, or at least into the garage to stop barking dogs. It will make the dog feel closer to it’s “pack”, and can help curb the urge to bark.