What causes a dog to bark excessively? Although some breeds have a tendency to bark more than others, a variety of factors, such as improper confinement and environmental conditions, can provoke an otherwise quiet dog into a barking frenzy. So-called “problem barking” affects not just the pet owner, but also the neighbours, making it imperative for owners to stop the problem. Here a few basic causes and solutions to problem barking.
A lack of proper shelter can cause a dog to bark excessively. The pet owner should make sure that the shelter provided for the dog blocks sun at all times of day and protects the animal against excessive cold or heat. If the yard is too small and the dog is unable to run around without feeling cramped, he may also resort to excessive barking. Owners should find either a larger space or make sure their dog receives more exercise and attention.
If the dog is housed in a yard that exists within close proximity to an irritant, such as a public walkway, the dog may be barking in response to what he interprets as a constant parade of threatening strangers. Similarly, if a dog feels exceptionally isolated, he may be barking in order to attract attention. In each case, it’s important to isolate whether the dog is barking because of what’s going on around him, or simply because of his temperament. The best way to do this is to place the dog in a different environment for a few days and monitor his behavior. If he stops barking, the problem lies with the original environment, and can be easily solved by either altering the environment or permanently moving the dog.
Some dogs have a more aggressive temperament and are naturally prone to excessive barking. The key is to identify these traits early on and work with the dogs to modify their behavior. Firmly repeating “no” to a dog will help him stop barking. However, dog owners should avoid yelling at their pet. Patience and positive reinforcement work better than any other techniques.