Why Do Dogs Bark?

Barking is a natural canine method of communication.  Through barking, dogs can indicate that they are curious about something, that they want to play, or as a warning about boundaries i.e. when the dog’s personal space is not being respected.  Barking can also be used for disciplining puppies, or to threaten an intruder.

Constant barking may have an emotional or medical cause, this is your dog telling you that they are bored, lonely, or unwell.  Take your dog to your veterinarian to have any medical reasons ruled out if your dog’s barking is becoming problematic.

Why Is My Dog Barking At the Mail Carrier?


How Do I Stop My Dog From Barking thedogdaily.com

The United States Postal Service reports that thousands of urban and rural mail carriers are bitten each year by dogs. It’s such a serious problem that the U.S. Postal Service helps spread the word about National Dog Bite Prevention week every May.

Certain territorial dogs are very disturbed by mail carriers. Think about it from your dog’s perspective: An individual shows up daily, so he or she means business and poses a potential threat. The carrier often comes right to the door. The carrier may even slide scary objects through the door, invading your dog’s space.

Some dogs even become conditioned that their bark helps to ward off the carrier. Each day the mail delivery person comes, your dog barks and the carrier leaves. To the dog, that means its loud technique is working. 

Why Is My Dog Barking For No Reason?

If you can’t find any reasons for your dog’s barking, have your dog checked by your veterinarian to rule out any medical causes for your dog’s barking.

Once any medical causes have been ruled out and if your dog is still seemingly barking at nothing, then it may be because your dog is bored and/or is looking for your attention.  Ensure that your dog is receiving the amount of stimulation and socialization he needs each day. 

Communication, either visual or audible, can be contagious. We do this too. For example, when someone, even your dog, yawns, you will likely yawn too. In that case, yawning is thought to be a reflex-type action that cools the brain during hot conditions or provides the body with more oxygen when necessary. Similarly, if someone starts yelling at us or cries tears in front of us, we may react in the same way. All mammals, and other animals too, are driven to learn from, and respond to, others.

Why Do Dogs Bark When They Hear Other Dogs Bark?

Therefore, when a dog barks after hearing another canine vocalize, it’s not necessarily a competition. Alexandra Horowitz, author of the book Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell and Know, points out that “barking together with others may be a form of social cohesion.” She further adds that “barks might be used to affirm a dog’s identity, or reveal an association with a group.” Studies show such barks can reveal emotions and intentions, such as playfulness, excitement and fear. The barking can get out of hand at places like shelters, where many dogs in close proximity start to bark. (A contagious infection, however, is behind the illness known as “kennel cough.”)

How Do I Stop My Dog From Barking?

Better socialization of your pet, such as through training classes, can improve its behavior around all people, including your dutiful mail carrier.  

Most owners make the mistake of yelling at their dogs during such noisy times. This is actually amusing to consider because, from your dog’s perspective, you are just another barker. Your pet will probably then bark more, depending on how you’ve trained him or her.

Instead of yelling at your dog, I suggest rewarding your dog for silence. You will need to call your pet to you, say “Sit!” followed by “Stay!” and then offer a food treat when your dog is still and quiet. The commands should be familiar to your dog, and will provide a mini time-out transition to peace and silence.

If your dog is barking out of boredom or he is attention seeking, then ignore your dog while he is barking (which can be difficult especially if he’s being persistent), and reward him either with a treat or attention when he stops.  Ensure that your dog receives plenty of stimulation during the day so by the end of it he is too tired to bark out of boredom.

If your dog is home alone during the day and his barking is upsetting the neighbors, have a dog loving friend or a dog walker spend some time with your dog.  The stimulation and exercise should help to tire him out until you return.

Dogs are social animals and can get bored easily.  It is important to make sure that your dog is receiving the stimulation and company he needs – if only to keep the neighborhood peace!

Article written by Author: The Dog Daily Expert

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