Can Dog Training Assist with Your Dog's Constant Barking?
By Jason Wright
March 29, 2023
Since dogs are social creatures, it's not uncommon to hear them occasionally bark, as it is their main form of communication. Whether they are hurt, tired, excited, or happy, you can typically find your pet barking as a way to communicate and express their feelings to you. While this is a normal reaction and day-to-day occurrence, excessive barking is not, especially after you command them to stop.
Excessive barking can become a problem for both the dog and you, the owner, as it can lead to annoyance, complaints from neighbours, and even legal trouble if left as is. Though there may be a number of reasons why your pet is constantly barking, the goal is to teach them to stop this behaviour once given the command.
Dog training is a beneficial tool for this situation. Not only can proper training prevent your pet from excessive barking, putting a stop to this bad behaviour, but it can also assist with getting your pet to stop barking once commanded to do so.
Why is My Pet Excessively Barking?
Dogs bark for several reasons, and understanding the root cause of their barking is the first step in addressing the issue. When working with your pet, you may want to monitor them closely, looking for the signs or triggers that would cause them to start barking.
However, if you are unable to pinpoint the exact reason as to why they start barking, or if no trigger is present, it may be due to one of the following causes;
- Separation anxiety: As we've mentioned before, dogs are social animals and can experience anxiety and stress when left alone for an extended period. This anxiety can manifest itself in excessive barking, destructiveness, and other destructive/poor behaviours.
- Territorial behaviour: This is one of the most common causes of why a dog will begin excessively barking. Dogs are territorial animals and take pride in protecting their family and homes. To protect their home, they may begin barking to alert others of their presence, defend their territory and alert the family of a passerby or visitor. Territorial behaviour is typically why we see dogs bark when visitors or delivery services approach the home.
- Fear and anxiety: Loud noises, unfamiliar people or animals, or even car rides can trigger a pet to enter into a fearful or anxious state, which may trigger them to start excessively barking. This barking is their way of communicating their fear or trying to warn their owner of perceived danger.
- Attention-seeking behaviour: Some dogs may bark excessively simply to get attention from their owners. This behaviour can be reinforced if the owner responds to the barking by giving the dog attention and treats or by completing an act that the pet is looking for, such as letting them out into the backyard or allowing them on the couch.
It's important to note the cause of your dog's excessive barking so that you can work with them to correct this behaviour and prevent the situation from being an ongoing trigger.
How Dog Training Can Prevent Your Pet From Barking
Like with any poor behaviour or habit that your dog may pick up, it's important to work with them to teach them that this behaviour is unacceptable and train them to carry out the desired action. Through various dog training activities, you can teach your pet not to bark at their specific trigger and teach them to stop barking on your command.
Below is a list of techniques and training tips that can be used to adjust your dog's poor behaviour. We always recommend contacting a trained professional if you have any questions or reservations. It's also important to remember that training your pet does not happen overnight. You must stay committed to working with them daily to correct their behaviour.
Socialization and Desensitization:
If your pet is a puppy, this may prevent them from excessive barking and getting used to being around other people and pets. Socialization and desensitization involve exposing your dog to various stimuli and situations, such as other dogs, people, and noises, in a controlled and positive environment. We recommend carrying out this training in your backyard/home or at a professional training facility so that it is done in a calm and positive environment. By socializing and desensitizing your dog, you will allow them to become desensitized to these stimuli and less likely to bark excessively.
Your pet is less likely to bark excessively if they are mentally and physically stimulated. Not only is regular exercise recommended, but it is also important that you play with and mentally stimulate your dog. Games such as fetch or tug-o-war in a controlled setting can help accomplish this.
If your dog's excessive barking is due to a specific trigger such as separation anxiety, behaviour modification may be necessary. This involves identifying the trigger at hand and modifying it through training and other techniques, such as counter-conditioning and desensitization.
Bark Collars can be effective in reducing excessive barking, but a trained professional should be consulted first so that you understand how to use this tool properly. When controlled to do so, these collars emit mild stimulation, releasing negative stimuli which can deter your pet from barking excessively.
The iTK9 Way; Correcting Your Dog's Excessive Barking
As we've mentioned before, your pet's excessive barking is a nuisance and can lead to additional problems, such as noise complaints, down the road.
If you need assistance with your dog and its training to correct its barking behaviour, our trainers can help. They fully commit to working with them through behaviour, obedience training, and continued learning.
We do the hard work for you to attain a happy home and a healthy relationship with your pet.
Included in all of our programs are the following;
- In-Person Learning: Midway progress training video, two go-home lessons.
- Online Learning: Owner education course, instructional training videos, iTK9 member community, e-books & additional training resources.
- Owner Support: Photo updates of your dog training with our team and access to our team for questions & support.