Expecting a puppy to never bark is as absurd as expecting a child to never talk. Barking is a natural part of your puppy’s behaviour and normal activity for puppies. However, excessive barking in puppies is considered an irritant and a behaviour problem.
There are several tips and methods to address the excessive barking problem in puppies. The best way to stop barking in puppies is to prevent this habit in the first place. You should try to figure out potential causes of excessive barking in puppies. It's better to give your puppy better things to do.
Why Do Puppies Bark?
To help you understand what your puppy may be trying to communicate, here’s a breakdown of the most common reasons a puppy barks.
A greeting bark is usually a friendly puppy bark. Many puppies bark when they see people or another dog. In greeting barking, puppies are excited and wag their tails. However, it can become a problem when the greeting bark is given to everyone the puppy meets.
Most puppies are instinctively territorial and try to protect their family. If your puppy senses any danger, it will start barking to alert you. Your puppy's territory includes your home or yard.
Puppies are social and affectionate companions and need the attention of their owners. If your puppies are kept alone for a long time, they may start barking to draw some attention. Attention seeking bark can show that the puppy is hungry, need toys, needs to go out, or just wants some attention.
Your puppy may be barking because it is full of energy and is playing around with its owner.
While they are playing, they will woof rather than bark loudly.
If your puppy answers when he hears other dogs barking, it is usually a social response. Puppies often engage in communal barking but it depends on your puppy’s personality.
Puppies are naturally pack animals and prefer the company of others. No matter how happy-go-lucky your puppy is, they all get anxious and stressed from time to time. If puppies are left alone for excessive amounts of time, they may bark as a sign of loneliness or sorrow. This bark is usually accompanied by more signs of anxiety, like pacing, destructive chewing, scratching furniture or doors.
Puppies often bark in response to pain. Puppies that bark excessively may be suffering from pain or have another health issue.
How To Stop A Puppy From Barking
Here are the best tips to help stop a puppy from barking.
Block your puppy’s sight to potential barking triggers. If your puppy keeps barking when he sees something outside, you might want to make a barrier to remove the stimulus. Cover the windows with curtains or blinds. You can also use spray-on glass coating or removable plastic film that makes windows opaque. Use privacy fencing to block views to neighbouring yards or the street. You can give your puppy an activity so that he is not focused on the stimulus.
Train your puppy to stop barking using a command or sound. Teaching ‘speak command’ and ‘quiet command’ is helpful to control excessive barking. These commands are useful to train your puppy to be quiet on command. Stay patient and consistent until your puppy learns it completely. If your puppy has been trained and continues to bark excessively, you'll need to understand the root cause of this behavior.
Excessive barking in puppies is sometimes related to poor self-control. A relaxed puppy is a well-behaved puppy. If you teach your puppy emotional impulse control, they will be more pleasant to live with. Impulse control is the ability of puppies to resist excessive barking.
Excessive barking in puppies is often the result of pent-up energy. Your puppy might need physical and mental stimulation to release its pent-up. Give your puppy plenty of physical activities and mental stimulation to reduce their physical or mental imbalance.
Physical activity can be long walks, running at the puppy park, game of fetch, tug of war, playing flyball, or backyard agility. There are plenty of interactive toys, including chew toys or puzzle toys, that will reduce barking in puppies.
If your puppy barks when left alone in the house, set up a safe and quiet place for them away from the front door.
Your puppy's safe and quiet zone may include a crate with a comfy bed and blanket, an interactive toy to keep them busy. You can also use a white noise machine to mask external sounds while producing soothing sounds for your puppy.
Thanks to the technological advances and wide understanding of puppy behaviour. There are products out there that effectively control barking in a humane way. Humane anti-bark collars are used to discourage excessive barking in puppies. These devices transmit vibration or sound to your puppy every time it barks. With the use of an anti-bark collar, you can train your puppy to stop constant barking habits quickly. Another humane alternative is the citronella spray bark collar. It uses a burst of citronella spray to eliminate excessive barking.
Puppies who suffer from anxiety might bark excessively. They need extra support, love, and patience. Give your anxious puppy a sense of security and safety. Avoid leaving a lonely puppy by itself for long periods if possible. You can also try natural supplements to keep your puppy calm. If your puppy still seems to be anxious or stressed, you should consult your vet.
Every puppy is different but a healthy puppy usually appears relaxed and comfortable. If your puppy is having some type of health problem, you need to examine it and take it seriously. Talk to your vet about your puppy's excessive barking issues. Discuss with him if you suspect there might be an underlying medical issue.
Your vet will help you develop an action plan based on your puppy's needs. He may also suggest activities, diets, and supplements specific to your puppy's needs. The causes of barking and subsequent action plans also vary with age. A senior puppy will have different needs than a young puppy or puppy.
To help stop barking in puppies caused by fear, stress, loneliness, or attention-seeking, try to identify the precise trigger. If possible, remove that trigger from your puppy's life and work on behaviour modification training.
Start with basic commands, like sit and down to shift your puppy's focus from barking and reward your puppy for good behaviour.
If training and other methods are not working for your puppy, you should seek professional help. You can call a vet or dog behaviorist for professional guidance.
You can also manage excessive barking by enrolling in puppy training classes. The trainers can assess your puppy’s unpleasant behaviour and deal with it accordingly.
Here's what you should never do
Here are few things that you should never do to prevent excessive barking:
- Never stop excessive barking in puppies through punishment-based training
- Never stop excessive barking by yelling or hitting your puppy.
- Never attempt to surgically cut your puppy's vocal cords.
- Never use devices like shock collars on puppies for extended periods.
All these techniques are harsh, unkind, and cruel. They will have a negative outcome and will permanently damage your puppy’s personality.
Do Puppies Get Tired Of Barking?
All puppies bark and usually do not get tired of barking. The act of barking in puppies is 100 percent natural. Barking is genetically “wired” in puppies. It is one of the many self-reinforcing behaviors in puppies.
As a matter of fact, barking doesn't place enough burden on your puppy’s vocal cords to cause stress or tiredness. The more your puppy barks, the more it will want to continue barking. However, a tired puppy generally barks less.
Puppies often bark because these little guys are trying to tell you something. If you can figure out the underlying cause, you can fix the problem. Your puppy’s behaviour mainly depends upon its environment, diet, socialization, and training.
Barking can be a real pain but the right combination of techniques will help your puppy learn when to keep quiet. Excessive barking can annoy your neighbours as well. Whatever is the cause for excessive barking, there is always a solution if you know where to look.
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