Disturbing the Peace

So, your dog won’t stop barking.

The first item on your to do list is to listen to what your dog is trying to tell you with her bark.  Dogs communicate their feelings through pitches and tones, and listening to the sound of her bark will tell you how she feels about the situation.

The second thing you need to do is determine if the barking is related to a  stimulant; such as people walking past the yard or sounds in the neighbourhood, ext.  Once you understand how she is feeling and have isolated each stimulant that ‘triggers’ the barking, or you determine that the barking is for no apparent reason, you can start addressing the issue.

Here is a quick bark to English translation;

  • Rapid rhythmic barking in the midrange pitch means, “Everyone come here now, there is an intruder!”
  • A rapid chain of 3 to 4 barks means, “Everyone come here, I think we should check this out”
  • Regular, non- stop barking at a lower pitch means, “DANGER! Intruder close!”
  • A long series of individual barks with pauses between each means, “Is anybody out there?  I’m lonely!”
  • A bark with a rising pitch means, “This is fun, I like this game”
  • One to two short sharp barks in the mid to high range means, “Hi there, I see you”

Dogs may excessively bark for any number of reasons, however the top 3 motivations for barking with no apparent reason are; anxiety due to insecurities, looking for attention (even negative attention is attention) and boredom.

Often simple changes in your dog’s routine can make a world of difference such as; giving your dog multiple, daily energy outlets such as walks and games like fetch, going outside with your dog and keeping her occupied with play and not leaving your dog outside alone.   If she begins to bark outside; use a verbal command, for example “Quiet” count to 3. If she is still barking say, “Time out”, and put her inside the house (while you stay outside) for 3 minutes and then let her back outside.  The moment your dog stops barking mark the positive behaviour with a “yes” and lavish her with praise.  Eventually your dog will learn that being quiet feels better then barking.