Why Do Dogs Bark? and How You Can Prevent Excessive Barking

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Why dogs bark….

All dogs bark, be it a big bark or a little bark. Barking is a large part of a dog’s natural behaviour. However when a dog barks excessively in a domestic situation, it can easily become a problematic behaviour that has an effect on the wider community such neighbours, family and friends, other dogs and other animals.

Excessive barking can be a stressful problematic behaviour for everyone involved, not just the dog’s owners.

The best solution when it comes to problematic behaviours in dogs is prevention. This is why it is so important to train, socialise and provide enrichment for your dog from the moment it becomes a family member.

Training from puppyhood, through adolescence and adulthood and right through to their senior years is a must. This is to ensure your dog is the best that it can be and is happy both mentally and physically. It also ensures you are a responsible dog owner and your dog’s behaviour does not have a detrimental effect on the wider community.

Some of the causes for excessive barking in dogs can include:

- boredom

- attention seeking

- excitement

- separation related behaviours

- fear

- inadequate or limited socialisation

-territorial or predatory barking

-injury or health issue such as a neurological issue or dementia in elderly dogs

-inadvertent reinforcement by owners.


If your dog is excessively barking, it’s a good idea to employ the help of a qualified dog trainer to help identify the cause of the problematic behaviour. Treatment of excessive barking will be cause dependent, and this of course depends on the individual dog. Early treatment of problematic behaviour in dogs, such as excessive barking, is essential.

As a general rule the earlier that problematic behaviour is addressed, the more likely the treatment will be successful and quicker to eliminate. Any dog at any age is capable of learning, so if the issue is addressed in the early stages, treatment will be easier and more likely to succeed.

To begin with, dog owners can potentially prevent excessive barking in their dog by ensuring that the dog is stimulated both physically and mentally and receiving adequate enrichment for the size, breed and age of the dog. All dogs must be exercised both physically and mentally on a daily basis. This includes: daily walks and exercise, social and play time with the dog, ensuring that the dog is provided with environmental enrichment, training the dog with the help of a qualified dog trainer and treating your dog as a respected family member. It’s also important to provide for its instinctive needs.

Ensure that your dog’s environment is sufficient for the size, breed and age, as well as remaining aware of factors that can contribute to excessive barking. One factor that can encourage excessive barking is when a dog has access to a balcony where it can view the street or front of the property. From the dog’s point of view, this area in view becomes its territory and the dog may be prone to barking at people and or dogs that pass by the property. This can be prevented by blocking the dog’s access to these types of areas around your home.

Your furry friend is a much loved and valued member of family! As a dog owner remember your responsibilities to your dog and the wider community and above all else have fun with and enjoy your dog, love your dog and love life with your dog. For more information feel free to visit Sutherland Shire Council Animal Shelter and speak with our qualified and helpful staff.


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