This is their only way of talking. They do it to express emotions, to bring your attention to a potential danger, as a response to their environment. Dogs were made that way. It is natural and healthy for them to bark.
Dogs bark for a reason, no matter how insignificant this reason may seem. Reasons why dogs may bark include: anger, frustration, boredom, and fear. By addressing the root problem, you are doing much more than instructing your dog not to bark. Although there are methods that will stop your dog from barking, this will not solve the immediate problem and can only create more problems in its wake.
Why dogs bark
Dogs bark for a variety of reasons. They may be giving a warning to another animal, sounding an alarm, playing or instigating play, joining in the excitement of the moment, demanding a reaction (even using it as a command), doing it on command, out of fear and the need to drive another animal or object away, and sometimes dogs bark just for the sake of barking. On occasion it can be a combination of any of these. When puppies bark it can be insecurity after leaving the pack.
We don’t necessarily want to stop dog barking though, especially when the barking is an alarm alerting us to danger, or perhaps warding off an intruder. But we do want to stop dog barking when we ask them to, and we don’t want them to bark if there is no reason. Some dogs will bark at the slightest noise, disturbance or movement. Often, although barking could be in the breed’s instinct, the owner has unknowingly reinforced the behavior. If we shout at the dog that is barking he may think we are joining in. If we tell him gently to be quiet or give him affection, he may mistakenly think we like it and sees this calm voice as praise for barking. www.cesarsway.com/dog-behavior/barking-and-howling/dog-barking-101
I have three rescues. They all have great stories of survival behind them. It is my great honor to provide them with a happy healthy home till they day they pass on.
Our oldest is Charlie, and he is the smallest of the three, but he doesn’t think so. He is a terrier. He is fierce. In his mind he is the biggest thing around. He is also a happy, loveable, cuddly, mess. He wandered up my drive way one September day and just never left. He lost his six month old tooth in my hand. Charlie opened my heart to the world of dogs and I don’t know how I spent 50 years without the love of a dog. He 13 years old.
Then one day, after we built our own house, we received Riley. He’s a Pressa Canaris, bred in the canary Islands for herding cattle. He runs like a cat, it is the tell tail giveaway for that breed. He was found in a drug house. His job was to be alone and guard the place and bark loudly when anybody came near it. He was physically abused but still has a wonderful loving soul. He is confused as to what his job is in the household because of the first four years of his life. It has taken years to untrain most of his beaten in training. At one hundred pounds, really, all he wants to do is curl up in your lap and go to sleep, while insuring that he is getting 90% of all the affection being given at any one moment.
And, finally, Deisel, who is a hound-shepherd mix, came to us after surviving distemper. The vet gave him a 20% chance of making it. He had seizures for a year afterwards that required medicating. We were not sure how smart he was going to be, thinking that there might have been brain damage from the seizures. But he is all there and takes special joy in life.
We love these dogs. They are a noisy lot, but they bark for all the right dog reasons. They have lived here since the back yard was a corn field. Then ‘condos’ went in, which must have not worked out because I just found out today they are apartments. The dogs see ALL that land as theirs and feel they must protect it. We put up a fence. They still see the other side as theirs. Directly across from our back yard is a dog walking site with a can and bags for poos. So they bark at those dogs too, because they are on ‘our’ land … from their view point.
I wish I could talk to my dogs English to English, like Dr. Doolittle. Then I could explain a few things to them…. But until that time, this is what happens at my house…