Ever wondered why your dog barks too much?

barking dog

To cut the noise your dog is making, keep it away from things that trigger its barking.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

It is normal and natural for dogs to bark. But when the barking is too loud and goes on for too long, then it can be upsetting to the neighbours and the owner as well.

If you own dogs, especially the big ones that can be very loud, know that your neighbours are entitled to a habitable home, free from unreasonable noises.

And if you live around someone with dogs, be a little understanding, there is some barking that cannot be controlled however much the owner tries.

The following are steps that you and your neighbours can take to live amicably with dogs that bark too much.

Take note of time and duration of barks

As the owner, if your dog barks mostly when you are not around, ask your neighbours to tell you exactly when the dog barks a lot and for how long. They can note down the times when the barking is intense.

If you do not have people living close to you and you are not sure if your dog barks too much, set up a video camera, to find out what your dog does when you are not there.

Sometimes you can pretend you are going out for the day, then wait outside your house and listen to hear if it is barking and howling. If it does, go back inside and firmly tell them to be quiet. Don’t punish them. Instead, give treats when they remain quiet in a situation they would have been barking before. Repeat this often and they will slowly learn.

Don’t use mechanical devices like anti-bark collars in the house to minimise barking, this can make the dog even more anxious.

To cut the noise your dog is making, keep it away from things that trigger its barking. Most dogs will bark at animals outside your balcony or those in your yard. They will bark at cats, other dogs or chicken. So keep them away from windows so they cannot see strangers walking near your home, loud cars or motorbikes or other animals new to the area.

If your dog barks when people in the house leave for school or work, try to keep it busy at that time. You can feed it at that time when people are stepping out, or have someone who is being left in the house keep it occupied.

If you suspect they get lonely when you leave the house, don’t get them a second dog if you are not sure the added dog will make them secure. It might just increase the noise. If the dog barks too much when you are playing with it, avoid playtime at night.

Take the dog for daily walks as well, a tired dog barks less.

Maryanne is a pet owner. [email protected]