The sound of a barking dog can stir up many feelings. Your dog’s bark is them speaking in their own one-of-a-kind canine voice!
You wish you could both communicate in the same language, but their barks will have to do.
Whether it’s a light and repetitive yelp or a deep baritone pitch, hearing their voice warms your heart. But what if their barking is very loud, repetitive, and excessive?
Barking is less cute when it disrupts your sleep and causes your neighbors to complain. And it seems like they can keep on going forever…do they ever get tired of barking?
Dogs rarely get tired of barking. They mainly bark to get attention. As long as the barking gets them the attention they want, they will likely continue barking. Dogs won’t outgrow barking, so you will have to address that using various training methods.
In this article, I will do a deep dive into all things barking-related.
Let’s see how much barking is too much and what you can do about it, whether your own dog is barking too much or your neighbor’s.
Dogs can bark for hours without consequence, just like humans can speak for hours with ease. Basically, they can bark for as long as they can breathe. Barking, for a dog, is like crying for a baby. It is a dog’s way of expressing himself and getting attention and affection.
Dogs generally do not get tired of barking, especially if they’re barking to be playful.
Aggressive barking is a more strenuous type of barking that can harm a dog’s vocal cords. A dog barking aggressively will eventually wear themselves out. This is like how a human yelling in a loud room will wind up with a sore throat.
Light-hearted, playful barking doesn’t cause this negative effect. Since barking for fun doesn’t cause a dog any discomfort, a dog can keep on barking for as long as you tolerate them.
In other words, if you’re trying to wait out your dog’s barking in the hopes they will stop, you may be waiting for a long time.
The acceptable level of dog barking can vary depending on your city, even down to your specific neighborhood. A homeowner’s association may determine what qualifies as nuisance barking:
If you wish to stop the barking, it’s important to first know which reason is the root cause of the barking.
A dog can bark for hours for a variety of reasons:
If your dog has been alone all day or is under-exercised, they may become exasperated. Barking to the point of exhaustion can relieve the stress they may feel from neglect. It’s possible they have not had the physical exercise they need to burn off their energy.
Your dog wants your attention, and they will definitely bark to get it. You may have reinforced this behavior by giving them the attention they are seeking. Whether you react positively or negatively, your dog loves any kind of attention.
If your dog is somewhere unfamiliar to them, they may bark as a way of expressing their anxiety.
Some breeds, specifically dogs that are guard dogs, are bred to bark more to alert you to a threat. It may be annoying, but they’re just doing their job!
If your dog is feeling overwhelmed, they may resort to barking continually as their way of coping.
Your dog may feel stressed out when you’re away. If your dog is barking when you’re away but quiet when you are home, they may be barking due to separation anxiety. Your dog likely sees you as their pack leader, so they feel distressed in your absence.
A dog may bark to warn their owner of an intruder or to alert them to something strange in the environment. If you can’t find anything out of the ordinary, it’s probably something else.
It may seem like your dog is barking at night for no reason, but from their perspective, there is definitely a reason.
Dogs can pick up on things that their owners tend not to notice. Your dog’s late-night barking may be due to:
Dogs don’t outgrow barking. Usually, any behavior a dog adopts as a puppy that you leave uncorrected will not change and usually gets worse. Barking is no exception.
I recommend trying to figure out the need your dog may be trying to express by barking. After this, do your best to lovingly provide a solution.
A practical yet straightforward course correction can be all it takes to get your dog to stop barking. I’ll explain in detail how to do that soon, down below.
A dog can absolutely hurt themselves from barking. This can be a tough situation that can trap your dog inside of a painful cycle. Let me explain:
Say your dog is barking all day because they are feeling stressed, lonely or anxious. Your dog may be able to keep up their barking for a very long time. Your dog may eventually develop laryngitis, like a human who overuses their voice.
If the original cause of their barking still exists, your dog will continue to feel as upset as when they began. Only now, your dog is also adding a sore throat from all that barking to their list of woes.
Your dog may now feel prompted to bark even more due to the added anguish of their damaged vocal cords. This ends up amplifying the entire situation to excruciating levels.
The approach you take to stop your dog from barking will depend on why they are barking in the first place.
As I stated earlier, getting to the root of the problem by figuring out why they are barking is essential. Here are some questions to help you pinpoint the issue and some practical solutions:
Maybe your dog is bored and needs to stimulate their mental facilities.
Try giving your dog puzzles and toys. Interactive toys and puzzles designed for dogs can help give your dog an outlet to focus on. Dog toys and puzzles can occupy your dog’s mind and calm their desire to bark.
Have you been busier lately and haven’t been walking or playing with your dog as much as usual?
If you’ve noticed your dog has been barking more, this may be a reason.
Adding a walk, run, or intense playtime in the morning or evening may do the trick. It may even be worth looking into hiring someone to exercise with your dog if you are unable to.
It can be hard to know this unless you happen to overhear them barking from outside the house upon your arrival. Or maybe a neighbor has complained that your normally quiet dog turns into a banshee as soon as you leave.
Leaving the radio or television on for your dog while you are away and help your dog cope with your absence.
The sounds of these devices can mimic the feeling of a packed house and ease your dog’s separation anxiety. Closing the blinds before you go out also helps by eliminating distractions outside.
If your dog doesn’t experience a variety of people and situations, they may feel anxiety with new stimuli.
A way to counter this is to make an effort to socialize your dog. Try going out of your way to introduce your dog to new people, situations, and dogs to broaden their horizons.
If none of the above methods reduce your dog’s barking, they may be barking for attention. In this case, the best reaction you can give your dog is no reaction.
Ignoring your dog’s barking will show them that barking does not give them the attention they want.
You can also use the “quiet” command. The quiet command is when an owner calmly but firmly says “quiet” to their barking dog. If your dog listens, reward their obedience with attention and treats.
The use of barking collars to squelch a dog’s barking is the topic of much debate. The SPCA deems barking collars inhumane, and Australia has outlawed their use altogether.
Let’s look at a short summary of some of the common logic on both sides of the debate to gain more clarity:
Proponents of barking collars may feel that barking collars are necessary if a dog is disturbing the peace.
If barking occurs when the owner is not home, some may feel a barking collar is the only real solution since the owner isn’t there to correct the behavior.
Others approve of dog collars as part of a plan to help reduce a dog’s barking but don’t consider it a solution on its own.
Some people reason that since there are a variety of different collars to choose from, owners can experiment with different ones until they find one that is safe and effective for their dog.
Those against barking collars believe them to be unnecessary at best, and at worst, cruel.
Some believe that through patience, an owner can learn to make the needed adjustments.
People against barking collars also cite a lack of scientific proof that they work. Others believe that the electric variety of barking collars can inflict pain on dogs.
Some think Citronella collars are a less abusive option. These collars release a plant-based citronella scent when a dog barks, and it’s been shown they work.
Citronella collars can pick up the sound of other dogs barking but still spray the dog wearing the collar.
For that reason, so I don’t recommend them either.
Dog whistles can be a way to quiet down a barking dog. However, to be consistently effective, your dog needs to be trained to respond to it in the way you want.
Here are three whistle-based training methods:
When a neighbor’s dog keeps barking, it can be difficult to know how to approach the situation.
I suggest not jumping immediately to drastic measures like calling the police. A friendly and respectful chat with your neighbor may be all that needs to happen.
There may be things you are doing to contribute to your neighbor’s dog barking. Here are two quick tricks you can try to reduce the chances of the dog barking because of you:
Neighbors can complain about dog barking. If a friendly but firm conversation and making changes don’t work, you can take further steps.
No one ever wants it to get this far, but some more serious next steps may consist of:
Dogs can be taken away for barking, although it is almost always a last resort option. This is usually only done after several unsuccessful claims and unfruitful legal attempts.
Regulations will differ by location. For example, in the city of Los Angeles, a dog owner can have their dog license revoked and be stripped of the privilege to own a dog for one year.
You can call the cops if the neighbor’s dog will not stop barking. However, it is not encouraged. The police won’t likely send officers to the scene and will usually reroute your call to Animal Services. You can then file a complaint with your local Animal Services if you’d like. It is usually most helpful to speak to your neighbor to see if they can resolve it first.
You can sue your neighbor for dog barking, but this can turn into a colossal headache on your part. It may end up being more trouble than it is worth.
Here are two options:
It would be great if your dog’s bark could remain an occasional expression of their joy instead of the neighborhood’s headache.
If a barking dog becomes an issue, you are now prepared with all the understanding you need to proceed with confidence. Best of luck!