A dog does not bark for nothing, let us not forget that this is his way of communicating. However, this means of communication can, if it becomes too frequent, become a real noise nuisance for you and those around you. But be careful, your companion does not become noisy just to annoy you, it may be a behavioral and / or environmental problem that it may be important to identify, for his own well-being.
Why is my dog barking?
Identify the nuisance barking problem
As seen above, barking is a way of communicating. But what does he mean?
It may be simply to protect its territory. The dog is a territorial animal, and in some cases, it will do everything to ward off the slightest potential threat, which will result in successive barks at the slightest noise or at the slightest passerby. This behavior is mainly found in adult dogs.
The dog can also be stressed or fearful; in this case, he will be constantly on the defensive, which means that he will bark at the slightest noise for fear of danger. In this case, your dog will bark but without necessarily going towards the “potential aggressor” to scare him. That is to say that for a passer-by for example, he will bark from the bottom of the garden, without going into direct confrontation with the danger.
It can be hyper activity, indeed, some dogs are constantly excited. They over-react to the slightest noise, more by reflex than by real desire to bark. Hyperactive dogs also tend to be destructive (pillows, slippers, etc.). This behavior is usually found in dogs that have been poorly weaned, meaning they have been separated from their mother too soon. Their mother therefore did not have time to teach them to calm down and control themselves.
It can also simply be dialogue between dogs: the neighbor’s dog barks, yours responds. Let’s not forget that dogs have better hearing than us, they can hear a dog barking in the distance where we can’t hear them.
How to fix the problem?
In case this is a response to another dog, or if your dog has a tendency to overprotect his territory, you can tell him to be quiet but in a calm voice while petting him. When the dog becomes silent, give it a treat, so it will associate the silence with the reward as it goes. You can also offer him an activity to occupy his mind (make him play, go for a walk, etc.), anything that can distract him from this idea of taking care of his territory.
In the case of a dog that is too fearful or hyperactive or even destructive, the best option is to see a behaviorist. Indeed, this kind of problem can seriously impact the well-being of the dog, and these defects very rarely go away on their own with age. However, you too will have your role to play. You are the master (or mistress) of your dog, therefore, no one is better able to reassure him, calm him, soothe him than you. You just need to have the right way, which your behaviorist can teach you.
In any case, the first thing to do is to identify the cause of the problem.
In the event that you really cannot detect it, do not hesitate to call a behaviorist, who will be able to interpret your dog’s underlying problems and advise you accordingly.
The last resort: the bark collar
In case none of these solutions have worked, there are anti-bark collars, which are sold in pet stores. Granted, the term can be scary as most people have only heard of an electric shock collar. But there are softer collars, which send a spray of lemongrass into the dog’s nose when barking: painless, just disturbing.
However, in this case of last resort, it is better to consult a veterinarian. If none of these solutions worked, and even the help of a behaviorist was not enough, then it may be a question of physical suffering, not necessarily visible to the naked eye, which causes the dog to having those compulsive barking.