Excessive barking is nothing new. Dogs appear to enjoy barking, and they do so for various reasons. They bark when they want something, when they say "hello," when they are having fun, when they are startled or alarmed, when they are defending their territory or threatening someone, when they are frustrated, and when they hear other dogs barking. Unfortunately, a dog who barks incessantly can drive the family crazy-and disturb the entire neighborhood.
Many owners can identify why their dog is barking, just by hearing the specific bark. If you want to reduce your dog's barking, it is imperative to determine the dog's reason for barking. Understand that it usually takes time to teach a dog to bark less. It is not realistic to expect a quick fix or to expect that the dog will stop barking altogether. Your goal should be to decrease the amount of barking. Bear in mind that some dogs are more prone to barking than others. In addition, some breeds are known as "barkers," and it may be more difficult to decrease barking in individuals of these breeds.
The most common reasons why dogs bark:
- Territorial or protective defense
- Distress vocalizations due to fear or separation anxiety
- Excitement or greeting
- During play
- To gain attention or to make requests
- Socially facilitated barking (hearing other dogs bark)
- Compulsive behavior