Some Reasons Why Dogs Bark

Found this article by Dr Karen Becker, DVM. Great explanation as to some reasons why dogs bark.

By Dr Karen Shaw Becker June 5, 2019

Story at-a-glance

  • Barking is a very natural form of communication for dogs, but some do it to annoying excess
  • Dogs bark for different reasons, and understanding what triggers the behavior can provide insights into what, if anything, you should do about it
  • Some reasons for excessive barking resolve with appropriate environmental or lifestyle adjustments, while others benefit from positive reinforcement behavior training
  • Rather than trying to prevent your dog’s barking, focus instead on rewarding his silence

Dogs bark — it’s an entirely natural form of canine communication. Some dogs do it much more than others, and it seems to be an especially popular activity with the small set. Breeds famous (or infamous) for barking excessively include many types of terriers, the Chihuahua, Toy and Miniature Poodles, and the Pekingese. In addition, some working breeds tend to be very vocal, along with high energy or hyper dogs, as well as those with anxiety issues.

Different Barks for Different Occasions

Hello! Good to see you! — If your dog shows excitement when he encounters other people or dogs, his body is relaxed and he’s wagging his tail, the barking he does at those times is his way of being neighborly.
What was that? Did you hear that? — If your dog barks at what seems like everything — every movement or noise he’s not expecting — he’s distress barking. His body is probably held stiffly during this activity and he may jump forward a bit with each bark.
Hey! Stop right there! — Your pup considers your home, yard, car, his walk route and other places he spends a lot of time, his territory. If your dog barks continuously when a person or another animal approaches his domain, he’s communicating that a stranger is invading his turf.
Look at me! Look at me! — Some dogs bark simply for attention — from you or another animal. Your dog might also bark in the hopes of getting food, a treat or some playtime. The more you reward the behavior by giving him what seeks, the more likely he’ll be to continue to bark for attention.
Hello all you other barking dogs out there! — If your dog answers when he hears other dogs barking, it’s a social thing. He hears the barking of nearby dogs, or even dogs at some distance, and he responds in kind. This type of social barking is often heard at animal shelters and boarding facilities.
Help! I can’t stop this annoying barking! — If your dog barks continually, perhaps while performing a repetitive movement like running back and forth along the fence in your yard, he’s demonstrating a bit of a compulsion. You might want to try to find a better outlet for his energy — like a rigorous walk or a long game of fetch. A tired dog is a quiet dog.
Let me OUT of here! — If your dog is behind your fence and another dog passes by within view, your pup might bark excessively to signal his frustration that he can’t greet his buddy out there on the sidewalk. This type of barking is usually seen in dogs who are confined or tied up to restrict their movement.

As you can see, there are some types of barks that require your attention in the form of environment or lifestyle changes that help soothe your dog and reduce or eliminate his need to bark. And then there are the barks that serve no real purpose and require an intervention.

In under-exercised dogs who don’t receive adequate physical or mental stimulation on a daily basis, excessive barking can be a way to alleviate boredom. Dogs with separation anxiety also often bark nonstop or howl when they’re left alone.

Teaching Your Dog That Silence Is Golden

Since barking is a natural behavior and means of communication for dogs, it’s counterproductive to try to prevent it. Instead, your goal with a dog who barks excessively is to teach her to stop barking on command.

This training will be easier if you’re starting with a puppy, but it can also be done with an adult dog. With a puppy, you’ll need to train yourself first to ignore his cute little yips and squeaks so as not to reinforce the behavior. Keep reminding yourself those adorable puppy barks will grow louder and more annoying the older she gets.

“You don’t punish barking, you reward silence,” says Dr. Nicholas Dodman, founder of the Animal Behavior Clinic at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine.1 It’s a brilliantly simple approach, but it doesn’t come naturally to everyone.

There are many benign ways of training a dog not to bark,” writes Dodman. “Most of them involve utilizing a voice command, such as No bark! Some of them simply entail patience, where you wait until the dog eventually does stop barking and then you reward it with some highly sought after treat …”

If you’re consistent in your response to your dog’s barking, she’ll start to reduce the length of time she barks. You may be able to speed up the process a bit by immediately following your verbal command to stop barking with words that indicate a treat is part of the bargain in exchange for her silence. When she starts barking, you say “No bark,” followed immediately by “Want a treat?”

Gradually reduce the number of treats she receives until you’re rewarding her with food only once in a while, and be sure to use only tiny pieces of healthy treats. (However, remember to always reward her with verbal praise and petting when she does what you ask her to do.)

Dodman also points out that some dogs may require negative reinforcement (which is not the same as punishment) through the use of a head halter with a training lead. When the dog barks, tension is applied to the training lead to remind him he’s performing an undesirable behavior. The reward for his silence is release of tension on the lead.

“Most owners make the mistake of feeling that they have to chastise or otherwise punish their pup for barking but the commotion and anguish that this causes does little to improve the situation,” writes Dodman. “In fact, in yelling at a dog that is barking may seem to it as if you’re barking, too.”

3 More Tips to Curb Excessive Barking

  • If loud noises set your dog off, a crate of his own that he can go in and out of at will, coupled with soothing music or a television on in the background can help. Tips and tricks for crate training your dog (including fearful dogs).
  • If he’s barking out of boredom, increase his exercise and playtime, take him on walks, to the dog park, or find other activities that give him both the physical activity and mental stimulation all dogs require to be well-balanced. The best way to create a quiet dog is to exhaust him with exercise.
  • Changes in your dog’s routine and environment can cause stress, so as much as possible, stick to a consistent daily schedule he can depend on. You might also consider talking with an animal behavior specialist about desensitization and counter conditioning exercises for a stressed-out pet. Lifelong socialization and positive training are also essential for your dog’s mental and emotional well-being.

Paracord Dog collars

Handmade paracord “cobra weave” dog collars will be coming soon to our online store. At this time, the ONLY options will be single or dual color, with a regular metal buckle, and an optional “D” ring.

Future plans will include an optional cobra buckle, as well as a ‘dog tag’ style ID woven into the collar.

Playing Games in Life will make you the Loser.

Sitting here thinking, after reading what others had to say regarding people who play that game of thrashing others behind their backs.

I have to wonder WHY do some people feel the need to do this? Will it make any difference whatsoever? Will it change the outcome of who won that job, position, or game? Why?

The only thing that comes to my mind, is that the people who this, are simply very emotionally insecure individuals, and this is their way of coping, of giving themselves some sort of ‘satisfaction.’

But what it actually does is to undermine their own efforts at success, , and it permanently mars their character and integrity. Sure, they have made a name for themselves; as a liar, cheater, and someone to never be trusted!

I don’t know about you, but these types of people are not those that I wish to have in my life. I got suckered into that game a few times when I was younger, and I was just trying to “go along” with the team. But let me tell you, it DOES NOT FEEL GOOD! And when you get suckered into that nonsense “game,” it is YOU who will be left to take that inevitable fall! Because that is how those insecure people play that game. They know it is wrong, and they have burnt too many bridges themselves in the past, so they sucker you into playing along.

That is why now, I have learned to be honest, blunt, and to the point. Many people don’t like me for my bluntness, but I am honest to a fault. I would rather them not like me for my bluntness, than to lie to them, making them believe something is right, when it is actually very wrong.

This is why I always prefer working with dogs. They are always honest. And they will call you on it, if you are less than honest. Real dog people know exactly what I mean by this.

When you work a search dog, you cannot claim that your dog “alerted” to something, when in fact the dog is just “out for a walk.” You cannot lie just to “get that find” that all dog handlers dream of getting. You must be HONEST, and not “play that game.”

If you get into the habit of game playing, it is going to come back and bite you in your ass! And likely, your career, and your reputation will suffer because you placed a higher priority on your EGO, than on doing the job right!

Zephyr’s Rex Specs

So I took advantage of the Memorial Day sale on at Rex Specs, and just ordered Zephyr a pair of coyote goggles, with a clear lens and a blue mirror lens. Got to protect those eyes when out tracking.

Product Image

Dog remains loyal to her owner


Washington state deputies may never have found a missing hiker if it wasn’t for his loyal dog. The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department set out to find a 64-year-old man after his wife called and reported that her husband, his car and their dog, Daisy, were missing from their home in the Eatonville area, authorities said. The man had gone hiking Wednesday, but did not return by nightfall, The News Tribune in Tacoma reported. “The missing man reportedly often went hiking with his dog but did not leave a note where he was going and had failed to return home after dark,” the sheriff’s department said. “The man’s wife reported finding recent internet searches by her husband for geocaching in the Evans Creek area.” Authorities searched the area but had no luck. By 4:45 p.m., they had found his vehicle, which had a list of geocache locations that the team mapped out and set out to look through. It wasn’t until nearly 6 p.m., when a deputy searching through one of the locations was startled by the sound of barking. “The deputy continued hiking toward the sound of the dog’s barking and spotted a dog matching the description of Daisy up a very steep embankment above the Marshall River,” the sheriff’s department said. The deputy climbed another thirty (30) minutes through thick woods until he reached the dog, who was by his owner. The man was deceased from what appeared to be injuries from a fall, the sheriff’s department said. It did not identify him. Daisy “This was a very sad end to a tough search, but we are incredibly proud of our deputies and the volunteers efforts to find the missing man and return him to his family,” the department said. “Without the barking of his loyal companion Daisy, we never would have located the missing man.” Source: Christina Maxouris, CNN, [KOIN] and NSDA May Newsletter

Support a Search & Rescue dog handler searching for missing WWII veterans

K9 Cayvun and her handler have been invited to join a larger group, Kolibri Forensics, in searching for US MIA Soldiers still missing in Germany from WWII. Funds raised on their Facebook page will assist with funding the necessary extra expenses associated with this trip. These include but are not limited to, veterinary health certificates, food, equipment and a little extra space on the airplane for Cayvun to stretch out on the long flight.

Please help this team if you can. They search to bring closure to families worldwide.

K9 Cayvun

Paws to Fight Crime

Anyone who knows me, knows that I strongly support our law enforcement officers and my community.

Our County here in Jackson County, Oregon, is in dire need of a new jail. They are looking to build an 800 bed jail, increased from the current 300+ bed jail. But some of our communities in the County are opposed to the Sheriff’s proposal to fund this necessary new jail.

Our jail is so small, and crime is so high, that our law enforcement officers are doing their job, and catching these criminals. But due to the small jail size, many of these criminals are released within 24-48 hours. The criminals know they will be out, and free to conduct their illegal activities once again, impacting the good citizens of our County.

So with that in mind, I am going to work, and do my own SMALL part to help raise funds for my community. As an AKC CGC evaluator, I am going to be conducting Canine Good Citizen tests, with the funds raised being donated to my County for the new jail.

I understand this is a very small part, but if each one of Jackson County’s citizens did something similar, using their own talents or skills, just imagine what we could accomplish.

And this could also be done in each and every one of our cities, counties, and states across this great nation of our’s. So get out there and support your community! Every one of us has a specific talent or skill. Go use it. Go Be Great Today!!

Hug your dog a little tighter

It is with great sadness that I say, the Dutch Shepherd world has lost a super dog; Zephyr’s identical sister, Sadie. My heart goes out to Sadie’s family. I just cannot even imagine. Zephyr and I are both truly saddened.