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5 Tips to Help Stop Dog Barking

Reviewed by Dr. Peter Kintzer, DVM, DACVIM on Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Posted April 19, 2016 in Dog Behavior

Dog barking

Living with a dog that barks constantly can be quite an irritant. Not just for the dog’s human family but potentially for neighbors, dog training classmates, and more. As a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, I have a confession to make – I have one of those annoying barking dogs! So, what do you do when your dog engages in this behavior? The first step is to determine the “why.”

Since dogs don’t have “words” like humans do, they use barking to express a variety of emotional states. Understanding what is motivating your dog to bark is very often the key to successfully resolving the problem. Let’s examine some of the common reasons behind excessive barking, and learn what you can do in each case:

1. Boredom
Dogs who are understimulated mentally and physically can engage in repetitive barking to alleviate their boredom. Providing your dog with things to do during the day, as well of plenty of exercise, can go a long way toward decreasing this type of barking. Take your dog for long walks (or longer ones if you already walk your dog) and give the dog time during walks to sniff and engage in the environment so that he gets physical AND mental enrichment. When you can’t be with your dog, give him a food-stuffed or puzzle-type toy to work on so that he has a more positive activity to engage in than barking.

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Mychelle has more than 13 years of experience in the pet health industry and is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant as well as a valued member of IDEXX’s Pet Health Network team since 2014.