You may have wondered why your neighbor’s dog is quite silent when compared to your dog. Barking can quickly become annoying and is often at the top of the list of dog behavioral problems. However, there are dogs that bark less or not at all.
Why Does My Puppy Not Bark?
Barking is how dogs communicate with you about almost everything. Therefore, it’s NOT normal if your puppy is quieter than most other canines. The following is a list of reasons due to which your dog may not be barking.
Quiet Dog Breeds
Some dog breeds are quiet by nature and are extremely beneficial in apartments where noisy pets are not allowed. Some breeds, such as Great Dane, Basenji, Bulldogs, and Greyhounds, don’t bark a lot and are naturally quiet. Likewise, Whippets are also quiet and calm unless provoked, despite being incredibly active and energetic.
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If you have one of these canines, there may not be any underlying problem. Instead, your pet could be quiet due to its nature. However, all dogs will bark from time to time, and even a breed known for being quieter may bark more than expected. There is no guarantee.
A Quiet Personality
Breed temperament indeed plays an important role in determining whether your dog will bark a lot or not. However, each dog has its unique personality traits that could be against the general behavior of his/her breed. Some puppies are too relaxed that they don’t bother much about barking. They are usually very friendly and will rarely bark.
Similarly, some canines are extremely shy, especially when they move into a new home. This is often called the “honeymoon phase”. Pets that are rescued or adopted from shelters are usually shy. They can take between a few days to a few weeks to get comfortable with the new place. These dogs may begin to bark more as they become accustomed to their new family.
Your dog may have health issues or vocal stress problems if it suddenly stops barking. A dog that barks often doesn’t go completely silent for no reason. In fact, some pups keep trying to bark even without any sound. This can happen for a multitude of reasons.
Firstly, too much barking can strain your dog’s voice. Likewise, if your dog recently underwent surgery, he/she may become more silent than usual. In such cases, immediately call your vet to get a professional diagnosis.
Other than that, there are certain diseases that may paralyze the larynx of your dog. This makes it impossible for the canine to bark at all. It’s critical to identify health problems early because they can cause many complications.
How to Make Your Dog Bark?
Some dogs get talkative very quickly while others take their time. While your puppy won’t be reciting poetry anytime soon, it should bark in obvious scenarios.
There are certain things that you can try to get your puppy to bark more. Having said that, every dog is different, and what works for one may not work for the other. Therefore, patience is the key here.
Excite Your Puppy
An easy way to help your dog bark more is to entice your dog with things it likes. For example, this goal can be achieved by giving him/her treats and toys. An excited dog usually tends to bark more.
However, frustrated dogs can also bark a lot. Doing something that frustrates your dog, such as throwing a ball out of its reach, can trigger frustration barking.
You can also use verbal commands to make your dog bark. For this purpose, say the command you want to teach right before the dog barks. Over time, your puppy will start associating that command with barking. If it’s going well, reward your dog to further encourage this behavior.
Many dog owners use the word “speak” or “bark” to make their puppy bark. However, dogs do not understand human languages so you can use any word. You can even invent a word of your own!
If your dog barks occasionally, reward it whenever it barks. This will encourage him/her to speak more. Reward barking is one of the easiest methods to make your puppy bark. Even a tiny woof should be rewarded so that your canine learns that barking is fine.
Once this method starts working, start to cut down on treats. You should start to space out treats more and more as your dog starts barking louder and louder. Make sure to maintain the balance because you don’t want to spoil your pet. Otherwise, you will have a pup that barks excessively, and then you will have to train him/her to be quieter.
Consult a Professional
On some dogs, the traditional training methods may not work. If you own such a puppy, you should seek help from a professional behaviorist. It’s important because there could be other hidden issues that are causing your dog to stay quieter than usual. Similarly, it is also a good idea to consult your vet to rule out any medical issues.
Going to a behaviorist will not help if your dog is quiet due to some illness. However, if your dog has no health problems, a behavior expert is your best bet. They usually condition your dog to bark more, under controlled conditions. This is perhaps one of the safest ways of teaching your puppy to speak more!
Recommended Dog Training Courses to Make Your Puppy Bark
There are two online video based training courses that I recommend.
- Doggy Dan – The Online Dog Trainer
- Brain Training for Dogs
These two courses serve two very different purposes. The Doggy Dan course is the best behavioral training course that I’ve ever used. It tackles problem behaviors like barking in ways that are innovative and kind and most of all WORK.
The Brain Training for Dogs course is a course that will help give curious and bored dogs something to do so that they don’t get destructive. Bored dogs often behave badly. The games in this course are fun to play with your dog and they go from easy to very advanced. If you think your dog is barking out of boredom this video course is a good choice.
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