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Help! My Dog is Barking at the Wind

Large dog and Jack Russell Terrier on a deck, the jack russell is barking

Dogs are naturally alert creatures that respond to every change in their surroundings. For instance, some get excited when the wind is blowing while others get anxious. The canines that are anxious or afraid tend to bark a lot. Just like fireworks, the wind is one of those things that tend to scare some dogs.

Why Do Dogs Bark at the Wind?

Dogs bark for various reasons. It can be for attention, anxiety, or excitement. This makes it difficult to determine why your dog is barking at the wind.

It is common for air static electricity to accompany incoming storms. Consequently, your pup may start getting agitated even if there are only heavy clouds and no audible thunders yet. Let’s look at a couple of reasons that can make your dog bark at the wind. 

Loud Noises

man on yellow background pluggin his ears

Most dogs don’t react well to loud sounds. They may start to tremble while tucking their tails between their legs. Common sources of uncomfortable sounds include loud televisions, music, traffic, and alarms. While these sounds may be comfortable for you, many dogs don’t like to hear these noises.

A sudden startling sound can also make your pet incredibly anxious. Similarly, your pet may also have a genetic predisposition for noise anxiety. Studies have shown that the chances of noise anxiety are much more in breeds, like Golden Retriever and German Shepherd.

Some dogs have noise anxiety since birth, and it stays with them for a lifetime. For others, noise anxiety slowly appears and worsens over time as the canine ages. Strong wind scares dogs because it is loud, and it can knock things over, which exacerbates the anxiety further.

Research shows that dogs can tell the difference in barometric pressure and “the smell of rain” before a storm starts. This causes many dogs to become agitated when you won’t even know that a storm in on its way.

Dogs Bark When Anxious

dog hiding under edge of blanket

Anything that makes dogs anxious may trigger excessive barking. Therefore, you can’t do much to stop the barks if there’s a strong wind blowing. Your dog may try to hide under anything it can while tucking in its ears.

The condition of dogs suffering from Separation anxiety can become even worse if a strong wind is blowing. Pups with separation anxiety often bark excessively when left alone. Likewise, they tend to make repetitive movements, such as running in circles or along a fence. Try not to leave your dog alone if you know that winds are in the weather forecast.

How to Calm Your Dog if the Weather is Windy?

yorkie peeking out of a window

You should try to patiently calm down your dog when the weather is windy. NEVER shout at him/her because it will do more harm than good. Your dog will think that you’re joining into the barking frenzy and will start barking even more. Let’s look at some possible things that you can do to minimize your dog’s barking when the weather is bad. 

Change the Environment

You should create a safe place for your dog where it can go in case the weather becomes unfavorable. This can be as simple as a crate covered by a blanket. Alternatively, a location in your house that is relatively silent works like a charm. You can also try turning on some soft music that may help mask the unwanted noise.

Another trick is to tire out your dog before it can hear the loud noises. However, this needs preparation ahead of time. A tired dog will sleep deeply that can help him/her combat noise phobia.

Medications

pills in front of a blue backgroujnd

Your dog may get prescription medicine in case the anxiety is serious. You must consult your vet if you want to try this approach. There are different kinds of medications that are prescribed to canines for anxiety.

Some of these medicines have to be administered regularly for a lifetime. In contrast to that, others are only given at the time of an anxiety-causing event. For example, if you know that the weather is going to be windy, you may want to get the medication in advance. Mostly, over the counter medications such as Benadryl are used to sedate dogs.

Pheromones

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Some dog owners prefer to treat their dogs using a more natural approach. They use natural remedies, such as pheromone diffusers and supplements. They are quite popular alternatives because many of them have few or no side effects at all. Various dog products (collars, sprays, etc.) are available in the market that emit natural pheromones.

The use of Calming supplements is another good way of reducing the stress levels of your pet. These also come in various forms, like drops, chews, and additives, and can assist your dog to counter noise phobia. 

Desensitization

This is a type of behavior modification that is commonly used to treat noise phobia. This behavioral therapy is used for humans but is quite effective in animals as well. It involves slowly exposing your dog to a low level of noise that makes him/her anxious. This “desensitizes” the dog towards that particular noise.

After that, the noise level is increased gradually until the dog becomes accustomed to louder sounds. However, this should only be done by a professional pet behaviorist and that too in a controlled environment. After a successful desensitization process, your dog will eventually stop barking at the wind.

Recommended Dog Training Courses for Dogs that Bark at the Wind

There are two online video based training courses that I recommend.

  1. Doggy Dan – The Online Dog Trainer
  2. 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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