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Why is My Dog Barking for No Reason?

Small dog standing in grass barking

Dogs bark for a number of reasons. More often than not, dog parents (especially new ones) find it hard to understand the cause of dog barking. Apparently, it may seem that the dog is barking for no reason but there are several things that could be disturbing your pet.

Why Does My Dog Keep Barking for No Reason?

Irrespective of the message they want to deliver, the primary reason for dog barking is to communicate their feelings. Given the fact that dogs can hear, smell, and see a lot more than humans, the reason for barking can seem a little supernatural.

Long spells of continuous barking can become annoying and frustrating. Therefore, it is important to figure out the cause of barking. Some of the most common reasons for dogs constantly barking are discussed below.

Reasons for Dog Constantly Barking

Attention Barking

This type of barking is also called demand barking. The sole purpose is to attract the attention of the parent for the fulfillment of any wish. For instance, your dog might want his/her food or need to go for a walk.

Generally, attention barking is quite controlled as the dog does a few quick barks with pauses in between. If you realize that the dog is making a just demand, give in after the first couple of barks. Delaying the approval will create an impression that a lot of barking is needed to get the desired result.

Medical Problems

Dog standing in snow with one paw raised as if injured.

A medical issue like pain can instigate a dog to bark a lot. You should try to find the affected part by touching the body. Alongside barking, you will observe the restlessness in your dog’s attitude when you touch the injured region. Visit your vet for a detailed examination of the internal injury to avoid any complications.

Territorial/Alarm Barking

Dogs feel possessive of their area and want to protect it at any cost. Whenever an unknown person enters their territory, they bark to alert their owners. Similarly, they may react to seeing any unexpected dog or hearing any sound. This occurs quite frequently when walking dogs.

Go here to read my article about how to stop dog barking while out walking.

Dogs cannot distinguish guests from intruders so territorial barking can be a wrong alarm. If your dog is generally calm but starts barking in such circumstances, it is an alarm barker.

Greeting Disorder

Beagle with head sticking out of opening in door waiting to greet someone

Well-socialized dogs tend to be joyful and enjoy the company of people and other dogs. It is quite possible that your dog greets people with a happy bark. Some people might confuse this gesture with alarm barking but it is a little different. The wagging of their tails (and jumping) indicates that the dog is completely comfortable with the situation.

Separation Anxiety

Being a social animal, dogs don’t like to stay alone for long periods of time. That’s the reason why full-time working people can face some issues with dog training.

Separation anxiety is one of the biggest reasons that can lead to excessive barking. Dogs suffering from this condition exhibit a number of other symptoms including scratching furniture and inappropriate elimination.  

Lack of Activity (Boredom)

Dog laying down looking up as if bored

Dogs require regular physical and mental exercise to keep their abundant supply of energy in control. If you don’t give them sufficient activity, they can opt to bark out of boredom. For this reason, you must offer a substantial amount of entertainment (in your absence) to your dogs.

Dog puzzles and fun toys are quite useful for providing the necessary mental activity. As far as the physical aspect is concerned, a couple of daily walks will suffice the needs.

Aging Dogs

Barking is often linked with a dog’s age. There are multiple reasons due to which an aging dog barks including cognitive dysfunction. Vision impairment and body aches also contribute to the development of excessive barking habits. In these circumstances, a barking dog can keep going for hours.  

How to Quiet a Barking Dog?

Dog in fore ground looking at camera with human blurred in background sitting on the floor

Tackling a barking dog can be a really massive issue for new dog parents. Patience is the key to success as you try to bring your dog out of this bad habit.

Identify the Cause

It is important to figure out the cause of barking for devising a curing procedure. In case you are unable to find any logical reason, you should go for professional help. Once you have crossed this stage, you should develop a suitable strategy and stick to it.

Ignore your Dog

Girl and dog sitting in a field of dandelions with backs to each other with girl looking over shoulder at dog.

It is the most effective and comprehensive method of handling excessive dog barking. The very first thing that you need to do is to ignore your barking dog. Giving in to your dog’s protest will reinforce the idea of barking. That’s the last thing you want to happen.

Don’t respond at all until your dog is quiet. This is the time when you need to praise your pet by offering some tasty treats. Repeating this will build the impression that staying calm is associated with delicious rewards.

Be Patient

Although continuous barking can be frustrating, yelling back at your canine companion will do more harm than good. Instead, you need to stay calm and talk to your pet in a low tone. The dog should NEVER feel that he/she is in a competition (of barking) with you.

Manage Surroundings

Dachshund sleeping on white fluffy pillow covered with a white comforter

The surroundings of a dog play a huge role in barking. If the dog is comfortable in its place, it is highly unlikely to bark. In light of this information, you should offer familiar sounds to dogs when they are alone. For example, you can leave the television ON because your dog is used to hearing that in your presence.

Similarly, you can control alarm barking by isolating the dog from the outside world. Closing the blinds is one way of doing that because the dog won’t be able to see any unknown person or animal.

Visit your Vet

If you have identified a medical problem that is leading to excessive barking, you should visit your vet immediately. Get your dog evaluated and strictly follow the recommendations to ensure the good health of your pet. Once the dog starts feeling good, the barking will subside automatically.

Recommended Dog Training Courses to Stop Dog Barking for No Reason

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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