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What to Do If Your Dog Won’t Stop Barking

Is your pooch a bit too talkative for your liking? One of the most common complaints dog owners have is prolonged barking. This can also make for some grumpy neighbors! If your canine buddy is a barker, read this article from your local Orangevale veterinarian.

Cause

The first thing to do is determine why Fido is barking so much. Is he trying to get your attention? Is the neighbor’s cat sitting glaring at him from a window? Fido could be barking out of boredom, territorial reactions, playfulness, or even pain. Fido may also bark to alert you to the presence of an intruder, or in response to something unusual in the environment, such as a new smell. Dogs that bark when left alone may be suffering from separation anxiety. Also, keep in mind that some breeds, like Yorkies, just naturally bark more than others do.

What To Do

Are you inadvertently rewarding your pup for barking? If, for instance, you pet and play with your pooch to keep him quiet, you might be reinforcing his behavior. Remove Fido’s motivation for barking by ignoring him when he is vocalizing. Then, after he quiets down, give him praise and treats. Crate training may also help, by limiting stimuli, but keeping your dog crated too much will only make him unhappy. If your canine pal is barking in response to separation anxiety or aggression, consult a professional. There are now special collars that inhibit dogs from barking, but these must be used responsibly, preferably with the guidance of a professional. If you think Fido may be barking because of pain, contact your vet immediately.

What Not To Do

Never yell at your pooch for barking. He might think you’re barking back! You also want to avoid punishing your canine friend for barking. Since barking is natural behavior, your furry buddy won’t understand why he’s being punished. This could make Fido feel anxious, confused, or even scared, and he could develop more behavioral issues as a result. Don’t mix and match strategies, either, as this could make matters worse. You also don’t want to teach your furbaby to never bark. In certain situations, your dog’s bark could provide a valuable warning!

Do you have questions about your dog’s health, care, or behavior? Call us, your local Orangevale vet clinic! We are always happy to help!

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