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Why do dogs bark?

Updated on May 10, 2010

Barking is a natural behavior for dogs. Some owners would even train their dogs to bark. Who wouldn’t want to be welcomed at the door by the affectionate barking of the pet? And who wouldn’t appreciate the pet that warned you of the intrusion of burglars with its barking? Barking though can be very annoying when the dog barks at the TV, at the siren of the fire truck and even at the swaying of the leaves on the trees. Really, why do dogs bark?

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The attention getting bark

Dogs are social animals. The wolves, their ancestors live in packs. For thousands of years dogs have become the companion of man. However, domestication did not totally eliminate the inherent traits that are manifested by these animals while living in the wild. Dogs would always need company…they would hanker for the attention of the human family. Thus when they are left alone at home all day they would become lonely and they would bark.

The bark is a message

Some people are not fit to be dog owners. Some would ignore the barking and others would yell at the dog to stop. Some owners would even punish the dog. The fact that the dog could be trying to communicate with its master was not considered. The barking could be the pet’s way of conveying discomfort. The dog may be hungry or you may have failed to give the dog water. A dog that is tied in the yard may be hot or cold. A barking dog may want to go out to do its business.

Bored dog barking

A dog alone in the yard, with no toys and no other dogs to play with would either sleep the day away or be bored and be destructive. The dog may try to redo your landscaping or would bark continuously. Incessant barking would naturally annoy the neighbors.

The alarm bark and the warning bark

Dog barking is also one of the deterrents burglars have in entering and robbing a home. Some dogs are specifically trained to bark by their owners. A dog would normally bark once the doorbell pealed or when a car is heard. Dogs though are very intelligent and perceptive creatures. They cay easily discern a friend from a foe. When the barking is sustained and the leashed dog is trying to break away from the chain, there is a big probability that the dog is barking at an intruder.

Can excessive barking be controlled?

Nuisance barking can be controlled with positive training methods. Understand what triggers the barking and provide a solution for the underlying cause. There are mechanical devices that control barking but this should be considered as the last resort.


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