Do Dogs Get Tired of Barking? Understanding Doggie Behavior
Dogs bark for the same reasons we talk. The primary goal is to communicate feelings and needs. Whether it’s your neighbor’s anxious pup or an excited furry pooch of yours, a dog will bark when they’re in different moods. But do dogs get tired of barking?
The straight answer to this would be ‘no’ because barking serves a function. Excessive barking coupled with physical exertion may eventually slow them down. In most cases, they will often continue until they receive a response.
Why do dogs bark? Should you be concerned about excessive barking? If you’re wondering whether dogs get tired of barking, the answer is more complex and requires some context to understand dog behavior.
A History of Barking
Barking is more common in domesticated dogs. On the other hand, wild dogs or wolves tend to whine, howl, or squeal. But they almost never bark. This interesting phenomenon helps us understand dogs and their connection to humans. Barking could be an evolutionary trait that developed over time as humans bred and cultured dogs. These dogs may have been conditioned to carry desirable characteristics that were of benefit to humans.
Different Types of Dog Barks
Whines, howls, growls, grunts, and sighs are all part of a dog’s vocabulary. Barks sound different based on what dogs want to convey. Dogs can produce different barks by varying their vocals in three ways: frequency, pitch, and duration. Dogs are really pack animals and they also bark to communicate with the rest of their group.
Repetitive or frequent barks usually indicate urgency or excitement.
Dogs that are scared or in pain will have a higher-pitched bark. A lower-pitched dog bark is typical for a dog that’s trying to scare a person or another dog away.
Drawn-out dog barks may have a deeper intention as compared to a short ‘yip’ that shows surprise.
In essence, dog barking and body language are ways to assess the needs of your canine.
Why Do Dogs Bark?
Dogs are social animals and respond to stimuli just like humans do. Barking is one of the many “self-reinforcing” behaviors in dogs. As a self-reinforcing behavior, barking naturally reinforces that dogs bark more. Underlying reasons could be several of the natural sentiments that result from different situations and the overall environment. Here are a few common reasons why dogs bark.
They Need Something
The first thought that comes to any dog owner’s mind when their dog barks incessantly is whether it’s feeling hungry, thirsty, or too hot or cold. When the dog’s needs are addressed, it will usually stop barking and become interested in the reward (in this case a delicious treat such as watermelon, water, or warmth.)
They Want To Greet Others
Dogs are often excited to greet owners, friendly people, and other dogs by barking. This type of barking with excitement is usually short-lived and not a cause for concern.
They Are Seeking Attention Or Acknowledgement
Dogs naturally love attention and being rewarded. In many cases, they seek attention for acknowledgment. Actions such as petting or making eye contact are sometimes enough to give them a sense of belonging. It’s important to not confuse “attention-seeking” with necessities like food, water, and a weather-appropriate environment.
They Are Experiencing Separation Anxiety
Did you ever come home after a long trip to hear your neighbors complain of howling? Dogs can express their feelings of anxiety in their owner’s absence. This reaction may include howling or pacing in addition to barking, and these can be destructive habits. Such behaviors are treated by creating boundaries and routines starting from low-intensity separation. You could also try giving your dog a cute toy whilst you quickly head out, keeping them entertained is a great way to stop them from barking!
They Want To Socialize With Other Dogs
We’ve all been there. Waking up in the middle of the night to hear dozens of dogs barking in symphony. Another one of those natural behaviors, dogs tend to socialize with other dogs by responding to barks. How do they respond? You guessed it! By barking away to communicate with other canines.
They Are Warning You With An Alarm
As dog owners, you know this one. Or perhaps you must remember those scenes in the movies where a dog barks to warn its owners of an intruder, a bad storm, or some other chaos. Like most animals, dogs can sense danger before we do. So they will most likely try to alert you with barking that could last a few extra minutes or until you’ve realized the threat.
They Want To Establish Their Territory
Territorial barking is a natural response when dogs feel protective about their space. Dogs bark excessively when someone unknown approaches their territory. While this is a great advantage in protecting your home, it can become a problem with guests or visitors. This type of dog barking also results in a feeling of accomplishment when the visitor leaves, therefore reinforcing the dog’s behavior to always bark at unknown guests. Not an easy task to deal with, but dogs are known to train well!
They Are Bored
Just like we humans feel dissatisfied and unhappy when we’re bored, dogs are prone to excessive barking if they experience boredom. Interestingly, this is also a reason why dogs eat cat poop and loads of other odd behavior! Activities that provoke mental stimulation or socialization help dogs stay active, interested, and away from continuous barking.
They Feel Lonely
Dogs need companionship and that’s why they are known as pack animals. A lonely dog may feel the urge to bark more than usual to cope with loneliness. By spending more time in a playful environment, dog owners can help divert the dog’s attention toward fun activities.
There could be several other factors affecting why and how dogs bark more than usual. While it’s not possible for us to understand every time, there are ways to distract a dog from barking too much. It may also just be a case of a tired dog who needs to curl up and have a nap!
Should You Ignore Excessive Dog Barking?
Barking is a normal part of dog behavior. Expecting a dog to stop barking is the same as expecting a child to stop talking. But excessive barking is something that needs to be addressed.
Much like babies, dogs are unable to communicate what they need and will often bark to respond to feelings of stress, anger, anxiety, excitement, loneliness, and boredom. A dog barking more than usual can also be a problem for you, your family, and your neighbors.
While barking is a natural process, you shouldn’t ignore excessive barking in dogs. It’s important for dog owners to address their dog’s needs.
How To Stop A Dog Barking Excessively
While dogs may not tire out from barking too much, you most likely want the noise to stop. There are some effective ways to help keep them calm. Here are some useful techniques that can help if your dog barks a lot.
Remove The Stimulus
Your dog could be intrigued by a particular distraction such as cars passing by outside the house. You need to remove the distraction so that it doesn’t feel the urge to bark. Something as simple as drawing the curtains can help keep your dog calm.
Desensitize Your Dog In A Positive Way
Your dog could be prone to barking at a particular time, for example, when the mailman arrives. When you next see the mailman approaching your street, you can sit with your dog and reward it with treats. As soon as your dog starts to bark, stop giving the treats. This helps to desensitize your dog. It might take several tries, but the results will be rewarding!
Encourage Playful Activity
Dogs that get enough physical activity tire themselves sooner and tend to avoid barking too much. The activity keeps their brain stimulated. This helps remove boredom and consequently prevents excessive barking. If you have a dog that loves to chew, an indestructible dog toy can help keep them occupied and stop them from barking.
Train Your Dog To Follow Commands
Dogs are some of the most trainable animals. Sounds and gestures play a significant role in providing dogs a sense of acknowledgment. With a little patience and consistency, pet owners can train dogs to bark on command. You can treat your dog every time it follows your gesture, and it will understand when to stop barking. After getting accustomed to the routine, dogs no longer need treats to control their behavior.
If you’re still finding it difficult, dog trainers can help.
Anxiety is a normal and healthy emotion that dogs experience like humans. There are several ways to reduce stress for dogs. You can do this by using anti-stress devices such as anxiety wraps or stress-reducing collars. Another way is to set up a comfort zone for your dog. This can be any space in the house where the dog feels relaxed, secure, and safe. If your dog is anxious because of some noise coming from outside the house, you can help it stay stress-free by playing soft and calming music.
Do Some Dog Breeds Bark More Than Others?
Yes. Some dogs are naturally more vocal because of their instinct to alert owners about a threat or need.
Dog breeds that won’t stop barking so easily
Hounds, Terriers, and Herding Dogs are examples of breeds that bark excessively. Similarly, watchdogs are inclined towards excessive barking given their status as security guards throughout time. Some gray dogs such as Whippets and Italian Greyhounds barely bark at all.
Having said that, it’s not wise to think your pooch won’t create a commotion. You may end up thinking about how to stop excessive barking even if your dog is of a less talkative breed.
Can Dogs Be Trained To Not Bark?
Yes. There are ways to minimize a dog’s barking. With patience and dedication, you can train your pup to keep quiet where it should be. A dog’s barking at an appropriate time is different from excessive barking. Since there is always a reason for the dog’s barking, you need to first figure out the source of concern.
Conclusion – Do Dogs Get Tired of Barking?
So do dogs get tired of barking? Mental exhaustion from barking can certainly take place. But a dog’s barking act itself may not be tiring. Think of it this way – humans often tend to subdue their feelings. At one point, we lose the power to suppress ourselves and may revert to therapy so we can vent.
Would you get tired of talking about your challenges with a close friend or therapist? Chances are you would feel an urge to let out your thoughts and not become exhausted despite talking for hours.
The only time you’d feel tired would be if no one was listening to you or paying attention to your needs. Perhaps that’s what dogs feel too when they want to share their emotions but can’t use speech to clearly express themselves.
Interested in knowing about breed-specific barking? Find out why Huskies talk!