Make it stop! When barking is just too much

March 25, 2024

I took this photo after Cargo spent 45minutes of my hour Zoom session with a client barking at me. All that noise wore her out.

Dogs bark. Full Stop. That’s what they do. Often I am called when the barking is getting excessive or happening at inappropriate times. When that happens, my first goal becomes figuring out why the barking is happening in the first place. 

Sometimes it’s a breed thing.

Some breeds are more vocal than others. Some individuals within a breed are more vocal than others.

Hounds find the thing. I see it when hounds are out on walks and suddenly they begin to sing the song of their people. When they find another dog, a squirrel, leaves blowing, a good smell, they are bred to bay to tell their humans that they found the thing. You may not have asked them to find anything but they found it and they must announce it to everyone. 

Small dogs alarm bark. If your world was 1000 times larger than you, screaming might be a means of survival. Typically people tend to treat small dogs more like dolls and less like dogs just because they are small and picking them up becomes easier than training. Unfortunately that takes away the pups ability to advocate for themselves. If no one is listening, then you have to get louder to be heard. 

Herding dogs are typically known for barking when excited. They also bark when they are not being given instructions. If you know a herding dog, you know how intelligent they are, and how quickly they pick up things. When they feel that you are not giving them instructions quickly enough, that is usually when the barking happens. Barking also will take the place of employment if a job is not readily available. 

Myths about barking

Cattle dog on couch looking at the camera with tongue out.

“Nope I definitely was not barking for no reason”

I hear all sorts of stories to explain the cause of the barking. Rarely are dogs “protecting you.” Usually they are scared and they have learned the barking makes the scary thing go away. Think of the delivery driver. They approach the house, the dog barks then they leave. Dog is rewarded for making them leave because of the barking. No one told the dog the driver was going to leave anyway. Dogs on leash will bark because they are confined and do not feel they can use their natural body language to communicate appropriately. Finally, I see barking happen most often when the dogs needs are not being met. I find that barky dogs don’t need more exercise, usually the human has created an endurance athlete that could go on and on. They need to use their brain in a way that taps into their normal doggy needs. Adding some enrichment to their life will make a world of difference for most dogs! Make sure to check out next month’s blog post on Normal Doggy Needs, or schedule a phone consultation with us! We can help your pup be a little more discrete in their singing. 

About Us

At The Freckled Paw, we are committed to kindness towards both you and your dog. We understand that every dog and owner team is different and will have their own unique challenges. We pride ourselves in listening to your challenges and coming up with a plan that will help you reach your goals for your life with your dog. Let us help you navigate your challenges and come up with a plan that works!