Help! Why does my dog bark for no reason?

Why does my dog bark for no reason?

Help! Why does my dog bark for no reason?

Barking can be very annoying. I’m sure Luna and Sasha say to each other sometimes, ‘Let’s go out and just bark.’ It’s hard not to shout at them to ‘Stop Barking!’ or tell them to ‘Shut Up!’ This reinforces the barking behaviour, and makes you look like a numpty. Read About Why does my dog bark for no reason.

It may seem like there is no reason, but barking is normal for dogs and an essential means of communication. We need to work out what they are trying to say 🙂

Dogs often bark when calling out to other dogs, respond to other barking dogs, or communicate with their human owners. Any noise, no matter how slight, can stimulate a barking response, e.g., rustling leaves, a banging window, or a knock at the front door/doorbell.

When it becomes an issue for you or your neighbours, we need to look closer at the reasons Why does my dog bark for no reason and try and find a solution for our dog’s happiness and wellbeing (and our sanity).

Boredom

Dogs left alone all day with nothing to do often resort to barking out of boredom. Ensure that they have a good morning and evening walk, depending on your dog’s size and breed. Employ a dog walker or sitter if you are away for more than a few hours.

Make sure they have a variety of toys and snacks hidden to keep them occupied if you are working from home, have set times when you play with your dog, or take them out for a quick walk. It’ll do you good too.

Being anxious when left alone

Dogs are social animals, and it is customary to become anxious when left alone for the first time. Teach your dog how to cope with being alone at a young age. Begin by trying small amounts of time apart. For example, you could put your dog outside for short periods while you are still at home. Ensure they have toys to play with and safe things to chew on while outside, so the experience is positive. 

If your dog feels stressed, they may bark from too high anxiety levels. If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, it’s best to ask your vet for advice.

Fear

Dogs can also bark due to fear. They may be afraid of people coming near their territory or fearful of noises, particularly at night which may stimulate anxieties. Dogs can also be scared of fireworks, thunderstorms, lawnmowers, etc.

Territorial behaviour

It is natural for your dog to want to warn you about potential intruders. Your dog may be unable to distinguish between welcome visitors, people strolling past your home, and intruders. 

Successfully treating excessive barking relies on positive reinforcement – rewarding good ‘quiet’ behaviour and avoiding reinforcing ‘unwanted’ behaviour. If your dog barks at your neighbours when they are in their garden, it is probably also because they are protecting your territory. 

Again, ensure you have some tasty treats at hand so that your dog associates your neighbours with the food (only give the pleasure when your dog is calm and not barking). 

You may also consider asking your friendly neighbours to treat your dog and supply them with their stockpile – this is preferable to having them yell at your dog in frustration – yelling at a barking dog will only tend to reinforce the barking and protective behaviour and look like a numpty.

We have yet to crack this; Luna still occassionally goes out for a last late-night barking session in the darkness.

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