Mira Mar Veterinary Hospital

Your local vet in Albany

How to reduce bothersome barking

by | Mar 6, 2024 | Latest Monthly Newsletters, Pet Care, Uncategorized

Whilst barking is a natural means of communication for dogs, too much yappy means no one’s happy (sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves!)
Here are our top tips to help reduce bothersome barking:

Work out why

Before we can start to work on your pet’s excessive barking, it’s important to pinpoint what triggers it.

Dogs may bark in excitement or as a guarding response to obvious visual or auditory stimuli (such as people or pets walking by your property, unfamiliar sounds, or possums in the trees at night). Dogs may also bark excessively due to other behavioural issues, such as anxiety or boredom.

Ensure your dog is exercising

Ensuring your dog is physically tired out and kept mentally occupied helps reduce boredom- or frustration-related barking and is also good for their general health.
We’d recommend daily walks/runs, and other “brain-game” activities such as treat-hunts, long-lasting chews, puzzle toys, Lick mats and snuffle mats.

Encourage calm

If your dog is barking in response to certain visual or auditory stimuli, blocking their access to these can help. Visual stimuli can be blocked with screening on fences or films on windows (which still allow light through), whilst sounds can be masked with soft-moderate background TV or radio noise.

It’s also a great idea to teach your dog to be calm and quiet by consistently rewarding them for being so. This can be done by training your pet to go to a specific place (such as a bed or rug) and rewarding them when they are calm and not barking.

Don’t punish the behaviour

Unfortunately, quick fixes like citronella collars or shouting at or otherwise punishing pets usually don’t work in the long term and can worsen anxiety-related issues.

For recommendations on anti-anxiety therapy and positive method behaviour training, consult our behaviourally brainy-team!