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Barking dogs can be both a welcome sound and a frustrating sound depending on the point of the view of the person. Barking is a normal part of dog behavior, and all dogs will engage in it at some point in their lives, but there may be a time where the barking becomes too much, for both the dog and his audience. Fido may be enjoying his solo performance, but your neighbors may not enjoy it so much!
So, do dogs ever get tired of barking?
Dogs may bark themselves to exhaustion if the cause of the barking is not removed, but generally, a dog will never tire of or outgrow the barking behavior. Determining the reason why the dog is barking in the first place can help you work towards decreasing any excessive or unnecessary barking.
Below we will discuss why dogs can bark so much, and what they may be trying to communicate to you by the barking. If you have a dog who barks excessively or unnecessarily, we will also look at how to decrease that barking and what you can do to help create a quieter atmosphere in your house and neighborhood without punishing your dog’s natural talkative qualities.
Why Don’t Dogs Get Tired of Barking?
Because barking is such a natural part of a dog’s behavior, it is unlikely that a dog will become tired or bored with barking if they feel like they are getting the response they desire from the barking.
This could be an environmental response, such as birds flying away when the dog barks at them, or it could be related more to a person, such as when a dog barks at their owner to let them out of their crate and their owner obliges every time.
Dogs who are barking excessively may eventually tire themselves out and stop barking, or dogs who receive no response to their barking may eventually stop as well. This barking may also be accompanied by other vocalizations from the dog, such as frequent whining or other such noises.
How Long Can a Dog Bark Before It Gets Tired? Will a Dog Eventually Stop Barking?
This is dependent on the individual dog and the reason for their barking.
If your dog is barking for attention and they had previously received attention from you when they barked, then they will most likely continue barking and even escalate the barking to try and get a response from you. This can last for several minutes straight or in bursts over a longer period of time.
If you provide no response to the barking, then they may try a different behavior or move on to do something elsewhere.
If your dog is barking out of fear, anxiety, or excitement, then the barking could last even longer, including up to the point where the dog is completely exhausted, and you begin to hear the hoarseness in their bark (similar to a person “losing” their voice if they are talking too much).
Do Dogs Outgrow Barking?
Dogs may “outgrow” barking by learning when and where it’s appropriate to bark, but unless they are taught otherwise, they will continue to bark excessively if they’ve learned it results in some kind of reward or they are suffering from an underlying behavioral or health issue.
Senior dogs may also bark less due to lower energy levels or interest in what’s going on around them, and there are a few breeds that tend to bark a little less than others, such as the Basenji (though that’s not to say they are any less noisy just because they can’t bark!). If you live in an apartment complex or a neighborhood, you might consider getting a breed of dog that tends to be a little quieter and calmer.
5 Main Reasons For Excessive Barking
It is understandable that there are times where you would like your dog to stop their barking and give you a moment of peace and quiet!
Before you can work on teaching your dog not to bark so much, you must first determine what the root cause of the barking is in the first place.
Barking is sometimes the only way a dog knows how to communicate their needs to their owner. Since dogs do not speak or understand human language, they may use barking to indicate they need something or to alert their owner to something.
Your dog could be barking for the following reasons…
1. Boredom or Frustration Barking
Dogs of all shapes, sizes, and breeds require both physical and mental enrichment. If your dog is not receiving adequate enrichment, then they may resort to barking out of boredom.
Similar to how a human child may yell, scream, or make other noises when bored, a dog may begin barking if they are left to their own devices and have nothing else to do.
This is most often seen in puppies and younger dogs, though dogs who do not receive enough attention from their owners may also engage in boredom barking.
2. Anxiety or Fear Barking
Fear and anxiety barking is generally seen in dogs who are suffering from separation anxiety, are experiencing pain, or are in a situation where they feel afraid.
This type of barking is very frantic and is usually accompanied by whining, pacing, panting, and other high-pitched noises and nervous movements.
3. Attention or Learned Barking
If you’ve ever shown your dog attention or given them something good when they’ve barked incessantly, then you may have accidentally created a barking monster!
Dogs are quick to learn what behaviors get them what they want, and learned barking is one of the things your dog may utilize when it wants something from you. For some dogs, even you yelling “quiet!” at them is a “good” thing and gets them the attention they desire.
4. Warning or Guard Barking
Dogs who feel the need to guard something they view as theirs frequently engage in guard or territorial barking.
These types of barks are loud, sharp, and usually lower in pitch than a play bark or attention barking.
Dogs engaging in this type of barking may do so when in their yards, in a vehicle, or even when in the presence of their owner.
5. Play or Excitement Barking
Since barking is usually something that all dogs do in one way or another, you will often hear dogs barking while playing.
Play barks are usually higher in pitch and are accompanied by other play behaviors, such as the play bow. Dogs may also bark to indicate their excitement over something, such as going for a walk or when their owner returns home from work.
In the video below, you’ll hear various types of dog barks and information on why dogs may have developed barking as a communication technique with humans:
3 Tips To Help Your Dog Bark Less
If your dog is a talker and you are wanting them to talk a little less, then there are several training and management techniques you can use to help teach your dog when and where it is appropriate to bark.
If you and your neighbors are not bothered by your dog’s exuberance when barking, then it’s totally fine to let your dog be who she is!
But if you are wanting (or needing) to lessen the noise, then consider using some of the following tips to help quiet Fido down:
Tip #1: Teach Them the “Quiet” Cue
You can teach your dog to stop barking on cue by introducing a verbal cue such as “quiet” and rewarding them for stopping the barking.
While your dog is barking, wait for the moment when they take a breath and then immediately reward them with a tasty treat. Repeat this process for several days, making sure to reward them with a treat the instant they stop the barking.
After a few days, you can begin adding in your verbal cue “quiet” as soon as the dog stops barking and just before you give them the treat. Repeat again, making sure to say “quiet” just before giving them the treat.
Eventually, you’ll be able to fade out the treats and still get your dog to stop barking whenever you say “quiet”.
Tip #2: Use Positive Reinforcement Training
If the root cause of your dog’s barking is something like learned barking or fear barking, then utilizing positive reinforcement training techniques can help change your dog’s behavior.
If your dog is barking due to a training or behavioral issue, reach out to a good dog trainer in your area who can help you set up a training plan based on your individual dog and their needs.
Tip #3: Remove Access to Your Dog’s Barking Triggers
Dogs may bark at any number of things, and sometimes the best way to prevent the barking is to remove the dog’s access to those things if possible.
For example, if you have a dog who likes to bark at people who walk by your house, then close your curtains or prevent the dog from having access to the room with the windows by using baby gates.
Removing access to those triggers can also help provide immediate relief from the barking while you are working with a trainer to create long-term success with the barking prevention.
A Word On Bark Collars & Muzzles
Bark Collars, including shock collars, spray collars, and vibration collars, are not generally a good solution to correct most types of barking.
Any type of pain-delivering solution is not a true solution at all, and most dogs quickly learn that they only have to stop barking if they are wearing the collar, thus it is not a long-term solution to the barking.
eCollars also tend to create fear and uncertainty in a dog, and because it is impossible for us to explain to the dogs why they are suddenly in pain, there is a high likelihood your dog may associate the pain with something else in the environment (including you!).
Muzzles are also not generally a good idea to use to prevent barking, as the type of muzzle you would need to use to prevent the barking completely restricts the dog’s mouth, so they are unable to drink, pant, or eat.
These types of muzzles (generally seen in a grooming salon or vet clinic) are designed to be used only for short periods of time to prevent biting rather than barking. Most dogs can only wear these for periods of 15 minutes or less before the muzzles start impacting their breathing, and certain breeds (such as French Bulldogs or Boxers) should not wear them at all.
If you have an anxious or fearful dog who has a barking issue, the muzzle may also increase their anxiety or fear and cause further issues.
Is It Bad For My Dog To Bark So Much?
While it’s not generally unhealthy for a dog to bark a lot, it can be quite frustrating for you and those around you.
Depending on the area you live in, there may be nuisance laws and a dog who barks more than what the laws allow may result in a visit from the animal control department! Barking dogs are often covered in a lot of noise control ordinances, and it is possible for you to face legal consequences if your dog’s barking becomes excessive.
A dog who barks to the point of exhaustion may also lead to other health conditions, or training issues may develop if you have a dog who repeatedly barks for attention or to get something it wants.
If you are concerned your dog’s excessive barking may be causing a health or behavioral issue, reach out to your vet or a local trainer to get information and tips on how to lessen the barking.
Are There Times Where I Should Let My Dog Bark?
Barking is a natural part of dog behavior, so dogs should be allowed to bark to express themselves and what they are feeling or trying to communicate.
Excessive barking is generally due to an underlying cause, such as learned barking or separation anxiety, and this root cause should be looked at to help curb the barking.
Some breeds also tend to be more talkative than others, such as the Siberian Husky or Pomeranian.
An acceptable level of barking is entirely up to the individual dog, owner, and their living situation. A dog living in the country may be able to bark more than a dog living in the middle of a big city!
How Do I Teach My Dog When It’s OK to Bark?
There are times where you may want your dog to bark, such as if you are wanting them to alert you to someone at the door or if you are wanting to teach them a cool party trick.
If you are interested in having a dog bark whenever someone approaches the door, you would just reward the dog every time they barked when someone rang the doorbell or knocked on the door.
You can also teach them the “quiet” cue to signal when it’s time to stop barking at the person at the door. However, if you opt to teach your dog this, just realize that the dog can’t differentiate between a stranger or someone familiar at the door so they will bark each and every time they hear a doorbell or knock!
You can also teach your dog to “speak” on cue by giving them a verbal cue just prior to them barking and then immediately rewarding with a tasty treat. By doing this repeatedly, your dog will associate the act of barking with whatever verbal cue you taught them.
Barking is a common way for dogs to communicate their needs & feelings, but it can be frustrating for some owners (and the public!) when a dog barks excessively.
While dogs do not usually get tired of barking, if you can identify the root cause of the dog’s excessive barking and deal with that, then you can help create a quieter and more harmonious relationship with your dog.
Your neighborhood will probably also be appreciative of your efforts to curb your dog’s barking, and you will reduce the likelihood that your neighbors will have something to “bark” at you about if your dog’s barking is getting out of control!