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Whenever the doorbell rings, a truck drives by, a neighbor takes a walk, or the wind blows, my dog Falkor barks. As a Beagle mix, he inherited a loud voice and isn’t afraid to use it. My other dog, Daisy, a Lab Pitbull mix, has an incredibly booming bark and has always announced the arrival of visitors with gusto.
As their owner, I can admit that the barks and yapping can sometimes get tiresome. Do dogs get tired of barking? Maybe. Dogs may not tire of it the same way people tire of talking, but there is more than a yes or no answer to the question. I’ll discuss further what’s behind this behavior.
Do Dogs Ever Get Tired Of Barking?
This question has both a yes and no answer. I have asked myself this very same thing many times, especially when I’m trying to answer the door to accept a delivery or when a friend stops by unannounced, and my pups will simply not stop barking. Canines do not tire of it like people do. For example, some people get tired of talking after a long day at work. However, dogs can get physically tired from the action and may start to bark less.
Some breeds, like Beagles, are more prone to vocalization than others. So, your dog’s bark level may be part of his personality and breed. However, yowling and yapping insistently for hours is not something to ignore, nor is it normal behavior. It will exhaust your dog both physically and mentally.
Why Dogs Bark
The bark is a primary form of communication for canines, and they do it for a reason. Many times, like in the case of my Falkor hollering at me when people come to the door, he alerts me that something is happening. Dangerous or not, he wants me to know that something out of the ordinary is occurring. If the tone turns defensive and more urgent, that means there is something he perceives as a threat that he wants to protect me from.
Dogs bark when they get excited, which can happen for many reasons or sometimes for no reason at all. This sound will be higher pitched, and your dog will try to get your attention. Other times, they speak in a playful tone when interacting with you or other pets.
Boredom, loneliness, separation anxiety, or distress can cause a pup to yap excessively. This behavior differs from the normal day-to-day interaction you see with your pup at the fence or with people. In some cases, it can turn to howling. Learn more in our guides about why dogs bark and why they growl.
Why Do Small Dogs Bark So Much?
Small dogs have a well-earned reputation for being yappy and loud. One of the main reasons small breeds bark so much is because of their petite size. They need to be louder in order to be noticed. Smaller breeds are often anxious and feel threatened by larger animals, new people, and new situations. They may start getting loud to take control of the situation.
While small breeds often vocalize more, this behavior often results from a lack of training. Any size pooch may start to yap and yowl excessively if they have not had proper obedience training, want attention from their owners, or do not respond well to redirection.
My Toy Chihuahua, Cookie, was exceptionally small, just 5 pounds as an adult. Cookie was also one of the most incessant barkers I have ever encountered. She was very demanding and wouldn’t stop until we gave in. She would yell at me to go outside or to get in and out of her crate and when she wanted food or attention. Sometimes, she would just sit and yell at me right in front of me for no good reason.
We often joked that this tiny little girl ruled our house, and at times, that indeed seemed to be the case. In hindsight, I know I allowed her to get away with this behavior, mainly due to her petite size. I did not instill proper redirection methods when training her, which led to some of this behavior. I learned a lot from her and have been able to train my pup, Falkor, a little better. His behavior is more centered around an event and not a constant issue.
How Long Can A Dog Bark For?
How long each individual dog can bark differs depending upon their breed, the reason for barking, and their level of behavior and socialization training. Short periods of vocalization are normal, but excessive barking is not. Well-trained pups tend to bark less than under-socialized dogs.
For most dogs, barking will occur in short bursts that last a few minutes or longer. Between five and 20 minutes is not unusual. Some, especially those pups left alone outside all day, may stay at it for longer.
In the United States, many state and local governments have bark or pet noise ordinances. Believe it or not, a dog excessively barking for more than 10 or 20 minutes is illegal in some places.
Can Dogs Lose Their Voice?
Yes, they can lose their voice. Just like humans, excessive use can cause inflammation and a sore throat. Laryngitis can develop, causing your pup to mute his woofing temporarily. Laryngeal edema occurs when excess fluid builds up and causes inflammation in the larynx. It will cause your pup to sound hoarse and raspy. Your pup will need veterinary care for inflammation or damage to the larynx to ensure a full recovery and prevent further injury.
Dogs may develop an upper respiratory infection, which may lead them to lose their voice for a short time. Our pups can also suffer from an illness or injury affecting their voice box and vocal cords. In some cases, such as severe trauma, surgery, collapsed trachea, laryngeal paralysis, hyperthyroidism, degenerative myelopathy, or other medical conditions, a dog can permanently alter or lose their voice.
Why Don’t Dogs Get Tired Of Barking?
Barking is natural for canines, which is part of why they don’t often tire of it. In fact, the more they vocalize, the more they want to keep at it, especially if they get a response. The response can come from another pup or a human, reinforcing the behavior. I have seen this first-hand in my pets. One will start barking at something (or nothing), and the other will start, too. They will then feed off each other, getting louder, until I let them outside to get out the excess energy that is building.
That said, every pup is a unique animal and has different circumstances. So, one pup may last far longer than another. Excessive barking is a problem and not something you want to let continue. If it happens more than a couple of times, it’s a good idea to reach out to the vet or an animal trainer to help identify why your pup behaves this way.
Can I Train My Dog To Stop Barking Excessively? 6 Tips
Nuisance barking can become a big issue for owners, especially if you have close neighbors or live in an apartment. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to help stop this behavior. Training is a big part of the equation. Some pups may require more intense training than others. Below are a few methods you can use:
- A bored dog may get noisy and destructive, so provide plenty of interactive toys like puzzles that will keep them engaged for a reasonable amount of time.
- Exercise is another essential component to deter barking. Ensure that your pup has the proper amount of physical exercise every day. A tired dog is less likely to bark excessively when you’re gone and will have less pent-up energy during the day.
- Socializing your pup is also a way to help deter excessive barking. Some dogs bark too much because they are not trained to behave around other dogs and new people. The responsibility for socialization falls on the owner, so don’t be afraid to reach out for help.
- Use a verbal command and redirect. For example, you can say the words “Hush” or “Quiet” every time your dog starts vocalizing excessively. For my pups, I use the words “Leave it.” Then redirect that behavior and reward them with a treat or cuddles.
- In some cases, the best approach to stopping unwanted woofing in a pup is to not respond to the behavior, especially when other methods have not worked (including verbal responses and redirecting their attention). Dogs bark to send a message, and giving them attention acknowledges their bad behavior. When dogs bark due to anxiety or fear, responding to their barking may unintentionally reinforce their anxious behavior. Ignoring the barking breaks this cycle and helps dogs learn that barking doesn’t lead to the desired outcome. If you reward your pup when they are calm and quiet, they may learn that being quiet brings positive attention.
- Consider a no-bark collar for your pup.
In the case of my pup, Falkor, he will often whine or bark when he’s in his crate. He does not like being in the crate when people are out and about in the home or my other animals are out loose. However, I do not let him out when he starts whining and woofing. I redirect it with our phrase, “Leave it,” and then, once he has stopped, I let him out of the crate. This can cause some annoyance, as he can be loud, and other people in the home may want it quiet. However, we all know that we cannot give in, or we will be unable to control it in the future.
Different Types Of Dog Barking (Video)
Barks can be loud or soft and high or low-pitched depending on the dog and situation. Here are several dog bark types. Do any of these sound all too familiar?
Do You Need Help With Dog Training?
Training your fur baby is a huge task, and it’s perfectly normal to need help. Fortunately, as dog owners, we have more options than ever to help us rein in and modify our pet’s behavior. Whether you need help with basic commands, potty training, excessive barking, destructive behavior like biting, or socialization, there are several options to consider. We are no longer stuck choosing between expensive one-on-one sessions or a crowded pet store group class.
Several excellent online training options, like SpiritDog Training and Doggy Dan, can help address several canine behaviors. Online options are convenient, often more affordable, and can be more comfortable for pups who do not do well in crowds.
What puts your pup into a barking frenzy? Share in our comments below.Tagged With: Barking, Trivia