Barking is a characteristic sound of dogs. It is part of their communication system, and we must know their different meanings to understand dogs better.
In this article, we will explain at what age dogs start barking, why they do it, and, also, how to prevent the excessive barking from being a problem of living together. Also, we’ll tell what happens to dogs that don’t bark.
why do the dog’s bark?
The barking of the dog can be triggered multiple times, and, as a form of communication, it represents, we must always pay due attention. In living with our dog, we will notice that it emits different barks that will vary in tone, volume, frequency, or intensity.
Enthusiasm, stress, wake-up call, surprise, fright, or undetectable signals for us are some of the causes in which the barking is triggered. Learn to identify the different types of barking in dogs with this article.
Therefore, we must be clear that canine barking is not synonymous with aggressiveness or threat. Instead, it would be an alarm and attention signal directed to his canine and human herd. Given the importance of barking, the age at which dogs begin to bark dates back to their puppy stage.
When does a dog starts barking?
Many dog owners wonder at what age dogs began to bark, although, during its first weeks of life, a puppy starts to bark, having the ability does not mean that the dog will do so immediately. Also, the first bark will be very different from the one the dog will emit when it grows since it is sharper and softer.
Puppies can bark for multiple reasons, just like adult dogs, among which are found to attract the attention of their mother, siblings, or humans, indicate that they want to play or eat, show that something bothers them, etc.
My puppy barks a lot, what do I do?
Puppies are in constant learning, and when they discover something new, it is entirely normal to repeat it several times. This can also happen with barking, causing the puppy to bark throughout the day . Especially if a puppy lives with its mother and siblings, it is entirely normal for puppies to bark at each other during their play sessions, both to motivate the activity and to stop it.
In any case, the best solution is to ignore the barking and reinforce the calm attitude. To do this, whenever the puppy is calm, we will reward him with caresses, words of encouragement, or some treats for puppies. In this way, we will use positive reinforcement. Now, if the puppy barks a lot because he is hungry, wants water, is stressed, or has a health problem, it is essential to pay attention to identify the cause and treat it.
How to control the barking of the dog?
To prevent our dog from barking uncontrollably, we must know what has triggered the barking. When we are next to him, it can be easy to detect and calm him, but some dogs show a barking and destruction attitude, known as separation anxiety, at the moment they are left alone. In these cases, the constant barking is a sign of stress and will be more challenging to correct. Spending more time with him, exercising frequently, and, of course, consulting with an expert are the options to solve it.
Another common situation occurs when the dog barks at visitors. It may be due to enthusiasm before an arrival that excites you or alert you to the presence of strangers.
However, when the dog warns us that an unknown person is approaching, we can face a territoriality problem, which can lead the situation uncontrollable. In these cases, it is essential to avoid visits and immediately consult with a veterinarian specialized in ethology to help us work on the problem. The spaying or neutering can help improve this behavior.
A dog can also bark aggressively when it wants to reach something, and it is impossible — for example, a plate of food on high or a cat out of reach.
It will be easier to stop persistent barking if we act when they start and not when they have already intensified or become customary. Using the “no” to avoid it can sometimes be counterproductive since the dog understands that in this way, he captures our attention and continues trying to achieve his goal.
If the dog barks at others on the street, keep calm. Instead of pulling the strap to take it with us, it is better to stop, order it to sit, for example, and congratulate it only when you have obeyed the order. In some cases, when the dog is very reactive, behavior modification sessions will be needed. Finally, elderly dogs or those with a disease such as deafness can bark out of place. You have to take them to the veterinarian and guide the necessary treatment or, at least, implement measures to improve your quality of life.
My dog doesn’t bark. Why?
Although barking is characteristic of dogs, we can find specimens that we never hear the barking, as well as breeds with less predisposition to do so. It doesn’t have to represent any problem since there are more or less barking dogs. Also, we have seen at what age the dogs begin to bark, so, although it is an approximate date, they will not bark before.
In some dogs, we notice that they do not bark well or, at least, they do not do it as they used to. It may be due to some inflammation, such as laryngitis. Therefore, if we suspect any such change in the dog, we must go to the veterinarian.
A dog that has just arrived at home may take a long time to bark because he has suffered a past of abuse or because before expressing himself, he needs time to adapt to the new environment.