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Whether it’s the postman, the backyard squirrel, or nothing at all, some dogs will find any reason to bark. These dogs seem like they can bark for hours on end, and that makes us ask the question:
Do dogs ever get tired from barking?
You’re probably thinking that, yes, of course, dogs will get tired… eventually! And, to be honest, you’re not that far off the mark.
Dogs can, indeed, get tired from barking, but it can also be helpful to understand why dogs bark in the first place,
and if you are the not-so-proud pet parent of an incessant barker, then you should know some strategies to help your pooch tire of barking.
Why do dogs bark?
If we’re being realistic, it’s extremely likely that your dog will bark at some point in its life, but of course, we’re all resigned to that.
It is natural for dogs to bark, growl, or whine in order to communicate with their humans and with other animals they may meet or interact with throughout the day.
However, there may be certain reasons that prompt dogs to bark.
One reason dogs will bark is that they want to protect their homes. When the mail carrier comes to the house, dogs are not really barking at the mail carrier.
They’re barking to alert you to someone trespassing on your property. Some dogs can become very territorial, so they may bark at passers-by and visitors.
While dogs can be protective of their humans and their areas, they may also bark out of fear.
Typically, if your dog gets frightened, they will bark as a precaution with the intent to ward off any dangers.
For example, a dog that hears a loud or new noise might bark to show it’s afraid and to hopefully keep whatever made the noise away. They might also bark to warn you of danger as well.
Similar to dogs wanting to warn you about trespassers, some dogs may bark to get your attention.
Some dogs will bark when they can’t reach their favorite toy while others might bark to get you to pet them.
Either way, dogs that bark for attention need something from their humans, and since dogs are intelligent creatures, probably they’ve found that barking will get them what they want.
When you have a friend or family member come over, it’s common for dogs to bark at the person coming through the door.
In many cases, your dog might not be barking at a visitor because they are scared or being aggressive.
Rather, they’ll bark because they just can’t contain their excitement! Often, their barking trails off into an elated whine and can usually be abated by some ear scratches and belly rubs.
Dogs can become very excited during playtime as well.
This is especially common when playing with puppies because they have so much energy, sometimes they just naturally bark because they are overwhelmed.
Dogs can also use barking to incite a playful reaction from another dog.
As we have mentioned before, many dogs love attention, and they’ll often bark to get it. Even when their human isn’t home, dogs may bark because they are lonely.
This also goes hand in hand with boredom.
When dogs don’t have enough mental stimulation, they may act out and bark to show they’re bored or to stop being bored.
For dogs, a serious cause for barking might be some sort of anxiety. Separation anxiety is a very common reason dogs will bark, whine, or howl for extended periods of time.
Dogs that have separation anxiety have other issues, like destructive behaviors or improper elimination as well.
How long does it take for dogs to tire of barking?
Now that we know the reasons why dogs may bark, let’s get down to what we’re really after.
As we mentioned earlier, dogs will get tired from barking, but how long it takes depends on the dog and the reasons that they’re barking.
For example, if a dog is barking because they want your attention, they’ll bark until they have it.
If a dog is barking because they have separation anxiety, they may bark until you come back home or until they turn to another anxious behavior like chewing.
Territorial dogs will bark until the trespasser goes away.
Dogs will usually stop barking when the reasons they’re barking is removed, but there is no specified time for this to happen.
Some dogs can bark all day while others will get bored after a few minutes.
How do I stop my dog from barking?
Getting your dog to break their habits can be a time-consuming process, but the good news is that in many cases, dogs will learn how to stop barking at their triggers with your help and your patience.
The first step to stopping your dog from barking is figuring out why they’re barking in the first place.
Once you have done that, there are a few strategies you can use to safely and gently help your pup stop barking.
Giving your dog enough exercise is the basic remedy for most behavioral issues.
Dogs should have regular exercise with plenty of outside time or walk throughout the day.
The general idea with exercise is that if a dog is tired, then he’s too tired to bark for long periods of time and would prefer to sleep.
Rewarding Good Behavior
For most of the reasons listed above, you may be able to follow the simple process of ignoring bad behavior and rewarding good behavior with a treat or some ear scratches.
Rewarding good behavior is a simple process, but it does involve allowing your dog to bark without being reprimanded.
Keep in mind that while it may be tempting to correct your pup when they bark, you should ignore it for this process.
As dogs use barking for communication, they may mistake your correction as you barking too. To properly use this method, dogs will need to bark.
Your aim is to catch them when they stop and give them a treat or a reward at that time.
You don’t have to wait for them to completely stop.
When your dog stops to catch his breath, use that quick second to give him a reward.
He’ll be distracted by the reward and will start to associate his silence with something good.
For dogs that have separation anxiety or more severe reactions to other triggers, they might need more advanced counterconditioning, which is similar to rewarding good behavior.
Counterconditioning refers to the process of associating your absence or their trigger with something good.
Usually, counterconditioning will involve distracting your dog with food.
For example, if your dog is scared of loud noises like thunderstorms, you can try to give them their favorite snack whenever a storm rolls in.
Similarly, you can give your dog a toy that gives snacks right before you leave for the day.
Keep in mind that these snacks and toys should only be given to your dog when you leave or when they react to their trigger.
Once you return home, you’ll take the toy until the next time. Or, once the storm is over, you’ll stop giving treats now and again.
They’ll learn that your absence or their trigger isn’t necessarily bad.
Desensitization is a process that involves exposing your dog to whatever makes them bark.
Usually, this is used for severe cases of separation anxiety, but the principals can be used for other reasons dogs bark also.
For separation anxiety, this process would involve using counterconditioning techniques as well as progressively leaving your dog home alone for longer and longer time.
If your dog gets territorial, you can enlist your family or friends to visit more frequently to show your dog that visitors are not bad.
There can be numerous reasons why your dog feels it must bark.
However, giving them proper exercise and training can help ease their need to bark.
The more training they have, the less time it will take for your dog to tire of barking
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