Let me tell you a real-life story. I went on a holiday, and when I came back, new residents have taken place in our establishment. They are on the floor just below mine, and they also have a dog. I met the puppy and its owners. Lovely people. But the dog has lived in a house before, and now they live in an apartment.
And just the other day, I heard the dog whine and bark for the whole day. It begs the question, do dogs get tired of barking?
Any dog owner inevitably comes into a situation where his dog barks. Every dog barks, there is no denying it. But there is a difference between occasional barking and excessive barking. If you have experienced the latter, you probably ask yourself, do dogs get tired of barking?
Well, the short answer is no. The longer answer is something more. You probably think all that strain on dogs vocal cords must tire your puppy a little. Your furry friend cannot bark forever, right?
Do dogs get tired of barking?
When you hear the dog barking sound, it is rarely without reason. Continuous barking can be an overwhelming obstacle for a dog owner. And if you have trouble figuring out how to stop your dog from barking, the problem grows bigger by the minute.
Unfortunately, dogs do not get tired of barking. It is typical unwanted behavior for a dog. It will take a significant amount of energy for your furry friend to tire out.
Remember, barking is a form of communication for dogs. Some will tell you that dogs do eventually get tired of barking. But as any dog owner knows, it will take a while. And you cannot wait for that long.
You might think you can put on some noise-canceling headphones and be done with it. But that doesn’t solve the problem. It only offers medicine for the symptoms.
The only way to stop dog barking is to figure out the reason for barking and address the reason. Only then, you can stop the problem.
Understanding self-reinforcing behavior
Here is something a dog owner should know, and if you ask a professional dog trainer, he/she will tell you. Barking is a form of self-reinforcing destructive behavior in dogs.
These behaviors are genetically wired in dogs to be naturally reinforcing. What does that mean? It means the simple act of performing the behavior feels good for your canine friend.
You need to reward most behaviors in dogs so that they do it again. Take sit for example. You reward your puppy with food, treats, or games. Your dog sits because it knows good things are coming. It is called positive reinforcement training.
Self-reinforcing behaviors work differently. There is no need to add treats, food, or any game or toys to make your barking dog to want to do the behavior.
Chasing is another form of self-reinforcing unwanted behavior. Your dog will chase the squirrel, yet, it might never catch it. The act of chasing is what makes your puppy perform it again. It is also why some dogs love running and chasing other dogs. They love the play itself, it is rewarding and self-reinforcing.
Barking is the same. The act itself makes your dog to want to bark again and again. Chewing is another example. Your dog might not get physically rewarded with a treat. But the act of chewing is naturally reinforcing.
Simply put, self-reinforcing behaviors are those that are genetically gratifying and rewarding to your dog.
Why does your dog bark?
When a dog barks once or twice, it is not a huge issue. But long barking and dog excessive barking are problems. There is always a reason when your dog barks excessively. Find the reason, and you can stop your dog from barking. Here are some different reasons for barking.
- It is a form of greeting. Since dogs do not have any other form of verbal communication, barking is a way to greet each other and others
- Your dog might be bored or lonely. Being left alone will cause your dog to become lonely or bored. And they will bark when you are not home or you ignore them while being home
- Dogs bark to initiate play and to socialize. But you can easily distinguish this type of barking. Play aggression and puppy aggression are two different things. Play aggression does involve barking, but it is happy and enthusiastic
- Socialized barking is when your dog and your neighbors dog converse with each other
- Territorial barking is when your canine marks its territory. They defend it by barking when someone approaches. It is a way to assert dominance
- Alert barking is when your dog barks at unknown visitors and unknown situations. You can solve it by socializing your puppy. Socialization is more than just playing with other dogs. It means your dog should learn and understand things in its environment
- Attention barking, or when your dog wants to get engagement either from you or from other dogs. Usually, is to get attention from you. In this case, barking is often accompanied by whining
- To tell you something like being hungry, being thirsty, wanting to go outside for the toilet, and more
- When your dog suffers from separation anxiety, barking is the most common symptom. Lack of attention and being left alone can result in separation anxiety
Do some dogs bark more than others?
Yes, some dog breeds bark more than others. You should definitely pay attention to the dog breed you want to get. Generally speaking, a small dog will bark more than a large dog.
And when it comes to breeds, terriers and hunting breeds bark more than others. Terriers were bred to alert their owners, so they still carry that instinct within them.
Hounds and herding dogs are the same. Now, that doesn’t mean your Poodle will remain silent and quiet. They do bark as well.
Should you ignore your dog’s barking?
When it comes to excessive barking, no professional dog trainer will tell you to ignore it. It is a myth. Dogs will don’t stop barking because you ignore them. That works only if they are seeking attention. But they will start doing other stuff, and none of that is good behavior. If you ignore your dog’s barking, it will whine, then start grabbing you, jump on you, and so on.
Dogs will find a way to get your attention. And I can bet in a starring contest (or a barking/ignore contest), your dog will win. Why? Because barking is self-rewarding to them. And ignoring your dog is not self-rewarding to you.
Dogs do not get annoyed by barking as much as we do.
How to stop your dog from barking?
Now, since you cannot ignore your dog’s barking, the question is what you can do? We already answered the question do dogs get tired of barking?
And honestly, no human has the self-discipline, time, and nerves to find out whether a dog will get tired of barking after several hours.
Now the question is what you can do about it? Well, I always recommend teaching your dog to be quiet. It is a simple command, which you can easily teach your dog to do. How do you do it? By teaching your dog to bark on cue first. Once your dog knows how to bark on cue, which is the command speak, you can teach the command or cue Shush. Here is a quick step-by-step guide.
- Start by triggering your dog to bark
- Then, position a treat or dog food to your dog’s nose. It will be impossible for your puppy to bark and sniff the good stuff at the same time
- As your dog stops barking, praise and reward with the dog treat or kibble
- Over time, phase out food and add the verbal command Shush before bringing dog food or dog treat to the nose for sniffing. You can also call it the Quiet command
- Gradually increase the time between your dog stops barking and you reward it for it
Final thoughts. Do not every try to use a bark collar to stop barking. A bark collar or muzzle will not work. They only adress symptoms.