Dogs bark for many reasons and sometimes it seems like they bark too much. Understanding why your dog barks can help you to gain control over excessive barking so that your neighbors stop complaining. Yet, excessive barking is also a sign that your dog is under some stress so controlling the problem also helps your dog to deal with stress and ultimately be more content. Remember that barking is a natural dog behavior but excessive barking could be a sign of a more serious problem.
First of all, when your dog is under extreme stress, he will probably bark. Many dogs bark throughout the day when they suffer from separation anxiety. Maybe you spend long hours at work or you’re a social butterfly; while that’s great for you, your dog also needs attention and time with you. To reduce separation anxiety and the associated barking try spending more quality time with your dog. If you already spend lots of time together, separation anxiety is probably a sign of a more serious mental health issue. You need to teach your dog to be comfortable when he is alone for the day. Start by leaving him alone for short periods and then return when your dog is silent. Also, don’t give him too much attention when you leave home but greet him lovingly when you return.
Dogs will also bark when they suspect there is danger. If they hear somebody approaching the door they may emit a series of rapid and aggressive barks, possibly mixed with growls. This kind of barking is usually acceptable but it can easily be confused with territorial barking. Strange smells of other dogs, frequent visitors like the mailman, and even the sight of the strangers may elicit this kind of barking. When your dog barks in these situations, a firm “no” and consistent encouragement not to bark may solve the problem.
Most importantly, dogs will bark excessively when they don’t get enough exercise. They are finding an outlet for their frustrations, so the first thing you should do as a dog owner is increase the number or length of walks in a day.