Few things drive dog owners barking mad faster than dogs barking incessantly – but if you think there’s a single reason for that which can be easily “fixed,” well, you’re barking up the wrong tree! The fact is dogs bark for myriad reasons, and stopping them from doing so – if that’s even feasible or something you should do in the first place – requires a more complex understanding of what’s going on with your four-legged friend and any other dogs with whom they may be communicating.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at why dogs bark and if you can or should count on yours “getting tired” of barking up a storm.
Reasons Why Dogs Bark
There are many reasons why your dog may be barking, the most obvious being that something has bothered or otherwise triggered it. This in turn arises because of two other commonly-cited reasons for barking, namely, fear or territoriality. The former can be triggered by loud noises, strange smells, strangers entering the home, or other sudden changes in your dog’s surroundings. The latter relates to its desire to guard its surroundings as closely as possible, with barking being a warning.
At the other end of the spectrum, barking can also arise from a sense of playfulness. Dogs are hierarchical pack animals, after all, and with those family instincts comes the desire for companionship and a language all their own with which to express themselves.
Dogs can attempt to communicate any number of emotions or ideas through barking, from boredom and loneliness to a need for attention. Determining the cause of a bark, therefore, is identifiable in part by what else is going on. If your dog’s tail is wagging or they’re jumping up and down in your presence or that of other dogs, chances are their barks are one of greeting or playfulness. If they’re scratching at a door, chances are they want to go outside.
Then there is the possibility that your dog feels separation anxiety in your absence. Persistent barking coupled with destructive and depressive behavior along with possible defecation and urination are symptoms of this at work. If this is the root of your dog’s barking problem, it likely won’t stop because of fatigue because the stress of this condition is so great. You’ll thus want to take steps to solve your dog’s separation anxiety issues as soon as possible.
Finally, it’s fair to say that some breeds are genetically predisposed to bark more than others. Poodles, Terriers, and Schnauzers are among the “biggest barkers,” but this is of course relative and varies on an individual basis. As with people, some dogs are shy introverts while others are more eager extroverts.
Fatigued by Barking
Whether or not your dog actually “gets tired” of barking, its throat certainly can. Excessive barking can lead to sore throats in dogs, just as talking for hours on end can cause you to start to sound hoarse.
Additional signs your dog may have a sore throat include:
- Constant swallowing
- Constant licking of their lips
- More drooling than usual
- Red or swollen tonsils
- Not eating or drinking
As a result, while it’s difficult to say whether dogs “get tired” of barking as in being “emotionally drained” or “bored” with it, they can indeed feel physically exhausted after a while. While it is rare for a dog to bark for longer than an hour or two, and most stop before their throat gets hoarse, some keep barking despite the pain. In cases such as these, the dog is likely suffering from some kind of psychological distress, so you’ll want to check the area around them as well as outside. Something somewhere is causing your dog to bark even though it hurts, which means they’re very upset and need help. If this persists, take your dog to the veterinarian.
What You Can Do About Barking
So if your dog does indeed keep barking and it isn’t going to get tired of doing so, what can you do about it?
There are several ways to respond to your dog’s barking, with one of the easiest being to remove whatever is triggering the barking. If this began after you introduced a new smell (flowers, perfume) or item in the space, try removing it for a while. If you have a new dog or cat, you will need to gradually incorporate it into your home while incentivizing your dog to accept them via treats and encouragement so they form positive associations with the new dog’s presence. If external noise such as cars are the problem, try blocking out the sound or situating your dog in a place where it is further removed from them.
In addition, you could try and make your dog less bothered by the stimulus in question, again, usually with treats rewarding good behavior.
You could also always just ignore your dog. As mentioned, unless it is really disturbed, it doesn’t usually bark for more than an hour or two, and while that may seem like way too long, if you reward your dog once it stops barking, it could drive home the hint over time that it will get treats when it stops making noise.
If your dog’s barking comes in part from overactivity, you could try and wear it out with plenty of exercise and playtime. This is a win-win scenario – you get peace and quiet, your dog gets more exercise, and you both get to enjoy more fun times together.
Whether your dog is on the quieter or louder side, or barks more frequently or is relatively reserved, you can bet that it will bark some of the time, especially when triggered by stimuli. While dogs often tire themselves out physically, that doesn’t mean they’ll “get tired” of barking, especially if they are highly disturbed by something. Thankfully, with the tips mentioned here, you can diagnose the cause of your dog’s barking and determine the best way to respond to it so you can enjoy a positive relationship with your dog and, hopefully, some peace and quiet.