There are various reasons why dogs bark. Dogs use barking basically to communicate their feelings, wants, needs, fears, and emotions.
Do dogs get tired of barking? No, dogs don’t get tired of barking unless the reason for their barking is identified and solved.
Since it’s their way of communicating their needs, dogs won’t stop barking until they respond. However, physically tired dogs will bark less.
When is a bark considered excessive?
If a dog barks continuously for over thirty minutes, or over 5 minutes per hour for a minimum of 4-5 hours in a row during the day without stopping. Or when it barks for 5 minutes every hour during the night between 10 pm and 8 am.
Reasons Why Dogs Bark
There are many reasons why dogs bark excessively. Dogs bark out of fear, aggression, frustration, stress, anxiety, or simply as an attention-seeking tactic. It is their way of talking to us humans, other dogs, or animals.
Below, we will talk more about the reasons why dogs bark excessively.
This is one of the main reasons why dogs bark excessively. Being pack animals, dogs dislike being alone. Leaving them in the yard or inside the house alone for a long time makes them lonely and sad.
As such, they often bark to express their boredom. Lack of exercise or activity breeds boredom in dogs. Consequently, if a dog is not getting enough exercise both mentally and physically, it will bark to keep itself occupied and pass the time. Spending more time with them or getting a dog sitter can help solve this.
Barking as communication
Since dogs can’t talk, they use barking to communicate with humans, other dogs, and animals. This is the way they let us know their feelings, desires, and needs. As a way of vocal communication, barking may mean various things depending on the situation.
A dog will bark to express happiness, alarm, fear, greetings, frustration, or alert you on something. Therefore, a dog will bark when it needs something or wants you to do something for it.
Establishing / Marking territory
A dog will often bark when strangers, whether humans or other animals invade their territory. When dogs get accustomed to a specific location, your home, for instance, they regard it as their territory.
As such, they often tend to get defensive and start barking whenever someone approaches it or attempts to enter. This is especially so when someone unfamiliar enters a space they consider their own.
Although it may be annoying when this happens with your visitors or guests, it can also be a helpful sign in case of individuals unfamiliar with your dog.
We all want our dogs to alert us whenever a stranger invades our property without permission, don’t we? This type of barking can serve as an intrusion warning, thus providing you time to react effectively and deter the intruder.
Dogs can also alarm bark when a storm or other sorts of adverse weather is approaching. This is because dogs can detect this before humans. Hence, a dog may bark when it senses earthquakes and other natural disasters before they happen.
Barking as a sign of greeting
Because dogs can’t communicate, they use barking as a way of greeting people or other dogs. Just like humans greet each other, this is the way dogs like to welcome their owners and individuals close to them.
This is usually a joyous bark that comes with jumping and tail wagging. Since this type of barking is out of excitement, it does not last long.
Barking to get attention
Dogs can also bark to seek your attention or that of other canines. They do this with the expectation of some sort of response from their owners. This is prevalent in dogs that have realized they can elicit an answer when they bark.
Attention-seeking can be in many forms. It could be as simple as caressing them, acknowledging their presence, or simply making eye contact. It could also be attending in terms of basic provisions such as food and water or other discomforts, including extreme cold or heat.
Dogs that bark for attention have learned that their prolonged barking will trigger their owner to reward them somehow, whether by patting or rewarding them.
Dogs are naturally social animals. As such, some dogs bark excessively when they hear other dogs barking. This kind of barking is motivated by the dog’s desire to connect with other dogs. It usually starts when your dog hears another dog barking, and in reaction to this, it starts barking as well.
When multiple dogs are barking in the same neighborhood, this is their way of socializing or communicating with one another. Although it may appear frantic, several dogs’ barking could be a cohesive conversation between them, with each dog expressing different emotions, desires, or identifications.
Dog separation anxiety
Dogs that tend to bark excessively whenever they are left alone could be battling separation anxiety.  This usually happens when their owners or caregivers leave the house. Dogs suffering from separation anxiety exhibit other symptoms such as destruction, elimination, howling, pacing, and depression.
If your dog displays extreme anxiety every time you leave the house, they may have developed this behavioral issue which you should address promptly. If left untreated, this condition may escalate to a more severe problem.
Treatment of separation anxiety will depend on the seriousness of the anxiety. However, you should talk to your vet for a start.
Dogs, especially hunting dogs, are interested in wildlife, whether squirrels, deers, or raccoons. As such, they will bark on sensing the presence of wild animals around them. This type of barking mostly happens at night.
Unlike humans, dogs have the capability of seeing and hearing wildlife in your surrounding environment quickly. If your dog is sensitive to noise, expect them to bark at the slightest movement by wild animals.
Loss of vision
A dog that is going blind may start barking excessively. This is more so for older dogs. As a dog ages, body functions are altered as well, especially for senses like sight. Poor eyesight or cataracts can make your dog’s vision fuzzy or cloudy.
This is not only frightening but also confuses dogs. This condition can make even the most confident dog anxious or worsen any underlying anxiety issues making the dog’s bark even more.
It’s therefore fairly common for dogs with impaired eyesight to bark more frequently as a way of getting people’s attention when they can’t find them.
Why do puppies bark?
Just like grown dogs, puppies bark to communicate their feelings and desires. A puppy will bark when it needs attention, to express excitement when it’s scared, to greet, or protect its territory.
Puppies usually start to bark when they are aged between 7 to 16 weeks. However, their vocalization begins as early as 2-3 weeks, marked by little grunts or whines.
Do dogs get Tired Of Barking When They Are Old?
No, older dogs can bark excessively due to a severe condition that needs to be addressed. It could be suffering from canine cognitive dysfunction or losing its sight, making it anxious and resulting in barking.
self-reinforcing behavior in dogs
These are behaviors that dogs naturally do because they just enjoy doing them. These behaviors are naturally occurring, and hence dogs don’t need any motivation to engage in them. As such, you’ll not need to give treats to your dog to make it do these behaviors as the act of executing the activity is already naturally reinforcing.
Some of the reinforcing behaviors in dogs include:
Chasing: Dogs enjoy chasing prey simply because the act of chasing brings in a natural urge to do it repeatedly.
Chewing: Dogs like to chew all the time because it is naturally comforting
Barking: Dogs do not need a treat to bark as they naturally enjoy doing it.
Do Some Dogs Bark More Than Others?
Yes, some dogs tend to bark more than others. Genetics, breed-specific characters, and environmental factors play a significant role in dogs’ inclination to barking.
Hunting dogs and pounds, for instance, are naturally prone to more barking as this is the way they communicate with their owners once they spot prey or detect a threat.
Terriers and Beagles are also considered overly vocal since they were bred to forewarn their owners on small animals.
However, all dogs, regardless of the breed, bark as this has become a means of communication with humans or other canines and how they express their needs, feelings, wants, desires, frustrations, etc.
As such, you can expect other dogs, such as poodles, that are less predisposed to barking to also bark excessively under different situations and for various reasons.
Are there dogs that almost don’t bark?
Yes, some dogs such as Cavaliers, Golden retrievers, and Italian Greyhounds are generally silent dogs that seldom bark. Others like Shiba Inu and Basenji have different vocalizations, such as howling instead of barking.
Due to their imposing structures, dogs such as Mastiffs, Newfoundlands, and Bernese Mountain don’t bark much.
What factors increase barking in dogs?
These factors may contribute to increased barking in dogs:
The rate of barking varies from breed to breed, depending on their genetic predisposition. Some dogs will bark excessively while others hardly bark, depending on how their ancestors were bred.
Dogs become accustomed to their surroundings with time. As such, they tend to react to unfamiliar or unexpected sounds by barking.
Unlike a dog raised in a quiet rural setting that may bark at any sound, a dog bred in a busy city setting is less likely to bark as it’s used to the continued noise.
Dogs can adapt barking behavior if they realize they get rewarded whenever they do so.
How To Stop Your Dog Barking?
There are several methods you can use to stop your dog from barking. However, you will need to identify the underlying reason for your dog’s barking to achieve success. This will help you define the right course of action to remedy the situation.
These are some of the ways you can use to achieve this:
1. Remove the motivation
Dogs usually bark because they get some form of reward for it. You’ll hence need to identify their source of motivation and eliminate it. Once they realize they get nothing from barking, they will stop doing it.
You can make use of sight barriers like opaque removable window films, privacy fences, or simply closing the window curtains can help calm your dog down and stop it from barking.
If your dog stops barking persistently after throwing a toy to play with, you can give it the toy before it starts to bark. This way, it will not view the action as a reward for the barking.
2. Ignore the barking
If your dog barks excessively to catch your attention, it is best to ignore it altogether as long as you don’t think it’s for a vital need like food, warmth, or water. Don’t respond to it, including staring, talking, or touching it, as this will only encourage them to bark even more.
Ignoring will make the dog realize that it can only get your attention if it remains still and not when it makes noise. However, this may take some time as it may take your dog a while to understand what you’re doing.
3. Keep your dog tired
Keeping your dog physically and mentally occupied can help stop it from incessant barking. A tired dog is less likely to bark.
Hence, ensure you keep your dog engaged by taking it for long walks, providing friendly games, or giving interactive toys, such as Kong toys. Read our article on Kong Stuffing Recipes to learn how to keep your dog busy while eating.
Keeping your dog tired will make it less likely to get bored; hence it will bark less, enabling you to enjoy some calmness.
In addition, exercise also encourages the release of calming hormones and sedatives, which reduces the dog’s desire to bark. The amount of activities you give depends on your dog’s age, size, breed, and health condition.
4. Bark collars
These are electronic training devices that are aimed at discouraging excessive barking in dogs. The devices work, producing a slight shock to the dog any time it barks.
Although it’s cruel and punitive, this method can be highly effective in reducing barking as dogs quickly learn that barking will result in an adverse response.
However, this is not ideal as a first choice for dealing with extreme barking, especially when it’s as a result of fear, separation anxiety, or compulsion. Besides, dogs can learn to evade the negative response by avoiding barking when they have the collars on but doing so when they are taken off
5. Make sure they’re exercising
If your dog is barking because it’s bored, you’ll need to provide extra activities to keep them active and less bored. Giving your dog exercises will provide a way of utilizing its excess energy in a good way rather than making noise.
You can take your dog for walks in the neighborhood or play a ball game with her. Exercises also aid in releasing hormones and sedatives crucial for calming dogs down and reducing their urge to bark.
If you give sufficient exercise to your dog, it will make her tired and less energetic to bark. A tired dog is a silent dog.
6. Make sure they’re mentally stimulated.
Keeping your dogs mindfully engaged is an excellent way of ensuring they don’t bark unnecessarily. You can keep your dog mentally stimulated by providing interactive chew toys.  This will draw all her attention to figuring out how to get the food out.
You can also provide puzzle toys that help keep them focused on a task. These activities add meaning to their day and help avoid boredom.
You can also play an interactive game with her since dogs love playing with humans. This will prevent them from excessive barking.
7. Reward the good behavior
Rushing to attend to your dog every time he barks for attention is rewarding them for bad behavior. This will make them realize that if they bark, they will get rewarded. Rather than encouraging this behavior, you should reward them when they display good behavior.
If your dog is barking, ignore it entirely till he stops. Wait until it’s completely silent for a few minutes before rewarding it with a treat.
This will assist your dog in relating to not barking with a favorable outcome. Additionally, good rewarding behavior can help your dog focus on the right things that will bring rewards. 
8. Teach the “Quiet” command
Teaching your dog the speak/quiet command is another helpful method that can help minimize your dog’s barking. Start by educating your dog to bark on demand. You can do this by instructing it to talk, then giving it a stimulus that will cause it to bark.
Offer a treat once the dog obeys the command and barks, then repeat until it has learned to bark on command.
When the barking is under control, move on to give it a ‘’speak’’ order. Then command it to be quiet when it starts barking. Wait until it’s silent, then reward it after a few seconds.
Although this may take some time, your dog will eventually understand ‘’quiet,’’ and you will be able to use this command to halt its barking.
9. Take a professional dog training course.
If you cannot deal with your canine’s barking by yourself, seeking the help of a professional is advisable. A skilled dog trainer can provide helpful solutions and suggestions on how best to handle your dog’s barking.
Enrolling in a professional dog training course will equip you with valuable information for controlling your dog’s barking and impart skills on how to get your dog to have the precise behaviors that you desire. Simply teaching your dog the quiet command can help it understand the expected behavior, which is quite helpful.
What does the U.S. law say about excessive dog barking?
Under the Animal Control Regulations subsection, the U.S law expressly prohibits any individual from owning a dog that barks or howls so continuously or incessantly for over 20 minutes consecutively, without being provoked by a passer-by or another animal to disturb the peace and tranquility of the neighborhood. Herding dogs or dogs that do farm work are excluded from this prohibition.
If you have any proof, such as a video clip of the neighbor’s dog barking for over 20 minutes, an animal control officer will investigate upon notification. An offender could pay between $100-$500 in fines or face a jail term of up to 6 months.
What you should never do if your dog won’t stop barking
- You should never yell at a barking dog, as this will not stop this behavior. Instead, it will encourage the dog to bark even more as it will think you are barking with them.
- Whatever the cause, never allow your dog to bark incessantly when it’s outside. You will never be able to stop the dog from barking by yelling at it from across the yard. Besides, it can cause problems with the neighbors.
- Do not strike your dog or use shock collars on it as this is not only cruel and painful, but some dogs eventually devise ways of working around them.
Tips on how to hush a neighbor’s barking dog
- For a start, you should record a video of your neighbor’s dog barking for about a week, indicating the times when it barks.
- Next, talk to the neighbor regarding his dog as he could be unaware of his dog’s incessant barking when he is away.
- If the neighbor decides to take action, encourage him to train his dog to bark only when there is a valid reason.
- If he’s unwilling to act, you can make use of a dog anti-bark device that will send ultrasounds which will only be heard by the dog immediately it barks. These sounds are irritating and can cause it to quit barking.
- If nothing else works, you can report to the authorities. You can contact the animal control department of your local police. However, you should use this only as of the last option. You should talk to your neighbor first about his dog’s barking before taking further action.
Do dogs get sore throats from barking?
No, barking is a dog’s way of talking. Barking dogs are similar to talking people. As such, dogs can bark for extended periods without hurting their throats.
What Is an acceptable level of dog Barking?
This depends on the individual to whom the question is directed. However, 5 minutes per hour and not more than 4 times between 9.00 in the morning and 9.00 at night is considered an acceptable level.
Can a landlord make you get rid of your barking dog?
Unless you have signed a no-pet clause, your landlord can not force you to get rid of your barking dog. However, it’s best to teach your dog to refrain from barking without reason.
Why is my dog barking at the wall?
It may be because your dog is hearing voices behind the wall or cognitive dysfunction, more so if the dog is senior. To rule out this, take your dog to a vet for evaluation.
Dogs can bark for various reasons. It is a way through which they communicate and express their feelings and wants. They could be seeking your attention, alerting you on something, protecting their territory, or they may be suffering from fear or anxiety, among other reasons.
Therefore, it is crucial to find out the root cause of this behavior to determine the most effective way of dealing with it.
Never yell at your dog or punish him for excessive barking, as this could worsen the condition.