Dogs have a lot to say, and they do it by barking. They bark to go out, come in, to tell you a stranger’s in your yard.
Common causes of barking
Attention/Demand: Your dog may want to eat, go outside, or your undivided attention.
Boredom/Frustration: Your dog may have been left outside day and night, or confined to one room for a long period of time.
Fear: Your dog may be afraid of objects, people, places, other animals, or loud noises such as thunder and fireworks.
Tip: Your dog’s posture can tell you if he’s barking out of fear. Typically his ears are back, and his tail is held low.
Territoriality/Protectiveness: Your dog is barking in the presence of “intruders,” which may include people and other dogs in adjacent yards.
Playfulness/Excitement: Your dog may be overly playful and excited when greeting people.
Health Issues: Your dog may have Canine Cognitive Dysfunction or deafness, causing him to bark because he’s unable to hear himself bark.
Dealing with health-related barking
Some dogs bark because of age-related dementia or deafness. Be patient with your dog. Keep his environment simple and orderly; don’t make frequent changes. Talk to your vet about medications that may help the dementia. Teach your deaf dog the “quiet” command using hand signals or a flash of light or a vibrating collar (NOT a shock collar) as the cue instead of saying the word “quiet.”