Owning a dog is not always cuddling and smiling. As a responsible owner, you must train your dog. Training includes helping your dog gain independence and adopt socially acceptable behavior.
Generally, hard work and continuous training help to develop desirable behaviors. A system of rewarding good behavior along with training also helps.
Sometimes, however, certain undesirable behaviors can be harder to change than others. One such behavior is constant barking, especially at other people or dogs.
Dogs are social creatures. They crave social interaction. If, however, your dog has a problem barking at other dogs, this is unacceptable. It will be difficult for you to take your dog to the park or anywhere outside where they can cause a fuss. Constant barking, after all, is not a good sign.
The good thing is that barking at other dogs can be corrected. It is not an easy process and may take time and a lot of effort. But with constant training, you can teach your dog to behave around others.
Why Do Dogs Bark?
It is important to know why dogs bark before discussing how to make your dog stop barking in front of other dogs. Barking is a much more common issue than you might expect it to be. One in three dogs barks unnecessarily to the level that it is a cause of annoyance.
This is because dogs bark for a variety of reasons. Here are some of the reasons why your dog may be barking:
- Mark their territory: Dogs can be very territorial. They are possessive about their territory and may warn anyone they see as a threat by barking.
- Crave attention: Your dog may be panting to get your attention. Dogs require attention; if they do not feel they are getting enough attention, they may start to bark.
- Anxiety or Loneliness: Barking may indicate anxiety or even loneliness. Your dog may bark because they are stressed or nervous. Making noise may be a way to calm themselves or react to a perceived threat. Studies show that 17% of all dogs are fearful of other dogs, which may be why your dog may bark at the sight of other dogs.
- Bark to warn: Barking is a great way to raise an alarm. This is why so many dogs bark when they see strangers or other dogs they do not know.
Preventing Your Dog From Barking At Other Dogs
While it is a common problem, the prevalence does not make it all right. It would help if you rectified the behavior so your dog can go out and interact with other people and dogs without causing any concern.
Here are some ways you can address the problem of constant barking, especially when your dog sees other dogs:
Provide A Calm Environment
One major cause of the barking is stress and anxiety. This includes an environment that is too stimulating. Dogs bark in response to surrounding noises and sounds.
Once this behavior continues, it becomes strengthened over time. So, reducing their barking must start with providing your dog with a calm and quiet environment. Not only does it reduce stimulation, but it also helps to alleviate the stress and anxiety your dog experiences which may trigger barking.
Give Your Dog Attention
Lack of attention may lead your dog to bark unnecessarily. This is because they get rewarded with your attention when they bark, especially in a social situation.
To change this behavior, fulfill their need for attention so they will not bark. Also, instead of rewarding them with your attention when they bark, show your displeasure. This way, your dog will know what they do is undesirable and needs to change.
Change Their Diet
Certain types of foods may be barking your dog more aggressively. They may be causing them to develop stomach issues, and since dogs are not good at communicating discomfort, this may lead to excessive barking.
If you suspect it is your dog’s diet that is a problem, be sure to consult with your vet. Here are some dog food brands to avoid if you wonder if it is your dog’s diet.
Get Your Dog To Pay Attention To Something Else
If you are outside and see another dog approach your dog and feel your dog ready to bark, try to take control of the situation. Try to distract your dog and get their attention away from seeing the other dog.
You can try to give your dog treats and toys or even imitate play. Many dogs instinctively bark when they see other dogs as a way to raise an alarm.
By distracting them and preventing your dog from barking, your dog will realize there is no cause for concern and will slowly give up barking at other dogs.
Keep Your Dog Busy
When your dog is busy, inside or outside the house, it will not feel the need to bark as much. Being busy with playing catch or an interesting toy will keep them occupied, and your dog will be less likely to see other dogs and bark. They will be busy with their activities.
This also helps you give the time and attention that your dog craves and leads to better bonding.
Altering Bad Behaviors
Barking is an undesirable behavior. While it is natural for dogs to bark in response to alarming situations or as a way to communicate something, there is too much barking.
Barking at other dogs, in particular, is unacceptable since it is viewed as an aggressive gesture. It would be best if you discourage your dog from barking at other dogs, otherwise going out in public will become a source of embarrassment and discomfort for both you and your dog.
You must address the underlying reasons causing your dog to bark. You must also change your dog’s habits and teach them to relax. There are many different ways you can help your dog overcome excessive barking. If it is really bad, you can even seek professional help.