Why is My Dog Barking Excessively in Peoria, IL?
Barking is a very normal way for your dog to communicate. This can be with you or with other dogs in Peoria. Usually, something triggers the dog such as a squirrel running or a knock at the door. If your dog is barking excessively, there is likely an underlying reason. It can absolutely be a nuisance to you and your neighbors if your dog doesn’t stop for hours at a time.
Determining the Cause of Your Dog’s Excessive Barking in Peoria, IL
Determining the cause of the barking will help you decide the best course of action to correcting the behavior. There are many reasons a dog’s barking might be out of control, and each cause has its own way of fixing the problem. Your veterinarian in Peoria, IL is a great resource for both health and behavior advice, and they can often help determine the problem.
Some of the reasons for your dog’s excessive barking include:
One of the first things to look for is an actual health concern. Is your dog barking when you touch his paw? Or is she barking and scratching at her ear? These could be signs of trauma or an ear infection. If the barking is new, it might be a good idea to take your dog to the vet for a once over to make sure it’s not a health issue.
As your dog gets older, he may start barking for hours on end for seemingly no reason at all. Dog’s experience canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome, a disease similar to Alzheimer’s disease in humans. They become completely unaware of what they are doing and what’s going on around them. Elderly dogs also experience vision impairment, deafness, and body pains like arthritis.
This can also result in constant and excessive barking.
If it’s not a health issue, then the reason why your dog is barking excessively in Peoria is probably a behavioral problem.
One behavioral issue is boredom. When your dog is left alone for hours on end with nothing to do, they can get bored and start barking nonstop as a way of entertaining themselves. To combat boredom, it’s important to make sure your dog is getting a sufficient amount of exercise for the breed. A Yorkie and an Australian Shepherd have completely different exercise needs.
Then, when you’re away, keep your house full of toys and puzzles for your dog to explore. Try keeping all of the toys in a toy box and rotating which ones your dog as access to. Additionally, find a friend for your dog that can come over or that they can visit during the day.
If that’s not an option, you can hire a dog walker or dog sitter to stop by and play for a couple of hours during the day.
Another behavioral problem that can develop is your dog becoming anxious when she’s left alone. This separation anxiety can result in a few different issues, but barking is one of them.
If you’re starting out with your dog as a puppy, you need to train them to be alone from a young age. In small increments, start to leave them with just their favorite toys or out in the yard. Maybe try a half hour while you run an errand or an hour while you visit a friend.
It will be hard, but don’t make it a big deal when you leave. Simply walk out and then when you come back, walk in. This will help your dog learn that it doesn’t have to be a production when you leave. It will make them more comfortable with the whole process.
Fear is another reason your dog could bark uncontrollably. Some dogs in Peoria are scared of fireworks, storms, or other people. To combat the fear of people or other dogs, make sure you’re socializing your new puppy as soon as it’s safe and they have their vaccinations.
Tendency to be Territorial
If your dog is territorial, he may aggressively bark at anyone that gets near you or him. Remember that your dog has good intentions and is trying to protect you. Don’t yell at a barking dog because it reinforces the behavior.
Instead, try and use a predictable situation where you know the neighbors will be out. Then, when they come out, only give your dog a treat if he remains quiet and calm. This will retrain him to have a better behavior and ditch the barking. Positively reinforcing quiet behavior is the better route to eliminating territorial barking and aggression.
If Your Dog is Craving More Attention
Finally, some dogs start barking excessively as a way to get attention. If your dog barks and then you go over and pet them or play with them, you’re reinforcing the negative behavior. To retrain this, ignore your dog when he starts to bark for attention. Don’t even make eye contact. Once he’s calm and quiet, give him a treat to teach him that quiet behavior gets a reward.
The above technique is a great way to retrain any negative behavior. It’s been found that dogs respond much better to positive reinforcement. If the source of the barking can be easily removed or fixed, do so.
For example, if your dog hates the statue in your backyard and you can part with it, it would be in your best interest to find the statue a new home. Or maybe it can be placed somewhere other than the backyard. Another option is to teach the “Speak” and “Quiet” commands. This can take weeks, but if you stick with it, you should be able to quiet your dog on command.
Never yell at a barking dog or hit him. Shock collars should be avoided because they can be painful, and some dogs test them to the point where they’re immune to them. Do not let your dog constantly bark outside. That’s a great way for nosy neighbors to get in your business, or worse, call the cops on your best friend.
When To Seek Help for Your Dog’s Excessive Barking in Peoria, IL
If you feel like your dog’s excessive barking just will not stop no matter what you do, call your veterinarian in Peoria. They have plenty of experience in this department and can offer guidance and suggestions to help you. There is no one answer that works for every dog, so be ready for some trial and error. If you stick with one plan, though, you should see some positive results.
If you have questions about your dog’s excessive barking, please give us a call or make an appointment today.