Myths about Dog Barking


Thousands of years ago, humans began the process of domesticating the dog and shaping what "being a dog" really means. Through careful selection and breeding, an astonishing variety of dog breeds have been created. Desirable traits have been selected for in various breeds that are of a benefit to humans. There are some traits, however, that quickly become undesirable when expressed too frequently. Barking is an example of a natural behaviour that is encouraged in terms of guarding behaviour, but becomes a problem when the behaviour is produced in excess. A recent health insurance investigation revealed that the sound of a continually barking dog was cited as the most disruptive and stress inducing noise for humans. 


Human as we are, we tend to associate animal behaviour with the supernatural and create myths about them. When they howl, we immediately think that there are evil spirits around! Or the ghosts are lurking somewhere in the dark. I have done some research and came up with some interesting stories behind dog barking.

Ø  Its Dogs Fault that it barks- Most dog owners just want their dogs to be quiet. They don’t care why their dogs are even barking. I can assure you that a dog barks for a reason and you better find out what that reason is. You cannot stop dog barking until you find out why your dog is barking. Now, for starters, recognize the fact that barking in itself is not a problem. Dogs bark, just like cats mew and people make promises….it’s just something they do when they want something done. For instance they bark to tell you that they are hungry at dinnertime or to let you know that there is someone at the door etc. and on all these occasions barking is fine and in fact appreciated. It begins to become a problem however when your dog refuses to stop barking despite your telling him to. Thus the job in hand is not to shut your dog up completely but to teach him to shut up when you ask him to.


Ø  My Dog Should Stop Barking Just Because I Said So- Dogs have needs. If your dog is bored it will bark. If your dog is lonely it will bark. Simply telling your dog to stop will not always work. Your dogs needs need to be met and it needs some positive/negative reinforcement.


Ø  It’s My Neighbours’ Fault My Dog Barks. Many dog owners get angry when their neighbours start complaining about their dogs barking. Often they accuse the neighbours of being the problem. The truth is that they are your dogs and it is your job to deal with the problem. If your neighbour teases your dog, then your dog should be moved to place where the neighbour can’t tease it.


Ø  Barking Dogs Are the Best Watchdogs- This is completely untrue. The best watch dogs are dogs that bark when they have a very good reason too. The dog that barks all the time is the dog that most people try to ignore. A good watchdog is always selective as to when it will bark. If you are training your dog to become a watchdog, sometimes their barking can be very selective and discriminating with certain people. Sometimes they may just bark at anything they see. It is important to train these dogs by developing their intelligence level and how they interpret various events.


Ø  My Dog Never Barks When I’m around- Many dogs do the most barking when they are alone. This is why your neighbour is complaining that your dog barks all day long. You may want to seriously consider that your dog is doing lots of barking when you are not home.


Ø  Its Normal for a Dog to Bark- All animals makes some noise and has some form of communication. That is the normal part. The not so normal part is when a dog barks constantly. There is a reason for that constant barking. Address that reason.


Ø  My Dog Can Not Be Trained To Stop Barking. Some owners feel that it simple isn’t possible to train their dog to stop barking. This is not true. With time and persistence the vast majority of dogs can be trained. Dogs who simply bark because of activity or excitement are relatively hard to eliminate. Most of the time these dogs are unaware of their barking and in turn becomes a process that is hard to eliminate. You must turn to a dog trainer who teaches the dog not to bark.