Most of the time owners don’t really care what is causing the barking and just label it as bad dog behaviour, but that is very sloppy thinking.
Dogs bark to communicate just like humans talk. The communication can be anything from:
- sympathy with another dog
- wanting to hook up with another dog
- Fear and anxiety barking (often to do with separation anxiety)
- Happy barking at a dog passing by
- Excitement barking at a cat or car or anything that drives your dog
Very rarely is excessive barking to do with a mental health issue.
Before we look at ways to solve dog barking issues it should be remembered that unless the dog breed is a guard dog or a powerful breed created for fighting, barking is often a way of them letting off steam when they have not been exercised sufficiently.
Since many people do not walk their dogs in the morning before they go to work, you have a fully loaded dog, needing exercise and that pent up energy has to go somewhere.
If you dog has a brain and wants to interact with the world, then lock them in a small space and dont give them a satisfying off lead walk, and they will bark until the end of the day. They want their time out to be with their PACK – the primary drive of all dogs. Some breeds might not be incredibly social left to their own devices but the basic dog, as is the wolf nature is all about running as a pack.
So even those dogs that are not social yet, will react to prey and dogs alike by ‘talking ‘ to them. Communicating the best way they can under the restrictions of being locked up.
Before you try and fix a barking problem, make sure it is just not a natural release that you have pent up.