Barking is a normal activity for dogs, it is how they communicate and express their emotions among each other. A bark can mean differently depending on the situation. However, excessively barking is often a behavioral concern and it can be rather frustrating for you and your neighbors. You cannot and should not want to completely eliminate your dog’s barking, what you can do is to teach your dog to be quiet on cue. This will help you to limit their necessary barking (for instance alerting) and stop unnecessary barking (for instance demand barking).
By understanding why your dog barks and what is causing them to bark will help you to identify the appropriate solutions you can consider. Here are some of the reasons why:
Certain breeds are more prone to barking a lot, which by virtue of their genetics, they are predisposed to bark. Though it is important to note that being genetically more prone to barking does not mean that the dog has to bark, it only means that he/she is inclined to do so.
Dogs are very conscious of their space and define “threats” quite differently than us. So a guest to you may mean an intruder to him/her. Whenever someone or something he/she perceived as a “threat” approach or invade their space, they will bark to warn the intruders to back off or they will bark to alert the household.
When left alone in the house for too long, your dog does not have enough mental or physical stimulation. And when they spend a lot of time on their own, they will start to invent their own fun which includes barking.
If your dog barks are accompanied with lots of jumping and tail wagging, it is very likely that your dog is excited. And being excited is a common cause of excessive barking.
If your dog has a sudden injury or illness, and they want to let you know that it hurts, barking is a way of telling you so. Dogs that are in pain tend to bark in a high pitched and sound panicky. In any case that you suspect your dog is in pain, rush them to the vet as soon as you can.