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If your dog is a super barker, you’ve likely been wondering: do dogs get tired of barking?
When it comes to dog training in regards to barking, there seem to be a thousand different opinions. It’s like with a crying baby. Some say to let it cry it out, some say you should calm it down, others say to give him something to do and so on.
So, if we take the advice to simply ignore your dog’s barking, then it would be helpful to understand if he’ll ever “give up” on it.
Now, before you get your hopes up, here’s the short answer: Dogs generally don’t get tired of barking. There are some examples where dogs literally barked till they were hoarse and still continued. Barking is a means of communication for dogs, but it can also be triggered by fear, boredom, separation anxiety and other reasons. Particularly those 3 reasons can cause a dog to bark forever.
Let’s look at the question in a little more detail.
Why do dogs bark?
To answer the question “Do dogs get tired of barking?” first we have to look at the reasons why dogs bark.
Barking as Communication
It won’t come as a surprise that the main purpose of barking is to communicate. When someone walks into your home, your dog barks to greet them. If a stranger is walking on the sidewalk outside, your dog might bark to tell them to get out of his territory.
If your dog is barking excessively even when the house is empty, it could be that Fido is bored. If you haven’t exercised your dog enough, both physically and mentally, he might start barking to give himself something to do.
This is actually a really common reason for barking dogs that can’t seem to stop themselves.
As pack animals, it’s hard for your dog to be separated from you. Your neighbors might report your dog barking or howling while you’re away during the day. This is one sign that your dog might be struggling with separation anxiety.
Separation anxiety is difficult to deal with, for both you and your dog. Your dog is experiencing severe distress when you leave, and you come home to noise complaints from your neighbors. If your dog also becomes destructive as a symptom of his anxiety, you’ll have a mess to clean up too.
Luckily, there are ways to help your dog. If you can find where your dog’s threshold is, you can start desensitizing him to it. You can also desensitize him to your various “I’m leaving” cues, and work through the anxiety.
Here’s a great tutorial to get you started:
Alarm or Fear
Your dog might also bark when he’s scared. This is normal behavior for a frightened dog, but if your dog seems to be scared of everything, then it’s time to work on desensitization.
That’s also a common reason for dogs to bark at night. If you want to learn more about that, make sure to check out my article on why dogs bark at night.
You know when kids aren’t getting enough attention, and so they start to cause trouble to get you to notice them?
If there’s no external source for your dog’s yapping, and you’re spending less time with him than usual, it could be that he’s doing exactly that: Your dog is trying to get your attention.
The fix to this isn’t to pay more attention to him—that just reinforces that obnoxious barking will get him what he wants. Most dog trainers will tell you that you should ignore your dog while he’s barking. As difficult as that might be, when silence finally falls, reward your dog after a few seconds of silence.
It’s crucial to wait for silence, even if it’s just for a split second. Then make sure to reward him. Because, as we’ve talked about before, dogs don’t just get tired of barking!
This will reinforce the desired behavior, and your dog will learn you’ll actually pay more attention to him if he isn’t barking your ear off.
This is basically what it sounds like.
If your dog barks when people approach your home, then you’ve got a territorial barker on your hands. This is pretty normal dog behavior. Your dog is saying, “Hey! This is my space!” as a way of guarding their territory.
Do Dogs Ever Get Tired of Barking?
Let’s return to the original question. Do dogs get tired of barking? The answer to the question is a little more complicated.
What Causes a Dog to Bark Excessively?
As listed above, there are many reasons why dogs bark, but when your dog barks excessively it becomes an issue.
Barking to communicate greetings or fear is normal.
However, separation anxiety, boredom, and territorialism might encourage excessive barking. If these are issues you’re running into, you’ll want to start training your dog to work through his anxiety, or provide more activity so that he’ll sleep instead of being bored.
You should also always make sure that your dog has gotten enough exercise. A tired dog is a happy dog—and a quiet one!
How Long Can a Dog Bark?
Unfortunately, there’s no set amount of time or limit to how long a dog will bark. It depends on the situation, the reason for barking, and any outside stimuli that might stop him from barking.
But generally, dogs can bark forever! They’ll continue even if they’re hoarse or lost their voice completely…
Do Dogs Grow Out of Barking?
If you’ve got a puppy who’s barking a lot, and you’re wondering if he’ll grow out of it eventually, the answer is usually a resounding “No.” At least, not without some help from you.
The thing about barking and other unwanted behaviors, is that they need to be curbed as soon as possible. Behavior that starts in puppyhood and isn’t curbed right away will grow with your dog into adulthood.
This is especially true if you consistently engage with your puppy’s barking. If Fido is barking for attention, and you give it to him when he barks, he’ll decide that barking works. That’s true even if your response to him is “Stop.” After all, he’s getting what he wants—your attention!
So, no, dogs won’t grow out of barking. But the good news is that they can be trained out of barking.
How to Stop Excessive Barking
“Okay, so I can’t wait for my puppy to grow out of barking, I’ve identified why my dog is barking so much, and I’m ready to get to work. What do I do now?”
Now it’s time to start training! There are plenty of resources online to help you with your specific needs, but let’s go over the basics here.
Related articles: 2 other very common unwanted behaviors are dog jumping on you or your visitor and a dog digging up your yard. If your dog is doing that as well, make sure to also check out my articles on how to train a dog not to jump and how to stop your dog from digging under a fence.
Reward the Good Behavior
If you’ve spent time in the dog training realm, you’ve probably heard the terms “positive dog training” and “positive reinforcement.” What these terms mean is that you focus on rewarding positive behavior instead of punishing your dog.
I mentioned something similar to this concept earlier. If your dog is barking for attention, it’s best not to acknowledge them by yelling or tutting. Instead, wait until your dog is silent for a few seconds, and then reward the silence as good behavior with a treat or a “good dog.”
You can apply these concepts to other areas of concern, too. For example, working on separation anxiety training might involve treating your dog when he doesn’t react negatively to your “I’m leaving” cues.
Focusing on and rewarding good behavior will train your dog to focus on doing what will get him the reward, and all without using fear tactics!
Take the Stimuli Away
One of the easiest ways to stop your dog from barking excessively is to take away whatever he’s barking at. This might work for you if your dog is a territorial barker.
If your dog is barking at passersby out the window, try closing the blinds so he can’t see. If your dog barks because he’s afraid of something, take whatever he’s scared of away.
Of course, this tactic works in the short term, but is probably not a viable long term option. It is, however, a great way to work on desensitization. Remove the stimulus, and then reintroduce your dog to it slowly until your dog is used to it.
Provide Enough Mental Stimulation
You probably already know that your dog needs a lot of exercise. Especially energetic breeds like Jack Russel and Border Collies will need even more physical activity!
Related article: 7 most active small dog breeds
But as much as physical stimulation is important, mental stimulation is an equally important element of a dog’s health.
There are plenty of ways to keep your dog stimulated mentally, like learning new tricks, playing games, or getting them to work for their food.
Keeping your dog’s brain active will keep them from getting bored which, in turn, will help with excessive barking.
And speaking of mental stimulation to deal with behavioral issues, there’s actually a great course that walks you throw getting a super well-behaved dog step by step.
It’s called Braintrainingfordogs by certified dog trainer Adrienne Farricelli and it has helped hundreds of desperate dog owners to finally own the dog of their dreams!
Teach the “Quiet” Command
I know we discussed earlier that when your dog is barking, you should ignore him since acknowledging the barking might do the opposite of what you want.
But the “quiet” command is a really useful tool that can also cease your dog’s endless barking. It sounds strange, but the first step to teaching “quiet” is to teach your dog to bark on command.
To do this, tell your dog “speak” and then introduce a stimulus that encourages him to bark. Once he’s barked, treat him, and repeat this process until he’s learned to “speak” on command.
Next, now that his barking is controlled, give your dog the “speak” command. Once he’s barking, give them the “quiet” command. Wait for them to be silent, and after a few seconds have passed, give them the reward.
You’ll need to work on this consistently, but in time your dog will understand “quiet.” Now you’ll be able to use the command to stop him from barking!
Take Braintraining4dogs course
If you feel like you need some more guidance – and believe me, I’ve been there – then I highly recommend Adrienne Farricelli’s course Braintraining4dogs.
Her course covers all of the common behavioral issues, including excessive barking, and guides you to having the best behaving dog of your dreams!
This is the course I wish I had when Baloo was a puppy! I’ve tried countless books, video trainings and courses to deal with his separation anxiety, hyperactivity and all the other fun behavioral traits he had…
Don’t make the same mistake as I did! Simply invest in 1 course and understand how you can get your dog to behave exactly like you want him too!
So, let’s go over what we learned. Dogs bark for a variety of reasons, and most of the time barking is a normal method of communication. If it gets excessive, however, there are several reasons why that could be.
Dogs don’t have a barking timer on them and won’t grow out of barking. But there are many ways to train desired behavior and get your dog to stop barking. The first step is to figure out why your dog is barking so much.
Once you’ve figured out the why, you can work on the how! Plus, with so many training resources out there, you’ll find the best way for you and your dog to work on excessive barking. In the end, both you and your dog will be much happier for it!
Speaking of dog mouths, have you ever thought about what dog jowls are actually useful for?