Humans talk to communicate. For dogs, barks are the equivalent of humans’ words. It is a sound they most produce, along with other canine animals like wolves and coyotes. Even seals and quolls, which are not canine animals, make noises referred to as “bark.” Some dogs seem to bark everywhere incessantly, even inside the comfort of human households. This prompts a very popular question within the community of dog persons.
Do dogs get tired of barking? No, they do not get tired of barking, but they will bark less if they are physically exhausted. However, it is innate for them to bark, not only because of communication. They bark to claim territory, make friends, seek attention, express their thoughts and feelings, and make themselves feel good.
It can be bad news for tired pet owners to hear that dogs do not get tired of barking. Sometimes, their nonstop barks become a nuisance to their owners’ daily lives, who might need peace at times. This concern is mostly applicable during sleeping hours. Here, you will be guided on how to control your dog’s excessive barking.
Before elaborating on the answers, digging the behavioral reasons on why dogs bark is equally important. Indeed, through understanding their habits, you can learn to appreciate your furry friend’s actions.
Why do dogs bark?
Even though canines share similar communication of barking, they are distinct from each other. Dog barking is different from wolf barking, and vice versa. One of their key differences lies in the location of their barks. Dogs bark in social situations, while wolves bark in isolated places. Since dogs have likely come from wolves, domestication affects their barks and their frequency. Adult dogs bark and whine a lot. Concerning their environment, it is only natural for dogs to bark a lot since they are surrounded by humans who cannot understand them. To communicate, they have to make noise in order for their needs to be met. However, what these needs are, will be discussed extensively below:
Following the theory that dogs came from wolves, both animals have a sense of claiming territory. With wolves, however, they need not bark a lot to express their claim on a territory. Forests are spacious, so their space is not invaded quite often. It is an entirely different case with dogs. They live with humans, locked up in houses with limited spaces. Due to the scarcity of their territory and how many people invade it, they end up barking quite often.
It is not avoided that when a dog barks, another one barks in reply as well. Dogs are social creatures. To make friends, they communicate through their barks. Since dogs live in densely populated areas with many other dogs, they cannot help but socialize. If they are not with dogs, they will seek socialization from humans. Dogs also bark to seek attention from you. If you are spending less time with them, they might bark more to get you to come to them.
Dogs are social. Thus, they are pack animals. They do not like it when they are separated from their team. If they live with you and your family, he sees all of you as part of his pack. When they get separated from you or the rest of your family, they get anxious and nervous. In response to this, they will howl or bark when you are not around. This might happen during the day when you are at your work or during the night when you are asleep. Your dog suffers horribly upon the separation, hence the name. It is difficult for them, and later on, it will be for you, too. They often experience severe distress that stretches up to a point where it becomes destructive to them.
Dogs have emotions and brains. They think and feel, and they communicate their feelings and thoughts through barking. Naturally, dogs bark to say “hi” or warn you when you are in danger. They also bark when they feel excited, especially when you come home from work. Dogs in shelters might also bark at you when they first see you. They might be wary of your existence as a stranger, or they might just be calling your attention. Since they feel a lot of emotions as well, they express them through barking. Whether they are sad, scared, bored, or lonely, they bark it out.
Interestingly, the dogs’ barks also vary in pitch that might give you an insight into their mood at the moment. When a dog’s bark is low, it means they are serious. They are trying to warn you or someone. When their pitch is high, it means they are having fun. When they feel lonely, they might pitch their barks higher up the scale to the point that it sounds like a wolf’s howl.
In instances where they want to express their thoughts, an example of it is when they bark at night. Most dogs bark at night because they hear or smell something. They bark to communicate what they must have heard or smelled to other dogs or their human owners. It is why some people have dogs to serve as burglar alarms when strangers are entering the house or yard late at night.
You can also tell a dog’s mood through the number of barks you hear in a row. The more excited a dog is, the more it barks. A single bark may be evoked when they are surprised or annoyed. Also, take note that the longer the bark, the more concerning it is as it might be that they are alerting you about something. Aside from how many times they can bark in a row, you can also observe the intervals between each bark. When they are feeling aggressive, their barks may come out quicker. In contrast, slower barks can be heard when they are feeling lonely.
Sometimes, dogs do things because it feels good. Any behavior might be trained to become self-reinforced by giving them treats when they play a trick for you, like catching a ball or sitting. However, some behaviors are not natural to the dogs, meaning they are not self-reinforcing behavior in nature. Some of these behaviors that dogs perform simply because it makes them feel good are chasing and chewing. Another would be barking. Sometimes, dogs love to bark because they love it. In short, they find pleasure in it.
There are various reasons why dogs bark. Sometimes those reasons overlap. Whatever the cause of their barks, it is important to know how long they can bark and what is too much.
Do dogs get tired of barking?
To answer this question, it is essential to know how long a dog can bark. Of course, there is a limit to their barks, as excessive barking can cause major issues later if left unattended. Dogs might not get tired of barking, but they do come to a point where its excess will physically affect them.
Dogs cannot get tired, but they cannot bark forever
From puppy to adult, dogs will constantly bark. As they grow, they will find more reasons to do so. They have needs, and they will call for it as long as they have not been appeased. However, there is a difference between not getting tired to having physical limits. Dogs might not feel a diminished desire for barking, but it might have life-threatening effects on them if they bark too much for too long.
Just like humans who get sore throats and hoarse voices after talking too long and too loudly in clubs and concerts, dogs also have such experience. Their vocal cords are also susceptible to straining. The longer they bark, the hoarser their voice becomes. If they are not attended to right away, they might lose their voice entirely due to excessive barking.
Now that the reasons why dogs bark has been laid out, it is easy to understand when their barks have come to the extremes. Since dogs have acquired the means to communicate like humans, it proves that their barks mean something. Even if it is as shallow as to gratify themselves, it is still reasonable.
It is not unusual for a dog to keep barking, of course. As long as they are understood and their needs being attended to, barking is as natural as talking. However, it becomes more serious and questionable when they have barked too long. This can also be called nuisance barking, and it might cause a dog’s death.
How to stop your dog from barking too much?
Dogs may love to bark, but it is vital to know that they have limits. One of the goals when stopping them from barking too much is curbing their behavior against it. There are many ways to do it corresponding to the reasons for their barks. Although, knowing the reason is not enough to address the underlying causes, as there are behaviors that must not be encouraged.
If your dog is having separation anxiety, whether severe or mild, it is best to take them to the vet first for help. When they are barking a lot due to loneliness or boredom, you can lessen their barks by spending more time with them. However, since this bark is accompanied by seeking attention, you must not encourage them to bark to get what they want constantly. To curb this behavior, wait for them to be quiet, reward their silence, and take them out for a walk or play with them. If you do not correct this behavior as early as possible, they will think the only way to get what they want is to bark. If you happen to not be at home to appease their needs, they might end up barking nonstop until they get what they want. You can also counter-condition this by placing something positive in the wake of your absence. When you are out, you can put food in their bowls that can last them throughout the day.
Exercises, like daily walks, can also help your dog feel refreshed. When they feel light and relaxed, their anxieties and stresses may lessen. If they do, they tend to bark less. Concerning their emotions and thoughts, there might be times when dogs are stressed. Naturally, it will induce them to bark. One way to mitigate this behavior is by giving them collars that can calm them, shirts, and diffusers. If the stress is onto severe levels, it is best to take them to your vet for medication or behavioral therapy. There are also ways to counter-condition their fear when they are feeling such. If they are scared of noises like fireworks and thunderstorms, you can distract them by giving them food.
When it comes to ‘nuisance’ barking, it is obvious that they are distressed about something. As soon as you can acknowledge their barks and address what is a nuisance to them at the moment, your dog will behave or quiet down. When they do, reward their silence. This will train them to know that barking is not always appropriate and silence is much better. However, there are times they perceive house visitors as a nuisance. If they bark a lot when there are visitors, you can desensitize them by having friends and relatives over more often. This way, you can address their barking habits by telling them visitors are not all that bad since they interact with you all the time.
Even so, it might be challenging to get them quiet most of the time. What is important is they bark less and know when to stop. You must also keep in mind that you must be humane and gentle in treating their ways, no matter how annoying they are.
Dogs do not get tired of barking. It is their way of releasing and making themselves feel good. However, you must put a line between what is enough and too much. They may not feel any exhaustion, but the constant strain in their throats might lead to life-threatening issues later on.
Listen to your dog’s barks. Address what causes them to bark and reward their silence when they do it. Your pet will become a much more agreeable companion if both of you can work together in making their stay a safe one.