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Why does my dog bark? Vet Vs The Net reading-time-icon 36 second watch

All dogs do it, some more so than others do, but have you ever wondered why? ‘Why does my dog bark’ is searched almost 900 times a month on Google but luckily, Dave the vet has the answers…

Why does my dog bark?

Dogs bark as a form of communication, both with humans and with other dogs. It’s one of only a few sounds they’re capable of making, which means that barking can have a number of meanings. Your dog could be trying to get your attention, for example, or they could simply be doing it because they are bored.

It’s usually easy to tell because of the circumstances your dog is in – if there is a cat outside in the garden for example, it’s safe to assume that your dog is barking at that.

My dog won’t stop barking, what can I do?

It’s important to bear in mind that barking is completely natural behaviour, and dogs can do it for a number of reasons. That said if your dog is barking too often, there is probably something wrong.

Important: avoid using negative reinforcement on your dog. If you shout at them when they’re barking, they will just think you’re joining in and will bark more.

Your dog is likely barking because they’re bored, because they’re marking their territory or because they’re stressed or anxious. The process of training them out of this behaviour will vary depending on the cause. 

To read more about stopping your dog from barking, click here.

Need more advice?

If your dog is barking too much or if there are any irregularities with their barking, it’s best to contact your vet. They will be able to tailor their advice to your specific dog and can help both of you. To find your nearest recommended vet or pet clinic, use our Find a Vet page.