Help! My Dog Won't Stop Barking!

Why won’t she pipe down!? 📣🐶

Does your dog bark for what feels like no good reason?

Odds are, there’s actually probably a reason.

And if you can figure out the root cause of your pup’s barking, you’ll have a way better chance of solving it. Or at least understanding it.

The Dodo spoke with Dr. Zay Satchu, cofounder and chief veterinary officer at Bond Vet in New York City, to learn more about why, and when, dogs bark.

Why is your dog barking?

Dogs bark for all kinds of different reasons! According to Dr. Satchu, some of the most common include:

1. Territorial: This is when she barks at someone — or something — she feels is intruding on her space (like her home, her crate or even her mom)!

2. Fear: This is when she barks because she’s scared — which could be when she’s startled by a loud bang, or she feels threatened by someone she doesn’t know getting too close to her.

3. Boredom: This is when she might feel bored or lonely and seems to bark for no good reason. Technically, there is a good reason — and that reason is that she needs a bit more enrichment!

4. Play: These are playful barks she might do when greeting her favorite human or playing ball with her favorite friend.

5. Attention Seeking: This is when she barks because she feels ignored — like if you’re spending too much time watching Netflix and not giving her enough playtime.

6. Separation Anxiety: These barks happen when she’s left alone and suffers from separation anxiety.

How can you figure out why she’s barking?

Since barking’s one of your pup’s only forms of communication with you, odds are she’s just trying to tell you something *super important*.

And to figure out what that is, you’ll have to look at the context surrounding when she’s barking.

“You can get a good idea of what they are trying to say if you keep track of noises, people and changes in the environment when they bark,” Dr. Satchu suggests.

Getting to the bottom of why your pup is barking will help you fix it — or help you help her when there’s an emergency, like this dog who barked to save an abandoned baby!

How can you manage your dog’s barking?

Getting your pup’s barking under control has a lot to do with why she’s actually barking.

For example if she’s playing or greeting somebody, it’s best if you just let her have the time of her life. These kinds of barks are just lighthearted and tend to pass pretty quickly.

But other kinds of barking can be addressed by dealing with the root cause — like boredom barking can be helped by making sure she isn’t bored! So if you notice she’s really just looking for some extra TLC, you can help solve that by giving her more attention and playtime — even enrichment games like puzzles will help keep her occupied and happy when you’re too busy to play with her.

Territorial and fearful barking, or barking stemming from separation anxiety, on the other hand, may need some professional input.

“If they are barking because they are fearful or aggressive towards something, desensitization training with lots of positive reinforcement can help,” Dr. Satchu said.

To make a plan on how to solve these kinds of barks, you can contact a vet or dog trainer to help!

In general, barking can mean so many different things. So make sure you’re taking in the whole story — and remember that she might just be trying to get you to hang out with her! And isn’t that just the sweetest thing?