Dogs bark naturally, and this can sometimes be very loud, noisy, and annoying. Ironically, we begin to worry if our dog doesn’t bark as often as we expect it to. For a security dog, the main reason we one to keep one is so that it can alert us when a stranger is around as well as scare away burglars and other people with mischievous intentions.
There are myriad of reasons why a dog may bark less frequently, and as you read on in this article, you will find out what can be done to correct it.
Here are some common reasons behind your dog’s inability to bark, as you’d expect.
Just like humans, your dog has a unique personality. Some are introverted and less social than others. This doesn’t apply if the dog has been behaving socially in the past and suddenly stops. In such a case, we must rule out the dog’s personality as being the cause.
If your dog has a quiet personality, then there isn’t much you can do about it rather than enjoy its company. If you need a security dog to always alert you when there is a strange face in the neighborhood, you would want to go for a more extroverted dog.
Yet to Adapt to New Environment
In case you just adopted the pet into your home from a shelter, it may still be observing the new home and yet to become territorial. This can make it a little bit timid for a while, but within a few weeks, its true personality and territorial nature will start to show. You can speed up the process by giving the dog more attention.
A dog that was once active can suddenly become withdrawn if it was punished for barking in the past. This type of treatment is common with dogs that were raised in a shelter. Lazy trainers resort to use of force which in the long run turn out to affect the self-esteem of the dog.
Another reason for a dog to become less active over time is age. Just as it is with humans, as a dog grows older, its hearing ability becomes weaker, and thus, it will be less likely to respond to sounds as it used to in the past. It will also be less playful like before.
If your dog suddenly stops barking, it would help if you checked for signs of a swollen or sore throat. If the dog stops suddenly after barking for a period or starts to cough, it may be suffering from vocal stress.
Another reason an active dog may bark often is due to the training it receives. Dogs have been the popular pet choice among humans for many generations, and this is partly because of how adaptable they are to training. It is easier to instill different qualities into your dog if you acquire it as a puppy, but if you are getting a fully-grown dog, it must have received some basic training from its previous handlers. There are useful tips that you can apply to correct this, and we will share that shortly in this post.
Health issues can stop your dog from being the dog you used to know. In this case, you might want to pay attention to the dog’s health and watch out for any signs of illness or strange behavior. If not serious, you can handle it using home remedies, but if you notice serious signs like vomiting, high fever, you may have to take the pet to your vet.
How to Improve Your Dog’s Barking
Give it Some time
For a dog recently brought home from a shelter, it needs some time to acclimatize to the new environment. As stated earlier, a new dog may be timid for its first few weeks until it begins to recognize the mew home as its territory. While allowing it to get used to the new environment, giving it more attention and often playing with it will make it comfortable with the new environment quickly.
Check for Health Issues
In case of a sore throat or any similar cause that can make your dog stop barking suddenly, try to find out the root cause and consult with a vet if necessary. When the ailments have been dealt with, your dog will be back to its normal self after full recovery.
You can make your dog whatever you want it to be, with the right amount of training and attention. By applying the positive reinforcement method of training where you reward your dog with treats when it behaves acceptably and refrain from giving it the treat when it refuses to manifest the behavior you want, you can instill the habit of barking into it gradually.
Use your dog’s favorite treat for this and start by putting one into its mouth so that it is aware you have the treats available. Ensure the treats are as far away from the dog as possible and wait until it barks before handing the next one to it.
Do not expect a dramatic change immediately, as it might start with growling. Start by rewarding the growl, then move to little barks and raise the bar little by little until it barks perfectly. For a dog raised by another person, it may start by doing the tricks its former owner taught it for the treat, but make sure the focus stays on barking. Also, for you to control the dog barking, do not reward it with a treat if it barks on its own. You want to be in control if when it barks and when it keeps quiet. You need to instill the value of obedience in your canine.
Other important things to bear in mind when training your dog to bark include:
Do Not Make Use of Physical Measures
If your dog isn’t catching up as expected, you might be tempted to resort to the use of physical measures such as beating or punishing the dog. You must, by all. means, avoid the urge to do this as it will make the dog more confused and eventually begin to resent you. Rather, it is better to reinforce the good attributes of your dog by giving it a treat and withhold the treat from it when it does otherwise. It will learn more effectively this way.
Your Dog Might be Timid
Bear in mind that barking might not be in tune with your dog’s personality, and that doesn’t make it a bad dog. Enjoy the dog’s company and accept that it might not be able to serve q security role if that is what you are looking for.
Teach the Dog to Bark only When you want
A common mistake that owners make when teaching their dogs to bark is not teaching them to stop. You don’t want a dog to keep barking continuously without restraint. If you give it a treat for barking when you didn’t ask it to, you only teach it to bark whenever it wants to. It will grow to be a nuisance in the neighborhood.
Teach it Other Communication Methods
If, after you have followed all the steps outlined in this article, your dog still refuses to bark, then you can opt for teaching it other ways to communicate. An example is putting a bell outside that it can hit whenever it needs to pee.