All dogs bark, but some bark more than others, and pet owners don’t understand why. Discovering various dog behaviors and the external triggers that cause these reactions helps dog lovers comprehend their pets and their barks a bit more.
There are over 48 million dog owners in the United States, so it’s safe to say that owning dogs as pets is extremely common in this country. Dogs help unite people, families, and children with their companionship every single day, but that doesn’t mean they are a walk in the park to take care of or train.
Dogs are like people. There are no two dogs that are exactly the same. All dog breeds are unique and the behaviors that come along with those breeds vary as well. The way people choose a dog breed depends on the type of dog, size of the dog, the color of the dog, friendliness of the dog, and so much more. So, let’s take a look at some of the most common dog behaviors people tend to see in their pets.
Dogs use barking as a form of communication. When they start to howl, it typically means they are trying to warn people of possible danger. However, there are plenty of other reasons for your pet to be making all of that noise.
Another possible reason for your dog to bark is due to excitement. A very common trigger for a dog barking is when its owner returns or home or company comes to visit. Even the quiet sound of you grabbing their leash can send them into a frenzy because they’re so happy to get to go outside for a walk.
Food and the need for attention are also huge factors when it comes to dogs barking. They may just want to be pet or it may be time for dinner, but either way, you need to try to identify what it is they need. For example, if your dog is only barking for a treat and you already gave them one, then giving them another treat seems like a reward and now they know the barking is an effective way to get what they want.
Your dog’s bark could also indicate them experiencing anxiety or being territorial over their space, especially if another animal comes into the picture. Anxiety is caused by anything from strangers walking by to other dogs walking across the street. The best way to identify their feelings towards these things is by listening to the type of bark and watching out for their tail between their legs. An anxiety bark is typically a lower-pitched growl and anxious body language typically includes low head posture.
Barks can also stem from your dog being in pain. These barks tend to sound a lot higher pitched than you’re used to hearing. If your dog likes to play with other dogs, it’s pretty common for it to get rough and for one of the dogs to get bit or pinned in an uncomfortable position. The best thing for you to do is to closely monitor their play and to step in when you sense their games getting too intense.
Dogs also require a lot of mental and physical attention, so their barks could be coming from boredom if they haven’t gotten much interaction for hours at a time. This means they are searching for play, a walk, belly rub, or any kind of affection from their owners.
Finally, your dog could be barking in reaction to another situation happening around them. They often get protective if they see their owners fighting, raising their voices, or simply hugging. A surprise and/or reactive bark could also be in correlation to feeling scared or spooked.
In reality, there are so many possible reasons for your dog barking. Try to identify what mental, physical, or environmental changes they are going through, and hopefully, that will help you get to the bottom of their loud chirps.
Do Dogs Get Tired of Barking?
As discussed above, it is very common for dogs to bark and there are various reasons as to why the barking is initiated. Unfortunately, dogs don’t typically wear their body down from simply barking, so it is unlikely for them to get tired of it easily.
Again, dogs and people are similar in many ways. So, ask yourself this, “If you’re feeling alert and energetic, would there be much of a reason for you to want to lay down in bed?”
Most would answer no. Apply this to your dog’s barking situation. Other activities would need to tire them out aside from barking to get them to calm down and lay in their dog bed. Finding the right dog bed is super important for them to feel like they have a personal space in their home to go to when needed.
Common Dog Behaviors
Dog behavior is constantly changing, just like people’s moods. There are external factors that influence a pet’s attitude and behavior, especially if it’s a new puppy getting brought home or a mature dog well accustomed to its environment and family.
Some of the most common behaviors aside from barking include: jumping, panting, digging, chewing, and biting.
Dogs jump on people all the time because it’s one of the most common ways they like to greet people. However, this can quickly get some dogs in trouble due to their size. Larger dogs are capable of causing injury to children and adults if their excitement and power are uncontrollable or unmanageable by their owners.
Your dog could also feel stressed and have the urge to jump on you in hopes of comfort and attention. Another stressor could be due to the introduction of a stranger, and in response, your dog wants to assert their dominance over that person.
The most common explanation for your dog’s excessive panting is because they need to cool down. The park, walk, or doggie playtime got the best of them, so now they use panting as a cooling mechanism for their bodies. When dogs are out of breath, their bodies are looking for more oxygen. Panting allows for them to get more oxygen in their bloodstream since they do not have sweat glands to help them out like people do.
If your dog is not participating in any physical or exhausting activity but they are still panting, it could be due to discomfort or pain. This may be your dog’s way of telling you they need help. It’s best to take them to the veterinarian if the panting starts abruptly and there is no obvious reason for your dog to be so out of breath.
Just like people need activities and remedies to help relieve stress, so do dogs. Digging is a great way for dogs to exert energy, have some fun, and relieve stress. Some stressors dogs commonly experience include separation anxiety and boredom. Try to only leave them home for short periods of time and walk them multiple times a day. This greatly reduces stress because they feel more occupied and less abandoned throughout the day. Your yard and garden beds will thank you later…
Chewing indicates various things depending on your dog’s age. If you just got a puppy, then you already know they don’t know much between right and wrong. However, puppy chewing is a way for them to explore their new environment and the other objects around them. Just like babies, dogs also need to teeth when new ones start to come in. Chewing helps reduce the pain and distract from their discomfort.
If your dog is grown and begins to chew, this could mean a few things. Dogs like to chew to help keep their teeth clean. They also like to chew to strengthen their jaws. Or it could be simply because they’re bored and trying to act out to get more attention.
Biting dogs can quickly turn into a threat if their owners don’t know why they’re becoming aggressive and are struggling to keep it under control. Bites tend to stem from territorial issues or from fear. Dogs can become aggressive if they think they’re in danger or if they think their personal space is being invaded.
Just like little kids, dogs like to protect their favorite toys, food, or belongings. They need to learn to share and how to differentiate threats at a young age in order for them to understand that biting will not be tolerated.