Do Dogs Get Tired of Barking? How to Determine What's Making Your Pooch Woof
We've all thought it at some point: Oh my goodness, how can she still be barking? This has been going on for seemingly hours! Whhhhyyyy?
Eventually, dogs do get tired of barking, but if your pooch has been woofing for several minutes, you'll need to figure out why before you can do something about it, says Haylee Bergeland, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA, RBT, and Daily Paws' pet health and behavior editor. Then, your dog (and your ears) will thank you.
"You can't just teach a dog to not bark without knowing why they are barking in the first place or what function the barking serves," she says.
Why Do Dogs Bark?
Dogs can bark for plenty of reasons, but the key here is there's always a reason, Bergeland says. Unlike us humans, dogs don't bark just to hear themselves. Bergeland lists some reasons your dog might bark at what seems like everything:
- They're alarmed
- They want attention
- They want something to go away
- Plenty of other reasons
"Barking isn't just done at something—it is also used to communicate feelings, desires, needs, or wants," Bergeland says. "There doesn't have to be something present in their environment for them to bark at for barking to serve a function."
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Barking can also work as a coping mechanism when your dog is in distress, including when you might be away.
Do Dogs Ever Get Tired of Barking?
Eventually, but most dog owners will tell you it'll take awhile. They'll get frustrated because they think you aren't listening to them. As the barking continues, they'll eventually get physically tired.
"If they feel like no one is listening to the bark, other dogs included, they may become mentally exhausted but that doesn't mean barking itself makes them feel tired," Bergeland says.
While it might be tempting to throw on the noise-canceling headphones and go on with your day, the first step to getting them to quiet down is to figure out why they're barking. Then you can work on it from there. Example: If your pup barks at every person, thing, or animal passing by your window, interrupting your WFH video chats, maybe consider closing the curtains, Bergeland says.
"If a need is met, the reason for the barking is addressed, they will stop," she says.
Same goes for when your dog barks to go outside: Let her outside! Don't yell or punish your dog for barking. It does nothing to address why they're barking, it's mean, and it could even make them bark more, Bergeland says.
Instead of punishment, try offering your dog something else to do instead of bark. Bergeland says you can train your dog to do something instead of bark: bringing you a toy or sitting down in front of you, for example. If that doesn't work, make it impossible for your dog to bark by giving them a toy to chew or, perhaps, a peanut-butter filled Kong. Doesn't that sound good?
Do Some Dogs Bark More Than Others?
Indeed! Your terriers will be pretty vocal because they were bred to alert their owners to small critters, Bergeland says. Same for herding dogs and hounds—that's how they let their owners know when they've found prey or identified a threat.
But that doesn't mean your poodle is gonna stay quiet. (Can confirm as a poodle owner. They bark plenty.)
"Dogs in general, meaning all breeds, bark because over the span of evolving around humans, barking became a way to communicate in a larger, louder scale," Bergeland says.