Like many dog owners, you may be wondering, especially after a particularly loud night, if your dog ever gets tired of barking. Surely all the strain on the vocal cords must tire them out a bit. You can’t bark forever, can you?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is a bit hazy, as puppy owners would like it to be. Despite our close kinship, dogs and humans are very different, and their reasons for rioting aren’t always easy to explain.
Here’s everything you need to know about barking – which breed barks the most, until when it’s okay to just let your dog “bark out”.
Understand your dog’s other habits: Why is my dog tilting his head? Understand your pet’s non-verbal communication.
Are Dogs Tired of Barking?
There’s no way of knowing, Dr. Ashley Rossman, a veterinarian and board-certified veterinary acupuncturist from Illinois. In her experience, Rossman says dogs seem to tire out quite a bit. She has seen cases where a dog’s bark changes over time, possibly reflecting stress.
dr Gabrielle Fadl, DVM, and Medical Director at Bond Vet, confirmed in an email that there are circumstances such as when a dog is in a kennel where it barks so much that it “loses its voice” for a short period of time.
See through your dog’s eyes: What colors can dogs see? Explain your pet’s worldview.
Is it okay to ignore your dog’s barking?
It depends. Make sure you consider why you think they’re barking, Rossman says. If it’s the postman, you can probably let your dog bark until your letters and bills are delivered and the delivery person is out of sight.
However, when they are in their cage your dog may need to go to the bathroom, in which case barking should not be ignored. Let common sense dictate your decisions, Rossman instructs.
Consider making an appointment with your vet if the barking persists and you’re not sure why, Fadl shares. Professionals can help you figure out what your dog is trying to tell you and the best way to approach him.
Understand your dog better: Why do dogs lick you? Explain why your pet is doing it and when it might be too much.
Are dogs annoyed by barking?
Probably not as annoyed as we are. “Just like humans, dogs are individuals,” Rossman explains, their reaction to another dog’s bark will vary from person to person. Their genetics and how they were socialized may play a role in this behavior.
A more dominant dog will likely start barking when another does, while a more submissive dog will ignore it.
“You have to know your dog,” concludes Rossman.
Which dog breeds bark the most?
Individual dogs have different personalities regardless of breed, and some just bark more than others, Fadl told USA TODAY. However, guard dogs or dogs bred for hunting and guard purposes tend to bark more. Examples of these canines include but are not limited to:
Rossman adds that both small and aggressive dogs bark a lot, while Standard Poodles don’t bark much at all.
Your dog’s diet broken down: Can dogs eat apples? What fruits are fair game for puppies
Should you ignore your dog’s barking at night?
It depends again. When you have a puppy, the first few nights he’s in a cage can be quite noisy as he has to “bark at it,” Rossman explains.
However, if they bark at 3am, especially if it’s an adult dog, they probably need to go to the bathroom. Smaller dogs have smaller blisters and need to relieve themselves more often.
If an adult dog barks at night when they don’t normally bark, it could indicate problems with anxiety or cognitive dysfunction, Fadl adds. In this case, it is best to take care of them rather than let them settle down on their own.
Just curious?: Your everyday questions answered
What are the most common reasons a dog barks?
According to Fadl, dogs bark for a variety of reasons including but not limited to:
Hearing/seeing something that might pose a threat to their territory
Other people or dogs seen out the window, approaching the door, or driving past
Lack of training or socialization
How Long Should I Ignore My Puppy’s Barking?
A puppy doesn’t necessarily bark more than an adult dog, but “puppyhood is a good time to start training your dog for acceptable behavior,” shares Ladl. Good training can help minimize excessive barking.
The same rules apply to puppies as to adult dogs. Think about the source of the barking and use that knowledge to decide whether you should ignore or embrace the behavior.
If your pup continues to bark excessively after reaching adulthood, this may be a sign of illness and should be treated as a possible reason for a veterinary evaluation.
How often should I take my dog to the vet? This is how you will know if your pet needs an examination
This article originally appeared in USA TODAY: Do Dogs Ever Tire of Barking? If it’s okay to ignore the noise.