While excessive barking is not something we encourage in our dogs, dogs bark for a variety of reasons and not all of them are bad. It is not reasonable or realistic to expect your dog to never bark, here are some examples of when we want our dogs to bark.
They Are Uncomfortable/In Pain
Often we see with dog training TV shows or videos that all barking is bad and we don’t want that behavior period. When you discourage barking, you discourage communication. The barking is their way of communicating that they are uncomfortable or even in pain. You often hear of biting incidents as the dog “suddenly snapped.” It seems sudden because that dog has probably been discouraged from communicating his boundaries in the past.
Instead we want to encourage communication. If the barking is excessive then we should correct, but it is important to first understand why our dogs are barking.
They Are Warning You/Protecting Their Territory
There is a reason why there is a reduced rate of property crimes in households with dogs. A barking dog attracts attention and thieves do not like attention. While we don’t want our dogs freaking out every time someone walks up to the house or rings the doorbell, a warning bark is acceptable.
They Need to go to the Bathroom (or puke) Like NOW
Sometimes our dogs have tummy trouble and they need extra bathroom breaks. If they stand by the door and bark to get our attention, it’s usually because they desperately need to go outside for a potty emergency.
They Are Excited
If you haven’t seen someone in a while, you might let off a few squeals. As long as this isn’t accompanied by over-excited behaviors like jumping or excessive licking, some excitement barks are fine.
What is your experience with your barking dogs? Let us know in the comments below!