Dealing With Frequent Barking

| October 29, 2021

Barking is a natural behaviour in dogs. It helps them scare off predators, alert the family to possible intruders, and direct attention to prey. Only, your dog is probably not roaming out there in the wild with predators and prey. Instead, they are at your front door letting everyone know someone is walking by the house.

When barking begins interfering with your or your neighbour’s comfort, it is time to think about what is driving this behaviour. Attention seeking, excitement, boredom, anxiety and reactivity are all reasons why a dog may bark. Work through the list of possibilities below by process of elimination so you can address the behaviour.

Attention seeking

If your dog is barking for your attention, make sure to ignore them when they are barking. Once they stop barking, wait a few seconds and make sure to reward them for staying quiet. Soon your dog will learn that you will not pay attention to them until they are quiet.


If your dog barks when they are excited for food or a walk, put the bowl or leash down and wait until your dog settles. Once your dog is calm for a few seconds, slowly resume what you were doing, repeating this process if they start again. Soon your dog will learn that they will not receive the reward if they are barking.


Dogs may bark if they are nervous or trying to tell other dogs or people that they need their space. In addition to barking, there are clues that a dog may be feeling uneasy: licking, yawning, tense posture, crouching low, or whining. It is important to pay attention to these early cues, as ignoring them could lead to escalating behaviour including growling, lunging and even biting.

If you suspect your dog is becoming reactive or developing anxiety specific behaviours, consider support from a certified trainer.  From group classes to one-on-one sessions tailored to your needs, we can help your animal overcome a wide variety of problematic behaviours.

Always remember

Dogs need daily exercise and enrichment. This will be helpful to burn off excess energy that could contribute to excessive barking. Find a physical activity that your dog enjoys to help tire them out. Feed your dog out of an activity toy (e.g., a Kong, puzzle feeder, snuffle blanket) to help keep their mind busy as well.