The reasons behind a dog’s bark
I was sound asleep the other night, enjoying a nice dream, until my four-legged alarm clock began barking at the top of her lungs. As with most dogs, my dog also feels it’s her job to alert me of any squirrel that may be running through my yard. When I tell her I am aware, she typically goes back to sleep, but this night was different.
With both eyes still closed, I yelled at her a couple of times to shut up, but the barking continued and got more frantic. I figured I’d better go get her or she would never quiet down. When I got downstairs, she was barking at our back window, jumping and looking at me as if to ask me to help her. I looked out the window, and I couldn’t see anything. I was convinced she was nuts.
After a couple of seconds, my blurry eyes finally focused in the pitch dark and I saw one of the largest bucks I had ever seen! He was very confident and majestic and standing very close to my deck. He wasn’t afraid of my dog’s bark at all. I believe he was actually taunting her.
After a few seconds, he calmly turned and walked away as if to say, “Stupid dog.” I finally got my dog upstairs, where she went back to sleep for the remainder of the night.
It can be frustrating when dogs bark, but there are reasons for barking. The bottom line is, dogs bark to communicate. They bark when they want to alert their pack of strangers approaching. They bark when they are scared. They bark to warn others. They bark when they are playing. They bark when they want your attention, and some bark just to hear themselves bark.
If you want to curb your dog’s barking, you have to assess the reason for the barking and focus on desensitizing them to whatever is bothering them. You need to teach a more positive way to get what they want, and of course, always make sure they are getting plenty of exercise!
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