COVID-19 UPDATE: Swifto is now in full operation. Click here for information on the safety precautions we’re taking.

Why does my dog bark?

When you're walking your dog and he or she barks constantly, it can be annoying and disturb your job as a dog walker. You might want to talk about it with the dog owner (or he might come to you first and ask for your advice) and think together about the best suitable way to stop the barking for your dog.

The first thing to do: understand why your dog barks

Dogs bark when they want to tell you something and not because they wish to annoy you (usually, anyway). So, what do they want to say?

Dogs bark as a warning: Usually when a stranger enters their territory (like when someone is at the door or even when another dog stands at their favorite spot at the dog park). You'll be able to recognize a warning bark as this bark is loud and full of confidence since its purpose is to warn the intruder and show him or her that they are the boss.

Dogs bark because they're alone or bored: When you're at work, your dog can get bored or feel lonely. To keep himself busy and to burn some excess energy your dog might start barking non-stop.

Dogs bark because they respond to other dogs barking: That's how dogs communicate. Your dog hears a bark and answers it – he gets a response and answers back. This show can go on for a while.

Dogs bark when they want to show they're happy and excited: How would you know if it's a happy bark? If your dog barks during playtime or before he or she goes out for a walk, it's probably a happy bark. Also if your dog barks and wags her tail, it means she's happy.

Dogs bark to get your attention: just to let you know they're here, in case you've forgotten. Usually it means they want a gentle pet or just a simple eye contact.

But how can you prevent them from barking so much?

First of all, don't get upset or punish your dog: Dogs are supposed to bark, we (humans) taught them to do that.

Don't yell at your dog or bark back: He'll think that you're playing along and won't stop.

Don't give him any attention: If you think that your dog barks to get your attention and you want him to stop, don't pet him, hug him, give him treats or even look at him. It might be hard but it will tell your dog that you're not happy with his behavior at the moment.

Try to get your dog's attention: Do this by making some sudden noise, like clapping your hands. When you get your dog attention and he stops barking, encourage him by giving him treats and petting him.

Unless you have a Basenji dog, you'll probably hear your dog barks from time to time. if it's not too much or interfering with your dog walks then why not let him bark? And one last tip: Remember that if your dog gets enough exercise, he or she will bark less since they will have less energy to burn. So if you want to make your dog stops barking, the best way is to take him on a long dog walk or a run.

References: http://dogs.about.com/od/dogtraining/qt/barkingdogs.htm http://www.medicinenet.com/pets/dog-health/why_dogs_bark_and_curbing_exc...