If your dog has been barking when it gets excited you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you common reasons why they do it and what you can do to get it to stop.
So, why does my dog bark when it gets excited? Common causes are that the behavior has been encouraged, you become highly emotional or that it does it for extra attention.
There are actually many possible causes and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are also a number of things you can do about it and there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main cause.
Why your dog barks when excited
Below are possible reasons why it has been doing it and what would make them more likely to be the main causes.
You interact with it emotionally
Dogs are usually very aware of their owner’s emotions. If you tend to become highly emotional around your dog, it could be the case that it has been barking because it is reacting to your own emotions even when it is excited. Instead, it would help to interact with it calmly and to train it to behave the way you want with the use of positive reinforcement training.
A lack of attention
The cause could also be that it has learned that it gets extra attention when your dog starts barking. This would be more likely if it barks more when you have not been giving it much attention and if you tend to give it more attention when it starts barking even if it is negative attention.
Instead, it would help to reward it with attention when it is behaving the way you want it to and to stop rewarding it with attention when it starts barking.
It needs more exercise
Dogs are generally supposed to get a lot of daily exercise and they will normally become more energetic when they do not get enough exercise. It could be the case that not getting enough exercise has been contributing to the behavior. This would be more likely if it barks when it is about to get exercise, it gets very excited when it is about to get exercise and if it barks less after getting exercise. It would help to make sure that your dog has been getting the recommended amount of exercise for its age and breed.
Encouraging the behavior
Another possible cause is that you have been encouraging the behavior by giving it things it wants when it does it. If you tend to give it things such as toys, treats or extra attention, when it barks when it is excited, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
Instead, it would help to reward it when it is behaving the way you want it to and to stop rewarding it when it starts barking and to wait for it to stop barking before you start rewarding it again.
It is showing its excitement
Dogs will often try to show their excitement when they can and it might be the case that your dog barks because it wants to show that it is excited. Even if this is the case, it would still help to train it to stop with the use of positive reinforcement training.
Things to consider
Below are some things you can consider when figuring out why your dog has been barking when it gets excited.
What else happened when your dog first started barking
If it did not always bark when it got excited, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it.
If it did start doing it suddenly, it would be more likely to be due to things such as a sudden change in its daily routine causing it to bark for attention, rewarding the behavior or getting less exercise.
What is different when your dog does not bark
It would also help to consider if there is anything different when it does not bark.
For example, if it only seems to do it when you arrive home, it might be a sign that it has some separation anxiety. Whereas, if it only does it when it is going out for a walk, it might be a sign that it needs more exercise.
How to get your dog to stop barking when excited
Below are some options you have when getting your dog to stop barking when it gets excited.
Avoid encouraging the behavior
As mentioned above, it could be the case that it has been doing it because it has learned that it gets things that it wants when it does it. Instead of giving it things it wants, when it starts barking, it would help to wait for it to stop barking before rewarding it.
For example, if it starts barking when you are about to feed or walk it, don’t feed or walk it until it has stopped barking.
Interact with it calmly
When interacting with your dog it would also help to do so in a calm manner since dogs will often react to their owner’s emotions.
Give it exercise
It would also help to make sure that it is getting the daily amount of recommended exercise for its age and breed type so that it is fully stimulated and so that it does not have excess energy.
Give it lots of positive reinforcement training
Positive reinforcement training is where you encourage your dog to behave in a certain way by rewarding it when it shows signs of behaving that way. To use it to get your dog to stop barking when it gets excited, you would stop rewarding it as soon as it starts barking and then reward it when it stops barking.
Make it more comfortable when you are away
If it barks when you arrive home, it might be due to things such as separation anxiety, boredom, wanting attention, there might be a problem with the room it stays in, it might need to pee or it might be hungry.
To fix this, it would help to do things such as:
- Feed it before leaving
- Let it out to pee before leaving
- Ensure that the room it stays in, when you’re away, is not too hot, there is space for it to lay down and not too noisy.
- Walk it before leaving so that it is more likely to sleep when you’re gone
- Come home quickly to let it out to pee so that it does not have to wait too long
If you cannot get it to stop doing it, another option would be to get help from a professional dog trainer in your area. By doing so, you should be able to see why your dog has been behaving that way and what you can do to get it to stop.
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