If your dog has been barking when it goes outside 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 outside? Possible reasons why your dog barks when it goes outside are that it wants you to watch over it, hearing other dogs or people next door, not being able to come back inside when it wants to and boredom.
There are actually many reasons why your dog might be doing it and it could be due to a combination of them. However, there are things you can consider when figuring out the main cause and there are things you can do about it.
Why your dog barks when outside
Below are common reasons why dogs bark when they go outside and what would make them more likely to be the main reason.
It wants you to watch over it
The cause could be that it wants you to watch over it. This is because it might feel vulnerable when it is alone in the yard especially if it tends to bark more when it is peeing or pooing since it is when it is most vulnerable. It would also be more likely if it tends to look to see if you are watching over it when it’s in the yard and if it doesn’t bark when you are watching it.
It hears other dogs or people next door
Another possible cause could be that it hears people or animals next door. This would be more likely if it does not always bark when it is out in the yard and if it tends to do it when there are people outside next door. In this case, it would help to follow the tips mentioned below.
It can’t come back in
If it is being made to stay outside for long periods, it is likely that it is barking because it wants to be let back in especially if it does it when standing near the door. Instead of leaving it outside for long periods, it would be better to let it in and out when it wants but to train it to be well behaved with the use of positive reinforcement training.
Encouraging the behavior
The cause could also be that you have been encouraging the behavior. If you tend to give it things that it wants such as toys, treats or extra attention, when it barks, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards. Instead, it would help to reward it when it does not bark and to stop rewarding it when it starts barking.
The cause might also be that it has separation anxiety. This is where it does not like being left alone and if it becomes anxious when it is left alone. This would be more likely if it tends to start getting anxious when you are leaving it, if it comes inside as soon as you leave it or if you tend to shut it outside.
It might be worth following the tips given in this book on Amazon about dealing with dog separation anxiety. There are also more tips below.
It might also be the case that it does it because it is looking for ways to stimulate itself. This would be more likely if it tends to stop doing it after it has been able to get exercise. In this case, it would help to ensure that it has been getting the recommended amount of exercise for its age and breed.
Things to consider
What else happened when your dog first started barking when outside
If it did not always bark outside, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it.
If it started doing it suddenly, it might have been caused by an event that happened in the yard, it might have started due to new noises coming from outside or because you started forcing it to stay outside for a long time.
What is different when your dog does not bark when outside
If it does not always bark when outside, it would also help to consider if there is anything different about the timing.
For example, if it only seems to do it when there are noises outside, it would be more likely to be due to the noises. In this case, it would help to implement positive reinforcement training mentioned below.
How to get your dog to stop barking when outside
Below are some options you have when getting it to stop barking when outside.
Positive reinforcement training
One option would be to use positive reinforcement training to get it to stop barking. This is where you encourage it to behave the way you want it to by rewarding it for showing signs of behaving that way.
To use it to get it to stop barking you could:
- Reward it when it is outside and not barking with a treat
- Stop rewarding it when it starts barking
- Wait for it to show signs of not barking and reward it
- Continue to get reward it for showing signs of not barking while requiring more from it each time
- Build up to only rewarding it when it does not bark for more than a few minutes
Give it lots of exercise
It might be barking to look for its own stimulation. It would help to make sure that your dog has been getting the right amount of exercise for its age and breed.
Go outside with it for a while
Play fetch with it or train it for a while when outside. Doing so might help to calm it down and to consider the area as safe and make it less likely to bark. When outside it would help to reward it when it is not barking. If it starts barking, wait for it to stop, and then reward it when it does not bark again. Doing so, should teach it that not barking results in it getting rewards.
If you cannot get it to stop doing it, another option would be to get help from a dog behaviorist or trainer. By doing so, you should be able to see what has been causing it to behave that way and what you can do to get it to stop.