If your dog has been barking when the phone rings 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 the phone rings? Possible reasons why your dog barks when the phone rings are that it thinks there is a threat, it gets rewards when it barks, it causes it to become excited, it wants to alert you to possible danger or that it is reacting to the high pitch.
There are actually many reasons why it might be doing it and it might be due to a combination of reasons. 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 the phone rings
Below are common reasons why dogs do it and what would make them more likely to be the reason why yours has been doing it.
It thinks there is a threat
The reason why it does it might be that it thinks there is a threat. This would be especially likely if the phone vibrates and is very loud when it rings. It would also be more likely if your dog shows threatening body language by doing things such as curling its nose and showing its teeth. In this case, positive reinforcement training and desensitization training should help as mentioned below.
It gets rewarded when it barks
It might also be the case that it has realized that it gets rewards for barking when the phone rings. If you tend to give it things such as extra attention when it barks at the phone, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
Instead, it would help to ignore it until it stops barking and then to start ignoring it again if it starts barking again.
It is excited
It might also be the case that the phone causes it to become excited. One reason might be that it might want exercise and you tend to give it exercise after getting up to pick up the phone. This would be more likely if your dog shows signs of excitement when the phone rings by doing things such as wagging its tail, having wide-open eyes and jumping up at you.
It would help to make sure that your dog is getting the daily amount of recommended exercise for its age and breed.
It wants to alert you
Another possible reason why it does it might be that it is trying to alert you. This would be more likely if it comes running to you when it does it. In this case, it would also help to give it positive reinforcement training and desensitization training.
It is reacting to the high pitch
Wolves and dogs, in the wild, will howl to tell other members of the pack where it is or to scare off other predators that are entering their territories. It could be the case that the high pitch of the phone is causing your dog to react to it. This would be more likely if the ring tone on your phone has a high-pitch and if it also barks or howls at things such as sirens. In this case, it might help to change the ringtone, on your phone, to one with a higher pitch.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out why your dog has been doing it.
If your dog has always barked when the phone rings
If it did not always bark at the phone, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it since it might be the case that there was an event that caused it to start.
If it did start suddenly, it might be because you rewarded it for doing it one time, you changed the ringtone or there was a significant event involving the phone ringing that might have caused it to get anxious at the sound.
What is different when your dog does not bark
If it does not always bark at the phone, it would also help to consider what is different when it does not do it.
For example, if it does not do it when the phone is quieter, it would make it more likely that it finds the sound threatening.
How to get your dog to stop barking when the phone rings
Below are some things to do when getting it to stop.
Positive reinforcement training
Positive reinforcement training is where you encourage your dog to behave the way you want it to by giving it rewards when it behaves that way.
To use it to get it to stop barking at the phone you could do as follows:
- Start by playing the sound very quietly and reward your dog for not barking
- Gradually increase the noise of the phone and reward it for not barking
- Repeat the above but with the phone in a different room
- If it starts barking, go back to an easier stage and build up to a louder volume slowly
Desensitization training involves getting your dog to have positive associations with the sound and to become used to it. To use it to get your dog to stop barking, you could play the sound quietly when playing with it and gradually raise the volume.
Avoid encouraging the behavior
As mentioned above, it might be the case that you have encouraged the behavior by giving it things it wants when it does it. Instead, it would help to reward it when it does not bark and to wait for it to stop barking before giving it things that it wants.
Avoid punishing the behavior
It would also help to avoid punishing it for barking at the phone since it is still a form of attention and your dog likely considers it a type of reward.
Avoid being too emotional
It might also be the case that it has been reacting to your own emotions. When interacting with it, it would help to be calm and to get it to behave the way you want with the use of positive reinforcement training.
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