If your dog is very vocal you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do to get it to be less noisy.
So, why is my dog so vocal? Possible reasons why your dog is so vocal are that it wants food or water, it wants to go outside, illness, injury, anxiety, boredom or you might have inadvertently rewarded the behavior.
There are actually a number of reasons why your dog might be being vocal and it could be a combination of reasons. However, there are some things you can consider that will help in figuring out the exact reason.
Why your dog is so vocal
Each of the different reasons why your dog is vocal will likely come with some clues.
Below are a number of possible causes and what would make them more likely.
It wants food or water
The reason why your dog becomes vocal could be that it is hoping to get food or water. This would be more likely if it does it more when it has not had an opportunity to eat or drink in a while or if it becomes vocal when you would normally feed it.
If it does it while you are eating it could also be the case that it does it because it wants your food. This would be especially likely if you have given it some of your food while you were eating in the past.
In this case, it would help to check that you have been feeding it the right amount and that it has access to water whenever it needs it. It would also help to avoid giving it your own food when you are eating otherwise it will likely continue being vocal when you are eating.
It wants to go outside
It might be the case that it becomes vocal because it is hoping to be let outside. This would be more likely if it does it when standing by the door and waiting for you to let it outside. It would also be more likely if it does it when it has not had the chance to pee in a while.
Related: Why is my dog restless at night?
You have inadvertently reinforced the behavior
It could be the case that you have encouraged it to be vocal by giving it things that it wants when it becomes vocal. If you give it things such as food, treats or extra attention when it is vocal then it will likely be vocal more in order to get more of those rewards.
Instead, it would help to reward your dog when it is being well behaved and to wait for it to stop being vocal before giving it what it wants.
Illness or injury
An illness or injury could be what has been causing it to be vocal. This would be more likely if it has started doing it suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of being ill or injured such as being fatigued or limping. If it does seem like it could be ill or injured then the best option would be to take it to a vet.
If your dog becomes more vocal at certain times it could be the case that it is because it is anxious. This would be more likely if it does it in situations such as when you are about to leave home, when someone is around it doesn’t like or when there are construction works outside.
It might be the case that your dog is naturally vocal. This would be more likely if it is vocal at random times and if it has always been vocal. However, it could still be the case that it has learned that being vocal gets it things that it wants.
The reason why it does it might be because it is bored or because it wants you to give it exercise especially if it becomes more vocal when you would normally walk it. In this case, it would help to make sure to give it the recommended amount of exercise for its breed daily.
Things to consider
When your dog started being vocal
It would help to consider when your dog first started being vocal since it could be the case that there was an event that caused it to start doing it. If it started doing it suddenly it would help to consider what else changed at the same time.
Things that might have happened could include:
- Exercising it at different times
- Working different hours
- Moving homes
- Letting it outside at different times
When your dog becomes more vocal
It would also help to consider if there is a certain time that it tends to become more vocal. If there is a certain time that it is more vocal then it could be the case that the timing has something to do with it.
For example, if it becomes more vocal when you would normally walk it then it would be more likely that it is trying to remind you to walk it.
What to do about your dog being vocal
Below are some options you have when getting your dog to be less vocal.
Ensure that it is eating right
It could be the case that an issue with its diet has been contributing to it being vocal especially if it has started being more vocal since a change in its diet. It would help to make sure that you have been feeding it correctly and it would help to talk to your vet about it when you see them next.
Make sure to give it exercise
It would also help to make sure that your dog is getting the right amount of exercise for its breed. You can exercise it by walking it yourself or you could get a dog walker to do it for you when you are unable to do it.
Let it go outside when it needs to
It would also help to let your dog go outside to pee regularly so that it does not have to wait a long time before it is able to pee. You could do this by leaving the door to the backyard open or you could put a bell on the door so that you know when it needs to go outside.
Deal with its separation anxiety
If your dog becomes vocal when you are leaving home it could be because it has some separation anxiety especially if it becomes anxious when you are leaving as well.
In this case, it would help to try to get it to be less anxious when you are leaving.
To do this you could do as follows:
- Make it seem like you are about to leave by doing something such as picking up your keys
- Reward your dog for not being anxious and repeat these two steps a few times
- Make more moves towards actually leaving such as by picking up the keys and putting your hand on the door handle
- Reward your dog for not being anxious and repeat the process a few times
- Actually open the door and go outside for a few moments then come back and reward your dog
- Repeat the above, each time staying outside for slightly longer
Avoid negative reinforcement
As mentioned above, it could be the case that you have been encouraging it to be vocal by giving it things that it wants when it becomes vocal. Instead, it would help to reward it when it is quiet and to wait for it to stop being loud before rewarding it.
Take it to a vet
If you can’t figure out why your dog has been being vocal, it has started doing it suddenly or it seems to be ill or injured then the best option would be to take it to a vet. By doing so you will be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog and to rule out the possibility of illness or injury.