Why Does My Dog Bark At Me?
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Barking is the main form of canine communication. Even though barking is a behavior characteristic of the species, in some cases barking can become a problem. Barking, if excessive, can appear as a negative symptom or as a behavioral problem linked to insufficient or inappropriate training or education.
Do you wonder why your dog barks at you when you scold him? Most importantly, we recommend you go to a canine behavior specialist so that you can find out the real causes of this behavior. However, here at AnimalWised we will also provide you with some possible explanations of why your dog barks at you.
Why does my dog bark at me?
It is always important to be aware of the causes of barking in dogs. Although barking is part of canine communication, dogs usually prefer to use body language to express their moods, their emotions and their perceptions of their environments. Barking can mean many different things. It is important that you learn to interpret what your dog is trying to say to you with their bark before scolding them.
Barking is also part of the dog's nature and we must learn to respect it. However, if you perceive that your dog is barking a lot when it is left alone, it will be necessary to address it. This behavior indicates that your dog has not learned to manage its solitude or to channel its energy positively. In addition, excessive barking can appear as a symptom of some diseases, where your dog might be barking to express a feeling of pain or discomfort.
Therefore, if you notice that your dog is barking more than usual and/or presenting any alteration in behavior, we suggest consulting your veterinarian. A professional will be able to discard any pathological cause.
Why does my dog bark at me when I say no?
Many people wonder whether it is bad to scold dogs? It is important to understand that punishment is an action that inevitably causes stress in a dog. In some more complex cases it can even generate anxiety. For this reason, when you scold your best friend, you are therefore provoking negative and harmful emotions from their side, such as fear or social conflict. Scolding your dog may even generate negativity within their relationship with the reference point, i.e: you. Because of this, many pets lose control over their own emotions and act involuntarily, such as: urinating when you shout at them.
If you have recently adopted a dog or a puppy, you should be especially attentive to this behavior. You need to look for signs that your new dog doesn’t have a history of physical and emotional abuse. In addition, if you scold your dog hours after said incident, your dog will not understand the reason for the punishment and your anger will generate distrust. In this context, your dog may bark at you as a sign of frustration, especially if they do not understand the reason for why they are being scolded.
However, barking during a punishment usually indicates that your dog is upset and wants you to end the unpleasant situation. In these cases, barking will usually appear to be acute and brief and can be interpreted as "coarse". If the barking is interspersed with soft and constant grunting, this is an indication that your dog is getting angry. If your dog does begin to grunt, they are warning you to stop doing something, because it is making them angry.
Therefore, scolding is not an advisable method to teach a dog to respect the rules of the home. Scolding can also be very dangerous for the dog and everyone around him, especially if you have small children in the home.
The difference between obedience and authoritarianism
In order to offer a dog a good education where they obey us and there is a mutual respect, you cannot confuse obedience with authoritarianism, nor fear with respect. Unfortunately, unreasonable and very dangerous methods of "establishing dominance" over a dog to "educate" , is still among popular belief. This type of training , such as forcing a dog to put its belly up, is meaningless and counterproductive in a dog’s education. The reason for this is because these actions provoke negative feelings and expose the dog to stressful, insecure, distrustful contexts.
If you want your dog to obey you and demonstrate balanced and good behavior, you must invest in a healthy bond between you and your animal. You can do this through the application of positive reinforcement in its education. We recommend excluding any type of physical or emotional abuse. Your dog will learn quicker and more easily by perceiving that his behavior will generate joy and provide benefits.
What should I do if my dog barks at me when I scold him?
If your dog growls, barks, bites, or attacks you when you scold it, follow the advice which we have provided below. Do not forget that to solve it effectively you must go to a canine behavior specialist:
- Discard pathological causes: in certain cases, dogs bark excessively and develop behavioral problems as a consequence of certain pathologies that generate pain or affect their sensory functions. Therefore, if your dog begins to bark often or appears more tense or insecure than usual, consult your veterinarian immediately.
- Avoid the "snowball effect": look at the situation from a logical point of view: if your dog barks you when you scold him and reprimand him for having barked, you will only be adding fuel to the fire. In addition, if you continue to increase the level of stress to the situation you can cause fear or anger from the dog. Excessive punishment favors the development of aggressive behavior and is incredibly dangerous.
- Eliminate punishment: as already mentioned, when you scold your dog, you transmit negative emotions that can weaken the animal’s emotional stability. The weakening can result in increased insecurity, anxiety and fear. An inhibited, stressed or insecure dog becomes more vulnerable to psychological disorders.
- Apply positive reinforcement: If you reward your dog to recognize good behavior, you will be stimulating its cognitive, social and emotional capacity. You will also obtain an obedient and self-confident dog, prepared to interact with people, animals and objects in their environment.
- Increase physical activity: dogs can also bark excessively or show symptoms of stress when exposed to a sedentary routine. This routine does not offer the mind and body stimulation that a dog needs. If you want your dog to maintain balanced behavior, we recommend increasing its exercise and play routine. Avoid any situations of stress and boredom.
- Invest in quality moments, improve your bond with your dog: as we mentioned, obedience also requires a healthy relationship between the dog and its guardian. Therefore, remember to invest in quality moments with your best friend. This time should be dedicated to allowing them to work positively on their education and strengthen their bond with you.
- Understand and respect canine nature: dogs have their own forms of expression, which make up their canine nature. If we reprimand or inhibit a dog for carrying out behaviors inherent to its nature, then you will be repressing its natural instinct, and this will only weaken your bond with your animal.
- Seek the help of a dog ethologist or educator: if your dog is barking excessively or exhibiting other behavioral problems, it is best to consult an expert in dog ethology or a professional educator. A dog that has not been properly socialized or that has previously suffered abuse must undergo a process of re-socialization and reeducation.
If you want to read similar articles to Why Does My Dog Bark At Me?, we recommend you visit our Behavioral problems category.