Woof woof! Your dog may bark to alert you to danger or to just say hi. But constant barking can be a problem. Heres how to keep the peace.Medically Reviewed
Dogs bark to communicate with each other and with their owners, but sometimes all that barking can get out of hand. Constant barking can fray a family’s nerves and create turmoil in a neighborhood.
But keep in mind that your dog is trying to tell you something by barking. Before you quiet him down, you will first need to figure out what hes trying to say.
There are a lot of stop-barking devices available on the market. The most commonly known are bark collars that deliver an electric shock, high-pitched squeal, or stinging spray of citronella mist whenever a pet dog barks. Other devices include ultrasonic emitters that are placed in a room and activated by barking and muzzles that keep the dog’s jaws held shut.
These devices may offer a short-term fix, but they do nothing to address the underlying cause of your dog’s barking. Eventually, the problem may surface through other behavioral problems, as your dog continues to try to communicate his need or problem to you. A dog prevented from barking caused by separation anxiety may instead take to destroying furniture or urinating indoors when his owner is away.
The devices also can be inhumane. Any dog’s bark can set off a bark collar or ultrasonic device, meaning your dog may end up receiving punishment for another dog’s behavior. Also, a muzzle will keep a dog from being able to eat, drink, and cool off through panting.
For these reasons, an owner frustrated by his dog’s barking is better off using some simple tricks to head off the behavior or taking the time to train the dog out of the behavior. Try these tips:
Training can be a lengthy process, but in the end you will improve your relationship with your dog and be better able to make sure his needs are met.
Don’t use a Muzzle to Stop Barking
This article will relate to our other article discussing when and when not to use these grooming/textil muzzles. Still, this time we are approaching from a different angle.
Muzzling is a topic that will need a lot more education until they are used appropriately in our society. I am not surprised that an average dog owner doesn’t know much about muzzles before needing one for the first time because it is not easy to find good educational articles on the topic. I am amazed, though, that pet store employees and companies selling muzzles continue spreading dangerous misinformation making it even harder for a new dog owner to understand how they should be used.
Most of the muzzles we see have so much random information on their product site and the packaging. I can imagine this making sense from the SEO perspective since putting every relevant keyword in the description makes the product pop up in every search around muzzles, but if you stop to think about them, they don’t make sense. To focus on one example, this product below promises to allow panting, but it also promises to stop barking. How? One doesn’t need to be an expert in dogs to figure out that if a dog can open their mouth, they can also bark.
This is nothing unusual; if you do a quick Google search, you will find many articles recommending no-bark muzzles while also quickly adding that dogs can still freely pant in these muzzles. While a muzzle allowing a half pant might make barking less comfortable, it will not change the behavior.
The answer is straightforward: if you want to use a muzzle to stop barking, you need to shut the dog’s mouth tightly with the muzzle. The problem here is that dogs need to pant to cool down, which is not possible with a closed mouth. They can also start vomiting and suffocate with their mouth closed. They can also not drink and can get stuck on something and strangle themself if you leave them unattended with a muzzle on. These are the main reasons why using a tight muzzle is not recommended for longer than a few minutes.
If you want your dog to be comfortable and safe in the muzzle, it needs to provide pant room which leads us back to a dog barking while wearing a muzzle.
I know we all would love to find easy solutions for our problems, but buying a muzzle will not stop barking. We recommend reaching out to a good trainer in your area to explore the reasons behind barking and address the cause of the problem instead of working around the symptoms.
Are There Different Types of Muzzles?
Yes, you will find a variety of muzzles in your pet supply stores. Consult with your vet about a muzzle and which might be the appropriate type for your pet. It is vital to your dog’s well-being and health that the muzzle you select is well-fitting and permits your dog to pant easily, take treats, and drink water.
This type of muzzle resembles a basket and is typically made from plastic, wire, or leather. Unlike other kinds of muzzles, this style allows your dog to continue to open and close his mouth, so make sure it is the right muzzle for what you need.
Made from strong breathable mesh, this type of muzzle is softer and not as prominent as other muzzle styles. Owners and trainers of short-snout breeds often choose a mesh muzzle for dogs that can’t fit a traditional muzzle.
Although this muzzle type is made from soft material like nylon, it requires a tight fit and can inhibit your dog’s ability to pant, eat and drink. Look for a soft muzzle that protects your dog’s health and allows her to pant and drink water.
Whether your dog is a greyhound, mastiff, or pug, muzzle manufacturers offer breed-specific muzzles that can provide a better fit for your dog, are minimally restrictive, and protect him from overheating.
What Are Dog Muzzles Best Used For?
We subscribe to the ASPCA’s position on training aids and methods for dogs, which is using “… humane training (that) does not inflict unnecessary distress or discomfort on the pet. Humane training makes primary use of lures and rewards such as food, petting and play.”
Muzzles are best suited for short-term solutions to protect you, your family and visitors from aggressive dogs that bite and nip. Use the muzzle while you are working on behavior modification with our train, treat, repeat methodology.
What is the most effective way to stop dog barking?
How do you stop an unnecessary dog from barking?