It’s normal for dogs to bark, but sometimes, they bark so loud you may wonder if there is something wrong with them. If you have a hound dog, you probably know exactly what I’m talking about. Although there are different dogs in the hound group, they all share similar characteristics.
Generally, hound dogs bark a lot, especially when they get bored. Hounds were originally trained to hunt, so barking was their form of communication. Apart from barking, they also bay. Examples of hounds that are loud barkers include basset hounds, beagles, dachshunds, and more.
The American English coonhound is another type of hound that barks a lot. Living with a hound squashes any hope of you having a quiet home. Plus, you better have understanding neighbors since these dogs bark very loudly. I can tell you first hand that living with two miniature dachshunds, they can be quite talkative. First, let’s talk about why hounds bark so much.
Why Do Hounds Bark?
Whereas it is perfectly normal for dogs to bark, too much barking is a reason for concern. If your hound dog barks excessively, there could be something wrong. For one, your dog could be bored. Hounds are relatively active dogs, and they love playing and running around.
Remember, they were initially bred for their hunting and tracking skills. These dogs were always on the move, hunting wild game with their owners. The modern world requires them to spend more time indoors than outdoors. They are bound to get bored, and they may bark because of it.
Secondly, hounds bark when playing or when greeting you. The excitement of seeing or playing with you is so exciting they just can’t contain themselves. For example, my dog Duncan will bring me his tennis ball and bark, non-stop, until I throw it for him.
Additionally, he may bark to draw your attention towards a threat. He will also bark when faced with danger. A lot of times, you may be tempted to ignore this barking. However, prolonged barking usually means they need your attention.
A hound may also bark when separated from its owner. If your pet hound suffers from separation anxiety, he is likely to bark when you leave him alone for long (and sometimes short) periods. Prolonged barking is a major sign of separation anxiety.
Lastly, your hound dog sometimes barks just to hear the sound of its voice. This is called compulsive barking. Such barking is always accompanied by other activities such as running in circles or other manic behavior.
How To Stop A Hound From Barking
Whether you have an Afghan hound or an American foxhound, you need to find ways to minimize their barking. Hound barking and baying is loud and can be annoying. It’s especially frustrating if you live in an apartment and your neighbors always complain of how loud your dogs are.
Although you can’t stop your dog from barking, there are ways to help you reduce excessive barking. Before we get to the tips, here are a few reminders:
- Train your dog to understand words such as ‘quiet’ and ‘stay.’ It will make the process easier.
- Always remember to speak to your dog calmly and in a relaxed manner. Shouting may only cause your dog to bark more.
- Be consistent with your training. Every time your dog barks excessively, apply the same methods of training to stop him barking. Inconsistency will cost you as your dog will get confused and bark even more.
Tips to minimize barking:
- Find out what triggers your dog to bark excessively
The first step to minimize barking is finding out its root cause. You can do this by taking some time to observe your dog. Pay close attention and note what he’s barking at, the environment he’s in, and also for how long he barks. You also need to monitor his behavior before and after the barking sessions to spot trends.
- Remove the triggers and motivation
Once you have identified the triggers and what motivates your dog to bark excessively, do your best to mitigate or remove the trigger. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a toy or a person. Get rid of anything that makes your dog bark excessively. Your dog may be getting rewarded every time he barks, it’s time you stopped this.
You need to create an environment where your dog understands that excessive barking is not acceptable. On your part, create a conducive environment where your dog won’t feel the need to bark for anything.
- Choose to ignore
When your dog barks for attention, you may choose to attend to him or not. If you are training him to stop barking inappropriately, it’s best if you ignore him. Nonetheless, be careful not to ignore him if something is wrong.
You will have to be patient since your dog can bark for a very long time. Once he has stopped, you can take him out for a walk and reward him with a treat. It is like dealing with a tantrum from your child. Wait it out. Let the dog calm down on its own.
- Make your dog learn the ‘quiet’ command
If you can teach your dog to bark when commanded, then you can teach him to stop on command. Find a calm, conducive environment and practice speaking (barking) and being quiet. Reward your dog when he obeys the quiet command.
Rewards are good since your dog learns to associate obedience with treats, and hence learns faster. You just need to be careful not to overdo it.
- Keep your dog active
As mentioned earlier, dogs bark when bored. Therefore, keep your dog occupied with games and other activities to minimize barking. Ensure your dog is getting enough exercise every day. When time allows, take him to the dog park or swimming. You can also play fetch with him. Playing with him also strengthens the bond between the two of you.
What Does It Mean If My Hound Barks A Lot?
There are several reasons why your dog barks a lot. For starters, your hound may bark excessively to protect his territory. Your dog considers your house its territory; therefore, when a new person comes in, he is seen as an intruder. This triggers your dog to bark excessively. Your dog may even become aggressive.
Barking a lot may also mean that your hound is scared. If something startles your dog, he may start barking. Additionally, your hound will bark excessively when in a threatening situation or an environment that they are uncomfortable. Your dog will even tuck its tail and drop its ears.
Be careful if your hound barks excessively, as it may mean that they have a health issue or are in pain. Examine your dog for any sign of injury or infection. Carry out a thorough body examination to figure out if he is feeling any pain. If your dog barks loudly when you touch a particular area, take them to the veterinarian for further evaluation immediately.