It’s always amazing to me how dogs can bark for hours and hours, with no end in sight.
Just on, and on, and on, and on… Like a real world canine metronome. It can certainly take a toll on us owners, both physically and mentally.
Exasperated after the fifth night in the row of non-stop yapping, you find yourself wondering, “Just how long can a dog bark before it gets tired?”
The truth is, dogs can bark for very long periods without getting tired.
A few of the reasons as to why a dog may bark for hours include boredom, communication, anxiety, stress and to gain attention. As long as these triggers remain present and unresolved, the dog will most likely just keep on howling till something changes.
Therefore, the most effective way to stop a dog barking is to directly address the root cause. Sometimes this is easier said than done, because it’s not always clear what our pooches are getting antsy about!
If your dog starts barking constantly for no apparent reason, it could just be that it has a ton of energy to burn and is getting excited about every little sound or movement.
If you suspect this to be the case, you can stop excessive barking in various ways such as through physical activity, early intervention, and appropriate training.
This way, the next time your dog meets new people or wants to play outside, it will be able to communicate its enthusiasm in different, quieter ways!
Dogs generally do not get tired from barking, especially if they are younger.
Once they start barking, they can continue for hours. How many hours exactly hasn’t been scientifically tested, but if you wanted to be the first to find that out- be my guest (and please report back with your findings)!
Dogs will usually stop barking when the stimulus has been removed, or when they have achieved whatever it is they wanted.
You’ll be glad that your domestic bark machine is not going to need a pipe replacement anytime soon. Barking, even in excessive amounts, does not hurt dogs.
Barking is the equivalent to humans talking normally. It is very unlikely for barking to become harmful in any way, and the worst that could happen is a temporarily hoarse throat.
There’s no definite timeframe, but dogs may bark for hours on end due to a variety of reasons.
These can include changes in their mental health, among other factors. A relatively common condition dogs suffer from as they get older is canine dysfunction syndrome.
As dogs get older, their cognitive function commonly declines and they may develop strange and repetitive behaviors such as barking, altered interactions, and toilet accidents.
Senior dogs will also bark more often to let their owners know that they need help identifying or finding something.
Other explanations for excessive barking can include:
– Boredom: Dogs are pack animals and being alone or without any interaction can make them behave strangely. To pass the time, your dog may bark for hours on end in order to attract attention.
– Communication: Your dog may want food, toys, or to go outside. Sometimes it may also bark because it has heard other dogs barking nearby and wants to join in on the fun.
– Seeking Attention: Pampered dogs tend to bark just to catch their owner’s attention, in an attempt to garner hugs, belly-rubs, or treats.
If your dog barks because of reasons of boredom, communication or want for attention, it is easier to manage than some other more troublesome reasons such as:
– Compulsive Behavior: Dogs with compulsive behavior tend to repeat certain actions such as barking. It is usually caused by mental disorders, though sometimes the behavior is of their own volition.
– Fear, Stress and Anxiety: Dogs may bark for hours when they detect something hostile or foreign. As dogs have better senses than humans, it can be difficult for you to recognize what is causing their fear, stress or anxiety.
– Separation Anxiety: If your dog barks excessively when they are alone or when you leave them, this suggests your dog has separation anxiety. Other behaviors indicative of separation anxiety include depression, pacing around, destroying objects, and eliminating inappropriately.
– Territorial Barking: When something or someone foreign enters its territory, your dog may become aggressive and alert. Barking becomes a warning sign to the intruder to back off!
If your dog barks out of compulsiveness, fear, stress, anxiety or to defend their territory, it can take more time and be comparatively more difficult to manage.
While there are specific methods aimed at treating the cause of excessive barking, general techniques are also effective and can be applied in most cases.
For all of the methods listed below, it is important to be consistent and calm when you are conditioning your dog to stop yapping excessively.
It may also be a good idea to recruit your family members to help train the dog so that your dog also listens to others when it inevitably barks in the future.
Do not shout at your dog for barking excessively as they may misinterpret your behavior and think that you are joining in with them. Even if you shout at your dog, they will not understand what you are doing until you train them to learn certain words such as “quiet.”
Whenever your dog is silent, reward it with treats and hearty praise.
After consistently rewarding them for compliance at first, rewards should then be given intermittently after your dog gradually understands that they are being rewarded because they are staying quiet.
If you can figure out what is causing your pup to bark excessively, initially remove it from their sight. However, this only provides temporary relief from unbridled barking and may require stimulus desensitization in the long run.
Begin by hiding the stimulus at a distance where your dog cannot see it.
Gradually move the stimulus closer to your dog, and feed treats when the stimulus is within your dog’s sight. If your dog barks at the stimulus, distract his focus with the treats,
When the stimulus is not within your dog’s vision, refrain from feeding your dog.
Over time and with repetition, the dog’s reaction should change from barking at the stimulus to stopping and looking at you for a reward. Conditioning for the win!
Make your dog tired by providing more daily mental activities and physical exercises.
You can teach them new tricks, engage in more games, take long walks, or make it work to get certain objects such as food. A preoccupied and tired dog will bark less.
To train your dog with the “quiet” command, you can either teach it straight away, or try to teach it the “speak” command first.
To teach your dog to “speak”:
1. Say “speak” to your dog, and follow it up with a stimulus that promotes barking.
2. Once your dog has barked, provide a treat.
3. After your dog has learnt to bark after seeing the stimulus, gradually remove the stimulus and treat your dog whenever they bark after you tell it to “speak”
4. Once your dog has “speak” under control, you can provide the “quiet” command.
5. Tell your dog to “speak” and once he becomes quiet, say the “quiet” command then provide a treat. Repeat until your dog no longer needs the speak command to be quiet.
To teach your dog to be “quiet”:
Wait for your dog to stop barking, then tell your dog to be “quiet,” and follow it up with a reward. Do not give a treat to your dog if they do not stop barking after you have given your dog the “quiet” command.
Consistency is important and with time, your dog should be able to comply with the “quiet” command. The more family members that follow the plan, the faster your dog will learn the command.
It can be extremely beneficial to consult with certified professionals that can help to guide you in stopping your dog’s barking behavior.
Consider asking a veterinary behaviorist, professional dog trainer or an applied animal behaviorist for help.
In some cases, your dog may simply be bored or just require someone to be around them. In such cases, you can take your dog to a doggy daycare or recruit a dog sitter to keep an eye on your dog.
Barking is an important form of communication for dogs and it can help to alert you and others of something wrong or that is approaching. It is important that you know what is causing your dog’s barking behavior and to then determine whether it needs to be addressed.
If your dog is barking excessively due to boredom or to seek attention, then there is no harm in ignoring your dog till it calms down (though your neighbors might not be so happy!).
However, a dog that is barking out of fear, anxiety, stress, or other complicated reasons needs to be properly attended to and cared for.
It can take a very long time before your dog gets tired from barking. Sometimes, a dog can even bark for up to a few days without much of a break!
While barking will not cause any harm, the reason why your dog is barking may need to be addressed.
Some explanations for excessive barking include boredom, communication, attention-seeking, compulsive behaviour, stress, fear, anxiety or a desire to defend their territory..
Potential solutions to counteract the excessive barking behavior include rewarding good behavior, removing the stimulus, stimulus desensitization, mental training and physical exercises.
As annoying as your dog’s barking might be, ignoring it is not always the best solution. A responsible dog owner should always consider addressing the reason why their dog is barking so much in the first place.
Elena Gherman is a highly skilled and knowledgeable animal care expert. At the start of her career, she gained practical expertise with multiple animals. In addition to that, she works as a DVM veterinary editor for Joy Pet Products, which focuses on offering reliable information on pet health and wellbeing. She meticulously reviews each piece of writing before it is published to make sure pet owners get the most precise and updated information possible.