How to Deal With Vocal Dogs

Reviewed By Tom •  Updated: 05/10/22 •  4 min read
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How to Deal With Vocal Dogs

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Dogs can be a handful. Apart from running around and chewing on furniture, they also have the tendency to bark or howl. All of these are part of your dog’s natural way of communicating. It’s how they express their emotions, warn you of incoming danger, or let you know that they’re in the mood for playtime.

Too much noise can cause a disturbance and you could be on the receiving end of a complaint from your homeowners’ association. What’s more, excessive vocalization can be an indication of serious health and behavioral problems. It’s possible to address this problem without the need for “tough” love. If you have a dog that’s too vocal, here are a few tips that every dog owner should keep in mind:

1. Learn more about your dog’s breed

In most cases, excessive barking and howling can stem from the fact that your dog belongs to a vocal breed. Chihuahuas and Siberian huskies are considered the noisiest, simply because both breeds are impulsive and full of personality. Understanding the gene pool your dog comes from can help you identify the best approaches to use when training.

2. Know how to calm them down

Different dogs require varying approaches to calm down.  Some may prefer a treat, while others can keep quiet on command. No matter the case, it’s important that you know your dog’s personality and learn the proper techniques to get them to behave. Give them time for learning verbal and non-verbal commands. If your dog barks excessively, saying “quiet” and giving them a treat when they stop barking is an effective way to help them remember and act on the command.

3. Give them a good workout

Vocal dogs tend to have excess energy, and are always looking for an outlet, so keeping them indoors won’t help. Consider taking your dog for a walk in the early morning or afternoon. You can go further by playing fetch and taking them for a swim at the beach or a lake. Any activity should help your dog release their extra energy so they can limit their vocalizations throughout the rest of the day.

4. Keep them occupied

Boredom can often be the primary reason why your dog is vocal. If they lack new toys and do the same activities, they are more likely to whimper, howl, and bark to get attention. For this reason, you need to give your dog something fun to do. Apart from giving your dog chew toys, you should also provide them with mentally stimulating activities such as puzzles that dispense treats.

5. Get a professional opinion

Not all these tips can work if your dog has deep-seated behavioral and physical issues. In this case, you might as well take your dog to a licensed professional who can prescribe medication and therapy that can reduce excessive vocalization in your dog.

6. Consider using CBD

When it comes to dealing with excessive barking, you can use other means to keep your dog’s penchant to make noise under control. Using CBD oil is becoming a popular way of controlling behavior. Derived from the hemp plant, this chemical can help reduce stress and manage pain. It also has a calming effect that can benefit active dogs. However, using CBD for dogs still requires extensive research. Little is known of the risks that it can bring out. Before ordering a CBD tincture or any hemp-based product for your dog, make sure to visit your vet and ask for recommendations.

7. Block their view

If your dog reacts whenever someone passes by your house, they are only telling the person to leave. This is a part of their instinct, but it can get worse if your dog barks or whimpers every time a car rolls by or a squirrel runs across the front lawn. In some cases, your dog may even bark at your neighbors from across the street. One way you can deal with this problem is to set up sight barriers that block your dog’s view of the street. You might want to set up a privacy fence that’s around the same height as your dog. If your dog stays indoors all the time, consider keeping the curtains closed wherever they are.

8. Look towards stress collars

Vocal dogs tend to have high-stress levels. If your pet gets easily startled, your vet may prescribe pheromone collars. These products release pheromones that can help keep your dog calm. Keep in mind that stress collars may not work for dogs that are not sensitive to pheromones. In that case, the problem might be behavioral and you may want your dog to undergo training. 

When it comes down to noisy dogs, you can use these tips and help your dog become well-behaved. 

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Tom has always loved to write since he was little - he wanted to be either a writer or a veterinary doctor, but he ended up being a professional writer while most of his works are based on animals. He was born in San Francisco but later moved to Texas to continue his job as a writer. He graduated from the University of San Francisco where he studied biotechnology. He is happily married and a soon to be father!