Regardless of your status as a lucky dog owner or an even luckier dog neighbor, you've undoubtedly encountered a woof, arf, yip, howl, bark, bork or bow-wow-wow.
You've maybe even sleepily reflected at 6 a.m.whether or not dogs ever get tired of barking. Well, yes — dogs do get tired of barking. But, as with any dog behavior question, the answer is slightly more complicated than we'd like it to be.
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Why do dogs bark?
Many dog owners worry that their dog will never get tired of barking, but fear not. Barking is a common dog behavior, and dogs bark to communicate their internal states to their humans and other nearby animals. So, a barking dog is likely to express both positive and negative emotions.
Common reasons for excessive barking, as well as normal barking, are boredom, excitement, surprise, anxiety, fear, uncertainty, territorial behavior, hunger, attention-seeking, or they may simply want you to get off the couch and play fetch with them. (Crazy, right?)
How often do dogs bark?
A study from the Journal of Veterinary Behavior sheds some light on how often dogs bark.
Researchers discovered that 37% of dogs in the study barked when they encountered a strange person, but only 10% of dogs barked when encountering new situations.
However, that statistic jumps to 50% when a dog meets another dog that it's unfamiliar with.
So when you're trying to figure out why your pooch is inconsolably woofing during a walk or whenever there's motion outside, insights like these may help dog owners diagnose the reasons why.
Do dogs get tired of barking?
Yes, dogs do get tired of barking. Although, how quickly a dog gets tired of barking will depend on the situation and a particular pup's personality.
A study published in the New Zealand Veterinary Journal reveals that a suburban dog barks about four to five times during an eight-hour period with each instance of barking lasting an average of 30 seconds.
In other words, an average dog will bark for about two minutes every eight hours, or six minutes a day.
Again, this dog-behavior statistic is an average from one study. People may wonder if their dog will ever get tired of barking — worrying that excessive barking can last for hours — but according to this research, a barking dog may actually vocalize for only a short period of time. (It's just lots of periods of time conveniently strung together for your enjoyment.)
Do some dog breeds bark more than others?
Yup! Because of their territorial behavior, terriers are known to bark more frequently than other dog breeds, especially the cairn terrier and West Highland white terrier. However, not all terriers — think Boston terrier — exhibit excessive barking.
Other territorial dog breeds that are known to bark more than others are:
- Doberman pinscher
- giant schnauzer
- German shepherd
- Rhodesian ridgeback
- Staffordshire terrier
While short in stature, little dogs can bark just as intensely as their larger cousins. Small dog breeds known for their excessive barking are:
- fox terrier
- Lahsa apso
- miniature schnauzer
- Yorkshire terrier
Dog breeds that bark the least
If you're looking for a watchdog, you may want to consider a breed not in this list. But if you'd like your next best friend to basically be a mime, then here are few dog breeds known for being quiet (and enjoying Parisian street theater!).
- Bernese mountain dog
- cavalier King Charles spaniel
- Coton de Tulear
- golden retriever
- Irish setter
- Italian greyhound
- Saint Bernard
- shar pei
- Shiba Inu
Is it best to ignore a barking dog?
Not really, but maybe. If you're certain that your dog is barking because of attention-seeking behavior or to have a need met — like opening the door for the millionth time — then the silent treatment can break a barking habit.
However, when your dog is vocalizing because of fear or anxiety, then the best way to stop a barking dog is through positive reinforcement.
"The best way to address most types of barking in the home is to ask yourself 'what would I rather have the dog do instead?' and reinforce those behaviors," dog trainer Olivia Healy, CPDT-KA, FFCP told Cuteness in 2021. "If a dog barks at the doorbell, you can teach them that the sound of the bell is a cue to go to bed. If a dog barks excitedly at guests when they come in, teach them to grab a toy."
If all else fails, find a qualified trainer to help you and your pup have the quiet time you both certainly deserve.
Sure, dogs do get tired of barking. But they likely won't get tired of their barking before you do. So figuring out why they're vocalizing will help you correct the behavior and restore (some) peace and quiet to your household.
Veterinary researchers have found that an average dog's barking session lasts about 30 seconds, and that stressful situation, like a mysterious dog friend, are likely to trigger a good ole bark more frequently than other scenarios, such as a mysterious human friend.
Lastly, positive reinforcement is the preferred technique that can help dog owners train their best friends not to bark so much.