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blackbetty's avatar

What effects does daily startling dog barks have on your body?

Asked by blackbetty (425points) February 20th, 2017

Every fucking day my dogs (3 of them) bark at sounds, especially at night when I want to relax. They’ll bark at something when I’m lounging and ready for bed and my heart will race and I become tense. They are large, lovable, fearsome mutts. It’s startling.

This happens multiple times a day. Is this harming my body?

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5 Answers

Soubresaut's avatar

Since it’s not chronic stress, but stress of-the-moment, I don’t imagine it would be harming you. Not pleasant, but probably not harmful.

If it’s bothersome, this article provides a nice overview of possible reasons behind it, and some strategies to alleviate it.

My dog barks at night more often when he’s not done much during the day—sometimes with my schedule I don’t fit in enough for him (he’s very high-energy). Playing with him usually helps. He also will bark at the door, or when he thinks he’s heard something. I’ve learned that the most effective way to get him to quiet down is to follow him to what he believes is the source of the sound (or as close as we can get and still be indoors) and make a show of looking with him to check out the situation. I’ll pat him and say “thank you, that’s enough,” and we’ll both walk away. I’ve decided I don’t mind doing that sort of ritual with him (actually, I think it’s kind of fun), and it seems to give him a sense of “okay I did my job and she checked it out and it’s all good.” You may find similar reasons that your dogs bark, and similar routines with them. Or you might try some of the techniques suggested above—whether ignoring their barking and rewarding their quiet, or tiring them out mentally/physically, or training the dogs to bark and quiet down on cue.

Joedone56's avatar

Excessive dog barking can affect your sleep
Excessive dog barking can disrupt your ability to concentrate
How to stop excessive dog barking?
1— Find out why your pooch is barking so much: Keep a written log of when and why your canine friend barks. This will help you identify the trigger and either remove it or train your pet to be quiet.

2— Once you have found the cause, pick the right way to deal with it. Never punish a dog for barking, this could lead to more serious issues like fear and biting. I will also like to discourage you from using electronic collars. These work through punishment and most of the time make more harm than good.

Following is a list of possible reasons for excessive dog barking, click on each link for advice and tutorials on how to stop your dog from barking:

Fear Barking: This canine is just as stressed as you are. Teach him to calm at the sight of fearful things with systematic desensistization and counterconditioning.
Bored Barking: Your pet needs enrichment and fun activities. Read the article for ideas and how to implement it.
Excited Barking: You have a happy pooch that is overjoyed with life. Teach him to react properly at the sight of exciting things.
Alarm Barking: Warning! Warning! Your hound is telling you there is an intruder. Acknowledge your pet, then train him to be quiet.
Resource guarding (toy or food aggression): This dog is also stressed and like fear barking you will need to plan a training program using systematic desensitization and counterconditioning.
Attention getting barking: This is a very common case in which dogs learn to bark to get what they want. Solution: stop giving them what they want!

Shirley29's avatar

Its irritating and can effect daily life.

blackbetty's avatar

Great information. Thanks!

Coloma's avatar

I am not a dog person. I have had a couple dogs over the years that I have loved but am a cat person at heart. Barking dogs are extremely irritating. You are experiencing the startle reflex which is very unpleasant regardless of the noise factor that sets it off.

Up to you to find a way to train your dogs to bark less. Good luck, just don’t move next door to me or I might have to blast ‘em with the garden hose or show up at your door with a less than happy neighor greeting.

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