Every dog barks and it is the dog’s way of communication. But what about excessive barking? Barking is one of the important things to consider when you decide to bring home a dog. Because issues such as unnecessary and excessive barking can be very frustrating for any dog owner.
Different breeds tend to bark differently, some bark necessarily and some bark unnecessarily more often. Then what about labradors? Do labs bark a lot? Let us discuss this important topic in detail. We will also look into other issues such as Labrador barking at night, labradors barking due to separation anxiety and how to deal with labrador barking problems.
Do Labs bark a lot? Are they barky dog breeds?
As we know that some dog breeds bark a lot whereas some breeds bark less. Thankfully labradors come under the category of breeds that bark less. They are gentle breeds that are easily socializable and panic less. Mostly they tend to be calm going dog breeds.
Even though they bark less, this behaviour is not universal. I have seen labradors which bark a lot like hell. Barking, whining, sighing and crying, all are your dog’s forms of expression. It is your dog’s way of expression that it is not feeling comfortable.
It is important to identify the reason for its behaviours in order to solve the barking issue effectively. With proper methods of problem identification and the right training, it is easy to resolve a labrador retriever barking issue.
Lab puppy barking- Beginning of barking
When a Labrador puppy enters your house, everything is new to him. It must have been just a few weeks since he came to this new world. Your dog’s mind is filled with different thoughts and new experiences
So your dog has only one way to communicate itself, that is by barking. Whether it is bored, hungry, scared or feeling alone or whatever it may be, his way of communication is mostly through barking.
This puppy stage of learning is an important phase of a dog’s life. Most of the behaviour patterns of your dog are established strongly during this age.
Hence, whenever your labrador puppy barks, it is important to make him understand that barking often unnecessarily is not a good thing.
Labrador puppies in this age are in a stage of exploration which includes both curiosity and anxiety. During this age, the majority of cases of Labrador puppy barking its due to anxiety, and this anxiety may either be caused due to separation from owner or due to new unusual sounds and environment.
Lab puppy barking due to anxiety from separation
Even though your lab puppy feels anxious it should understand that barking does not serve the purpose. If you provide attention to your puppy whenever it barks, you are simply rewarding him with your attention.
Remember your puppy should not associate any kind of positive outcome with barking. When the puppy becomes calm and silent, you can go towards your puppy to comfort him and relieve him of his anxiety.
Lab puppy barking due to the anxiety of new and unusual things
Small puppies often get scared due to new sounds and objects that startle them. Unusual, loud sounds and disturbing environments can cause your puppy to bark a lot.
I still remember how my puppy barked a lot due to anxiety on the New year day celebrations.
Hence it is necessary to protect your puppy from such things that cause anxiety in him, especially in its early stages of life.
When do Labradors bark a lot?
There are certain things to check whenever your Labrador is barking. These are the regular checks i perform whenever my dog barks.
1. Is your Lab hungry?
A dog can bark when it wants us to know that it is hungry. Sometimes it may bark or make any kind of whining sound. In this case, check if you have missed its regular feeding schedule.
2. Is your Lab thirsty?
Dogs even bark when they are thirsty. My labrador barks for once or twice when it is thirsty and then i provide him with some fresh water.
You can also keep a bowl of fresh water near him all the time so that your dog can have water whenever he feels like drinking it. This is especially important during the summers. I do not do this because my naughty dog plays with the water bowl if i leave the water bowl along with him.
3. Did it eat excessively?
This generally happens in young puppies. It is difficult to calculate the exact quantity of food young puppies needs. Sometimes it can become a little excess. In such cases, the puppies can bark due to the heaviness of its stomach. Providing your puppy with a slow walk can help him ease his stomach heaviness.
4. If your dog needs a potty break?
This can be one of the other reasons why your Labrador may bark. Take him to his potty place if he needs a break.
5. Is your Labrador bored or frustrated?
This is one important reason why many labradors bark. Labradors Retrievers are highly energetic breeds and they get bored and frustrated easily if there is no source to vent off their energy. Providing necessary physical and mental stimulation can solve the barking issue in this case. You can provide your dog with some Toys that can keep him mentally occupied.
6. Any other problem?
Dogs even bark if they have any underlying pain or trauma. Your dog may bark and make whining sounds if they are in pain. If your dog barks continuously and excessively even after performing all the above checks, it is important to consult a Vet to determine the underlying cause for its pain.
Labrador barking at night
Labrador barking at night can be a major problem for dog owners and also neighbours living near you. A lab barking at night can be quite irritating if its barking is unnecessary and excessive.
There exist various reasons why your Labrador may start barking in the night. Lets us the classify the causes of barking at night into 2 categories depending upon the labrador age.
Barking in young labradors
Young labradors often bark at night mostly due to these 3 reasons.
Due to boredom
Sometimes dogs just bark for fun. When the whole night remains silent and when the dog can see no one around him, the dog simply gets bored. As Labradors are mostly active breeds, a boring night can cause them simply to bark.
Actually, dogs do not have continuous sleep for the whole night. They have inconsistent sleep schedules. Hence they wake up in the night, go to sleep, and wake up again.
Therefore providing your lab with Simple Chew toys and toys that can make him mentally occupied can stop the barking issue in the night.
To grab attention
This is in the case of dogs which do not sleep along with their owners. For example, dogs like mine, it sleeps in its room separately during the night time.
When it hears any kind of voice from my room, it simply used to bark to grab my attention. Actually, in this case, If i give any kind of attention when it barks, it becomes successful in its attempt and tries the same barking technique again and again to grab my attention.
Hence, in this case, it is important not to provide any kind of attention to your dog when it barks unnecessarily.
In an alarm
We cannot hear all the sounds that our dogs can hear. Their audio senses are more powerful when compared to humans. Hence they are capable of hearing all kinds of small sounds in their surroundings, especially during night time.
This can cause alarm in dogs. This is especially true in cases of labradors that sleep outside and in cases of puppies that are very young.
Barking in senior labradors
If your Labrador is a senior citizen, it may bark during the night due to its disturbing health condition. In what cases does a senior labrador bark? Let us see. Senior labs tend to bark during the night due to 2 reasons mostly. They are…
Illness and pain
Your dog may bark in the night if it has some uneasiness and any other illness that is causing trouble to him.
Some labradors that suffer from painful conditions like arthritis bark and make whining sounds out of pain. This can be a reason for a senior labrador barking at night.
Cases like dementia
Dementia is a canine cognitive dysfunction that can affect your dog’s learned behaviour and your dog’s memory.
In cases of dementia, a dog can start barking for no reason. The dog may become anxious, disoriented and starts barking continuously. This barking behaviour due to dementia occurs especially during the night time.
Labrador barking can be a big problem if it is not managed in the beginning stages itself. Without applying correct measures your dog can get habituated to this unnecessary barking habit.
A Labrador barking continuously can create a lot of nuisance to you and people in your surroundings.
Your dog cannot solve this behavioural problem on its own. Hence you have to resolve the barking problem right now.
It is very important to put an end to this problem.
Here is the ultimate solution for your dog’s barking problem.