Why Does My Dog Keep Barking at Nothing?

Why Does My Dog Keep Barking at Nothing? It’s just something that happens from time to time. You’re sitting back, enjoying a peaceful afternoon. All is quiet. Then, your dog starts to bark wildly at the windows. You peek through the blinds… and you can’t figure out what’s gotten into him. You don’t see another human or dog. You don’t even see a car. What’s going on here?

Why Does My Dog Keep Barking at Nothing?

Why Does My Dog Keep Barking at Nothing?

Unless your dog is barking excessively and constantly, this isn’t really a problem. It just means you can’t see what your dog is actually responding to.

Remember, a dog hears frequencies starting around 40 Hz; humans start hearing from 23 Hz. But their hearing range is three times what ours is: 60,000 Hz compared to our 20,000 Hz. You can read some great information about all of the reasons why a dog’s hearing is superior to ours by clicking on this link.

That means your dog could be barking at another neighborhood dog who began barking for his own reasons. You’re oblivious, because the other dog is out of your hearing range… But your dog isn’t oblivious at all, and he’s got something to say to that other pooch!

Dogs also bark at smaller animals, which may mean the subject of the bark is already hiding by the time you get to the window. If your dog barks at a squirrel or a stray cat you might never see those other animals. In this case, he’s either defending his territory…or getting excited because he senses prey he’d like to chase!

When these things happen the dog will typically give a couple of short barks while pointing his head in the direction of the disturbance. After he’s “had his say” he’ll wander away again.

Of course, if this behavior is driving you crazy then take heart–there are plenty of things you can do. Remember aggressive barking is one of the common bihavior issues, don’t worry.

First, you might want to make sure your dog is well-exercised. There’s an old saying which says an exercised dog is a well-behaved dog. Why? Because he’s worn out! A happy, tired dog just isn’t going to have the energy to worry about a squirrel, or even a howl half-a-mile away. Doggie daycare can help with this.

Training is another option. We can help you teach your dog a “Quiet” or “Enough” command that communicates that you would like him to stop barking. However, we would only recommend this when your dog’s “barking at unseen things” habit becomes so excessive and disruptive that you can’t take it anymore.

After all, you’ve got plenty to say too, and you wouldn’t enjoy being told to quiet down all day long. At some point, you have to give your dog room to be a dog! Ultimately, you may want to change your own response to the dog’s behavior–if you’re in awe of his amazing hearing abilities you may feel more inclined to simply smile and shrug when he responds to things you can’t perceive. After all, you’re being given a glimpse of his secret canine world, and in a way, that’s a privilege!

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