when do puppies start barking

When Do Puppies Start Barking?

When a new pup is born, everyone in the house can get excited. Why shouldn’t they? Puppies can provoke a warm, fuzzy feeling in every one of us, and we are charmed by their cuteness. Beyond that, they trigger in us our innate nature of being their caretaker, to be more sensitive to their needs. But unlike human infants, puppies can only bark and whine and make some sounds. That is why we need to understand these actions. When do puppies start barking, and what does each type of bark mean? We did some research and found out some exciting things.

When to Expect Your Puppy’s First Bark?

when to expect your puppy's first bark
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The first time you take care of a puppy, you might notice them making these funny little noises. However, some puppies can be very quiet, and some will never learn to bark appropriately. You must accept these things, so you can adjust how you take care of your fur baby.

As early as two or three weeks old, they would begin making simple sounds and practicing their vocalization. Don’t consider these sounds as their first bark yet. In general, a puppy will bark around 4-5 weeks after birth. But its bark may not be the same when they grow into adults.

Why Does Your Dog Bark at All?

barking dog
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Dogs bark for many reasons, and you need to understand what each means. First and foremost, dogs bark as a form of communication. Some of these require your serious attention, while some are just habits and should be discouraged.

Dogs bark due to biological needs, like the need to eat or to take a poop. They also bark as a form of socialization, like warning another dog to stay away from its territory or get its human companion’s attention. They can be possessive or protective at times, and they show this by barking at other dogs or other people who get close to their human companion.

Dogs can show their enthusiasm over things by barking, especially when playing. But sometimes, they also bark out of boredom or stress. They might start barking when they become frustrated, like when they want something but cannot grab or reach it. You may have seen some dogs barking at birds perched on a tree branch or chasing butterflies while barking left and right.

Why Is Your Dog Not Barking?

why is your dog not barking
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∘ Genes and dog breed

Genetics can play a big part in the barking behavior of dogs. That means some dogs may be less inclined to barking, while some may bark a lot more. If your dog is barking less than other dogs, it doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a problem. When your dog is very young, don’t worry about this. As your dog grows older, that’s when they start developing their barking skills. With that said, there are many causes why your dog is not predisposed to barking.

∘ Illness and lack of energy

Physical illness may be an important factor in why your dog is not barking. The previous statement is especially true if your dog previously barked a lot and suddenly became silent. Inflammation in your dog’s throat or any disease that depletes its energy can lead to a point where barking becomes painful or difficult. You need to observe and take note of these symptoms and bring them to your vet. Early intervention may save your dog’s life and bring back its usual happy disposition.

Mental stress or trauma may also cause dogs not to bark. A specific trauma may have caused this silent behavior when adopting a rescue pup or dog. Perhaps its previous owner punished the dog while barking, which imprinted on the dog’s memory. It is also possible that your dog is not barking because it is uncomfortable with its new environment. Perhaps your adopted furry companion is not used to living in a new home and having difficulty getting used to it. Give it some time to acclimatize, and perhaps its barking will return as usual.

∘ Age

Finally, age can also affect your dog’s barking. As your furry companion grows older, it will start to lose energy and enthusiasm. Your dog will not play as frequently or as energetic as before. It will stop chasing butterflies or no longer jump around when you arrive at the door. Maybe it will just walk towards you, nozzle your leg, and go back to its bed rest or sleep. This behavior is a sign that your dog is now elderly and prefers less excitement and less physical activity. This reduction in physical energy can directly affect their predisposition to bark. You really can’t do anything about this, but accept it as part of your furry friend’s life.

What Should You Do if Your Dog Is Barking Excessively?

dogs barking at each other
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As dogs grow from puppy to adult, they learn the appropriate time to bark and when not to. They can learn this on their own, or sometimes, we humans might need to train them so they will keep well-behaved. However, if your dog barks excessively, this could mean aggressiveness and might cause social problems later on. It is crucial to correct such behavior as early as possible.

Understand why your dog is barking too much

understand why your dog is barking too much
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If your dog’s barking behavior seems off or unexpected, you should determine the root cause. Stress could be a significant factor. Separation anxiety or excess energy that your dog cannot release can also cause excessive barking. That’s why you need to ensure that your dog is getting enough attention from you. You need to take care of not just your dog’s physical health but also its mental well-being. If you give your dog proper physical stimulation, like walking, throwing and fetching toys, or running, then your well-exercised and tired fur friend should not bark too much.

Keeping your dog away from stressful environments may also help prevent excessive barking. Find out if city sounds stress your dog. If it does, ensure to insulate your dog from them. Do other animals stress your dog? Then maybe you should separate your dog from these other animals. If your dog has separation anxiety, try to keep it distracted while you’re away, like leaving them with interactive toys or providing them with another dog companion. Or any animal they will take a liking to—but first, make sure they get along. Perhaps ask a familiar friend to take care of your dog while you’re away.

When your dog is very young, it is also more prone to pick up behaviors of other dogs. Puppies tend to adopt the behaviors of other dog companions they spend more time with, so it is vital to intercept these bad habits as soon as possible.

Handle situations calmly

elderly woman dealing with a neighbors barking dog
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Remember, there are some things you cannot control; this includes your dog forgetting their training. If you are walking on the street and your dog suddenly barks at a stranger, you need to stay calm. Your dog senses your mood, so if you panic or become overly anxious, your dog will feel this, and it will worsen to its already tense mood. Your dog’s barking could intensify, and the situation might get out of hand. But if you stand still and stay calm, you will project a peaceful aura. That is a significant first step already. Next, gently but firmly, hold your dog. Don’t scold it. Order your dog to stay still (if your dog trained on this earlier). If you have any treats available, reward your dog if it obeys you and displays good behavior.

You may have to be stern also if your dog is not responding to positive reinforcement. For example, you should ignore excessive barking and reward your dog for good behavior instead. And it would be best if you were consistent with this, or else your dog will get confused and won’t learn.

Summary

Remember, you may not hear your puppy barking for many weeks or months. Puppies also learn from other dogs in their social environment. If your puppy has no dog companion around, it may take them longer to learn how to bark. But if you have many barking dogs in the house, it may begin imitating them immediately. Your puppy will generally learn to bark around 4-5 weeks old.

It would be best if you took notice of your dog’s bark as this is its primary way to communicate. Your dog barks for important and not-so-important reasons, so it is up to you to discern these things. Remember, your dog barks due to biological needs, like when hungry. Sometimes, your dog will bark if it feels protective of you. It will also bark if it feels happy or dull, especially if frustrated over things it cannot get.

Age ultimately plays a significant factor in your dog’s barking. As your dog ages, it may tend to bark less, in the same way, that it will play with you less. Your dog will rest more and sleep more—something you need to accept as part of your furry friend’s life.

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