“I love the way my puppy barks all the time”…. said no one ever! Does your puppy bark at everything? It’s so embarrassing not to mention deafening at times.  It’s not quite a sweet symphony and can feel quite worrying when it happens, can’t it?

Puppies bark for many reasons that we’re going to help you pick apart, but the main thing to remember is that your puppy is trying to communicate ‘something’ to you. We just have to get down and be a super sleuth as to what that might be! 

This article will help you understand

  • Why do puppies bark and what each kind of bark means?
  • Why does it feel like your puppy might bark at everything?
  • How to stop your puppy from barking at everything

You’ll come away with all the info on puppy barking and how to stop your puppy barking. Pronto!

Of course, if you want some detailed advice on puppy barking, why not reach out to the Zigzag puppy coaches? They’ve heard it all before (pun intended) and will help you quieten down Rover for some calmer and serener times ahead. We also talk about puppy barking and how to quieten them down in our Zigzag puppy training app, download a free trial today and get started.

Why do puppies bark?

Puppies bark as a form of communication, and it’s a completely natural thing for them to do. We do get when your puppy is barking at everything, it can get pretty annoying! Just remember in a puppy’s mind, they are trying to tell us or whatever they are barking at something. It’s just that their vocabulary is pretty limited!

puppy wearing red tshirt
Photo by Raz Kumar on Unsplash

The reasons puppies bark are varied, but here are some common reasons why your puppy might be barking at everything! Here’s what your pup might be trying to say:

Help!!.. What’s that?!?

Alarm barking happens when your puppy notices something and feels they need to ‘sound the alarm’. This might be a delivery person, or a strange noise, or even just something odd like a carrier bag blowing in the wind on the street. 

Please come, I miss you!

Oh, the pitiful sound of a puppy barking or howling because they’re struggling to be alone, it really does break your heart. Puppies need company, and vocalising is a survival mechanism to tell you ‘I need you’, and it works! Don’t leave them to ‘cry it out’. It just doesn’t work and will make the barking and your puppy’s emotional state much worse.

I’ve got nothing to do except shout!

Puppies need a lot of stimulation and attention from their owners and a good amount of mental and physical exercise. If they don’t get this, they can turn to self-rewarding behaviours such as barking! Barking is fun for many puppies, and it usually gets our attention, which is what they want! This can then flip into the attention-seeking kind of barking, and it’s hard to ignore.

This is fun!!

Puppies bark because they’re having a good time playing with other dogs or us. They might also play growl!  It’s worth checking out their body language when they’re barking in play. It should be loose and wiggly!

Go away, I’m not sure about you!

Puppies will often use barking as a distance increasing signal. This kind of barking is often accompanied by low growling, a hard stare and showing the whites of their eyes, and serves to make that thing go away. Of course, this looks pretty scary and often works! 

small puppy looking up at something
Photo by Hanny Naibaho on Unsplash

Why does my puppy bark at everything?

We’ve given you the common reasons why puppies bark. Which one sounds like your puppy? Can you work it out? At different times it’s possibly all of them!

You need to be aware that certain breeds of dogs are genetically predisposed to bark more because we humans designed them to be that way. They served the purpose of alerting us to threats or letting us know where certain animals were once they’d found them.

If your puppy is a terrier, a herding breed, or a guarding breed, then that can be a reason why they bark so much!

If your puppy really is barking at everything, then something is reinforcing that behaviour. It might be just the enjoyment factor of the barking itself, or might be because barking gets something from us, attention, good or bad, can be reinforcing for a puppy. 

Is your puppy barking at everything, or can you pin it down to a specific kind of barking?

How to stop my puppy barking at everything?

If your puppy really is barking at everything, then read our article on how to train your puppy to stop barking, and also go through these tips and tricks. 

Make sure they are getting enough mental exercise

Puppies who are given enough stimulation really will bark less. Scentwork especially is wonderful for puppies to get involved with and is a very calming activity. Also, start training them, learning is tiring, and they will want to sleep after training sessions and not be barking because they’re bored.

Make sure they are getting enough sleep.

Overtired puppies are more likely to be ‘on edge’ and potentially bark at everything. Imagine  it can be like a hair-trigger when you’re tired, can’t it?

Change how they feel 

Changing your puppy’s emotional response to what they are barking at by using a process called counter conditioning. Unsure what that means – drop our puppy coaches a message in the Zigzag puppy training app, and they’ll fill you in!

Don’t punish them

Your puppy is trying to communicate with you. Teach them there are other ways to communicate and that you can listen with your eyes, Don’t ruin your bond by punishing them or telling them off. 

We hope you’ve got some pointers and help within this article. Puppies are sentient beings with feelings and emotions, and we probably need to listen more before we get to the barking stage! If you’re wondering how you can get your puppy to be calmer, then have a look at how our Zigzag puppy training app works. It’s all based on the latest science and understands that puppy raising can be difficult at times. 

Might you also find digging annoying? We’ve got a great article for you on how to stop your puppy digging while you’re here.