Basset Hounds are adorable dogs that were originally bred to assist hunters by retrieving the prey. They have distinct and loud howls and barks that allow their owner to find them when necessary. This is intended to create a bond between owner and dog as well as make the hunting process easier for the dog owner. As a pet parent, you probably have observed your dog producing loud barks that are surprising. Chances are, your dog isn’t hunting for prey or running long distances to retrieve it, but that instinct is still embedded in his DNA. The following information will help you unravel the mystery behind why dogs bark.
The Root of the Behavior
Since your dog isn’t assisting you on a hunting trip you need to determine the cause behind his loud barking. Generally, dogs bark for a variety of reasons such as to greet you, grab your attention, fear, anxiety, hunger, thirst, and playfulness. If your dog has been part of the family for a long time, you most likely have learned his verbal queues. These verbal queues are barks, moans, and other distinctive noises your dog makes. The understanding of your dog's verbal queues has bonded you both and allowed you to live in harmony with each other. Usually, dogs that are hungry or thirsty will stand in the kitchen and bark until you decide to give them food and water. Dogs are quite demanding when it comes to basic necessities. If pet parents do not pick up on the verbal queues, also known as barking, the dog will continue to bark excessively until his demands are met.
Dogs are territorial and often bark at visitors or strangers such as the mail delivery person approaching the house. If your dog tends to bark when visitors arrive, this behavior is triggered by fear. Your dog is feeling scared that people or as he see’s it, intruders are disturbing his happy well-scheduled life. Dogs enjoy living by routine and when that schedule is interrupted, it’s surprising and often unpleasant for dogs. It’s similar to disturbing a human while he sleeps. It’s just uncomfortable and scary for your dog. Boredom is a common reason dogs bark. Basset Hounds are intelligent dogs that enjoy being busy. If you don’t supply your dog with plenty of toys, interaction, attention, and play sessions, he can become bored. Boredom can result in your dog expressing mischevious behavior and excessive barking. It’s a loud verbal queue that you need to keep him busy otherwise you will continue to enjoy his barking serenade.
Encouraging the Behavior
Discouraging your dog from barking excessively requires you to tap into your investigative skills. You need to take notes as you observe your dogs behavior. The goal is to pinpoint the triggers that cause your dog to bark excessively. Once his barking session begins, quietly observe what he is barking at, the environment, noise level, and if he is requesting his needs to be met such as for food and water. Once you are able to pinpoint the triggers, you can begin assessing the situation and finding ways to prevent the excessive barking sessions. Sometimes the trigger is easy to remove from your dog’s life.
If he barks at a specific toy, window treatment, or object in the house, you can easily remove it from the house, or replace it with something that doesn’t trigger your dog to bark. For example, a common thing dogs seem to misunderstand are curtains that blow in the wind when the window is open. This has triggered many dogs into a frantic barking session that can last for hours. You can either tie the curtains back so they don’t flow or remove them and replace them with vertical blinds or another type of window treatment. Removing or replacing the object that triggers your dog is an essential step to preventing barking.
Other Solutions and Considerations
If your dog seems to bark at the air and doesn’t seem to have a specific trigger for his barking, you should consult with a professional dog trainer. A dog trainer will help determine the cause and suggest specific training techniques and other beneficial information that will help prevent your dog from barking excessively. Basset Hounds should never be trained to stop barking completely because dogs need to communicate with their owners and other dogs. However, dogs that bark excessively remain at a high anxiety level that is not a state that should last for a long period of time. You can help your dog calm down with proper training and being observant of his behavior.
Have you ever asked a human to never talk or yell? Chances are, this didn’t go over very well and probably caused more talking and yelling, right? You don’t want your dog to completely stop barking, this should never be the goal. However, you do want your dog to be happy and prevent him from barking excessively. You can make a difference in your dog’s life as well as yours by seeking proper training today.
Written by a Cocker Spaniel lover Shellie Sutera
Veterinary reviewed by:
Published: 04/25/2018, edited: 01/30/2020