Last Updated on January 8, 2023 by The Puppy Mag
Barking frequency is an important factor to consider for prospective dog owners. Whether you live in a space that requires a quiet dog, or you simply want a pup that’s not as vocal, you will want to do some research on how much your breed of interest barks. Though every dog will vary on how often they talk, some breeds are known to bark more than others.
Australian shepherds can potentially bark a lot if they aren’t socialized or trained from a young age. Aussies do tend to be more vocal in general than other breeds, so this is important for future owners to consider.
Australian Shepherds and Barking
Before we get into how much Australian Shepherds bark, it’s important to understand the breed’s background. The Aussie’s history and previous work is directly linked to how often the dog barks, as the behavior is essentially ingrained into their DNA.
Australian Shepherds are known for being excellent ranch hands. Originally bred to work alongside ranchers in herding and protecting their livestock, one of their main roles involved alerting their owner’s through barking.
Whether the Aussie is huddling up the livestock or sending a warning to potential predators, barking is a key part of these tasks. This behavior has been encouraged throughout so many generations of Australian Shepherds, making this a natural behavior in Aussies today.
So Do Australian Shepherds Bark A Lot?
Australian Shepherds tend to bark more than the average pup. Not only are they more vocal throughout their day-to-day lives, but they can also display excessive barking when they do not receive enough exercise and stimulation.
Australian Shepherds are social, energetic, and extremely affectionate toward those they love most. These are all wonderful traits to have but can be a perfect storm in terms of developing separation anxiety. An Aussie that is not receiving what they need to cater to these traits can easily fall into an excessive barking pattern.
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Why Is Your Australian Shepherd Barking So Much?
If you have an Australian Shepherd that cannot stop barking, you may be puzzled as to why your pup has so much to say.
Our furry friends can’t tell us what’s on their mind, so it’s up to us to get to the bottom of their barking by examining potential clues.
To help you better understand your vocal Australian Shepherd, let’s discuss some of the most common reasons Aussies participate in excessive barking.
They Are Alerting You To Potential Danger
Australian Shepherds may not be the best guard dogs on the block, but they do have a deep need to protect their owners and property. The most common way an Australian Shepherd attempts to guard their owners is through barking, as they are attempting to alert you of any suspicious activity nearby.
Australian Shepherds that work on a ranch will often bark to make their ranchers aware of nearby animals, escaped livestock, and any other potential problems that their owners need to be aware of. When an Aussie does this outside of a work setting, they are simply trying to keep you in the loop.
This behavior often varies based on how socialized your Australian Shepherd is, as an unsocialized pup may bark at every passing person and object. If your Australian Shepherd’s barking becomes excessive and unnecessary, it may be time to offer them more socialization and exposure.
They Sense Animals Nearby
Animals around your property can easily send your Aussie into protect mode. Whether it’s a dog barking nearby or a rabbit in your shrubs, your Aussie may bark in an attempt to keep them away.
Your Aussie may bark to scare the animals off, to inform you of their presence, or even to let the animals know they are eager to meet them. No matter the cause behind their bark, this is normal Aussie behavior when animals are close by.
They Hear Noises Nearby
Unfamiliar noises can quickly send your Australian Shepherd into bark mode. A strange sound nearby can make your Aussie feel uneasy, causing them to bark excessively at the potential threat. The noise can be something as simple as a passing plane, but our Aussies may mistake it for an intruder on the property.
This behavior is most common in unsocialized Australian Shepherds, as they tend to have less experience with unique sights and sounds. If your Aussie is barking at every single noise that makes it past your window, it may be time to work on exposing your dog to new settings.
They Are Bored
Boredom is one of the most common causes of excessive barking in Australian Shepherds. Aussies are filled with energy and an overwhelming need to work, meaning boredom can cause them to go stir crazy.
A bored Aussie will often feel pent up and restless, leading to an increased likelihood of unfavorable behavior.
The average Aussie needs anywhere from 1-2 hours of daily exercise to feel fulfilled. If it seems like your Aussie never stops barking, it may be time to step up their daily exercise routine.
In addition to physical exercise, mental stimulation is crucial for Australian shepherds. It’s essential their minds are challenged throughout the day in order to truly feel satisfied and content.
They Want Attention
If your Australian Shepherd is frequently barking at an unseen trigger, they may be trying to get your attention. Dogs craving attention may stand in the center of the room and bark, often looking directly at you with their mysterious whines.
An Aussie may bark for attention when they are hungry, bored, restless, and even in need of a bathroom trip. While alerting to their need to go potty is not a bad habit to have, barking due to boredom can become frustrating over time.
Aussies can learn from a young age that barking gets them what they want. Giving into your dog’s barking one time can reward this attention-seeking behavior, causing them to adopt these habits going forward.
One of the best ways to avoid attention-seeking barking is by making sure your dog has plenty of mental and physical stimulation each day, decreasing their need for any additional attention.
They Are Anxious
An anxious Australian Shepherd may bark excessively in different situations. Aussies may bark when new people are in their home, during car rides, at the vet’s office, and any other scenario that can cause them to feel nervous.
If your Aussie is barking due to being anxious, you will often see other signs of canine anxiety as well. A nervous pup may shiver, whine, panting, pacing, yawning, or even drooling. If your Barking Aussie pup is experiencing any other signs of canine anxiety, it may be time to assess your surroundings for any potential triggers.
If possible, it may be time to remove your dog from the stressful situation and work on desensitizing them to the situation going forward.
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Preventing Excessive Barking In Australian Shepherds
As you can see, Australian Shepherds have the potential to be more vocal than the average pup. To spare you from having a noisy Aussie in your home, let’s discuss some of the best ways to prevent excessive barking in your dog.
- Offer anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour of daily exercise each day
- Socialize them from the moment they enter your home
- Along with socialization, be sure to introduce your pup to plenty of new sights and sounds
- Teach them basic obedience from the moment they enter your home
- Make sure you are spending enough time with your pup each day
- Try your best to not leave your Aussie alone for long hours
- Along with physical exercise, offer plenty of mental stimulation ranging from puzzle toys to interactive games
- Keep up with yearly veterinary exams, as the onset of new medical conditions can lead to increased barking in some dogs
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Aussies may bark more than other breeds, but it does not impact their ability to be a wonderful family pup. Be sure to implement the tips we mentioned above to prevent excessive barking, and you can easily manage your talkative Aussie going forward!
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