Originally raised as baits for bulls, Pitbulls have now emerged as your friendly neighborhood dogs. Their obedience, energy, less grooming needs, and undying love for their family make them perfect companions.
However, Pitbulls have a natural inclination to bark, some more than others. This can present them as an irritating breed to a lot of people and may discourage them from adopting them.
But those who pet dogs will agree that this behavior is not unique to Pitbulls but is common to many dog breeds.
As intelligent as they are, you can easily train a Pitbull to reduce its barking potential.
Generally speaking, Pitbulls bark because they are highly energetic, playful, social, sensitive, and unfriendly toward dogs.
Watch the following video if it’s difficult for you to read this page.
5 Reasons For Pitbull Whining And Barking
A Pitbull’s barking can be due to anxiety, attention-seeking, playfulness, a danger call, and a myriad of other reasons.
Before we dive into the various reasons a Pitbull barks, we need to understand certain characteristics of this breed that will guide you to stop them from barking a lot.
Pitbulls are a very energetic breed. Their high energy potential means they would be constantly on the move, whether playing, running, eating or, you guessed it right, barking.
A highly energetic dog demands equal energy spending hours. When not kept busy they would redirect their energy to their basic instincts of barking, howling, biting, and nibbling.
2. Highly Playful
When a dog breed gets a 5/5 on Dogtime, it means they have really nailed that category.
Pitbulls play a lot and would like you to engage them in playful activities too. When not provided with such activities regularly, it can put off their mood.
One of the things a dog does when he’s upset is to bark at people, it is a way of directing the owner’s attention to their needs.
3. Low Loneliness Tolerability – Pitbull Barking Excessively
Not all dog breeds can handle being left alone. Pitbulls are one of the breeds that handle loneliness the worst. They want to be with their families as much as possible.
They get fidgety and anxious or may even develop separation anxiety. An anxious dog would bark and howl, trying to communicate with its owners.
4. Sensitive Breed
Sensitive breeds react overly to everyday stimuli, be it a noisy environment, the presence of strangers, or reprimand from owners. They do not tolerate external stimuli well.
Such dogs often react to their surroundings by either making themselves shut off completely or the opposite, making noises of their own, which results in more barking and howling.
5. Not Dog-Friendly
Pitbulls are not fond of the presence of other dogs, especially when they haven’t been raised with them.
Any outsider’s presence will rouse their anxiety and make them angry. They would start barking and howling at them as they see them as enemies.
With that history, let’s discuss the various ways you can train your Pitbull not to bark.
7 Ways to Stop Pitbulls From Barking
Follow these and you’ll have a quiet dog.
1. Desensitize Them To External Cues
Dog breeds that are not exploratory and outgoing need to be introduced to external stimuli for them to adjust.
This is done gradually and involves exposure of your pooch to sounds of increasing intensity, introducing the dog to extended family, friends, and then strangers.
You can do this by either taking your dog to such companies or having them at home, it is better to start in a more familiar environment.
Make your presence compulsory during the desensitization process so that your dog remains calm and relaxed and doesn’t feel alone.
2. Make Them Socialize With Other Dogs
With extroverted dogs, you don’t have to do much, just have them near their fellow pets and they develop a comradeship instantly.
However, the breeds like Pitbull tend to be xenophobic and do not permit any other dog’s attendance.
For such breeds, you have to make them socialize gradually. Start by making them see other pets on walks and in neighborhoods, then slowly have them in the same company until they can recognize each other as comrades.
One method that works is by having them play sports, this gives them a sense of being playmates and they start seeing each other as companions rather than strangers.
Pups that are raised together do not need to be trained as such because littermates have a strong sense of companionship, they do not bark or howl at each other plus they are more tolerant of other dogs as well.
3. Regular Exercise
It is very important to drain a dog’s energy throughout the day, otherwise, it would be all pent-up at home.
Take them out regularly for long walks, and have them play dog sports like racing, fetching, frisbee, and obstacle courses.
Whatever you chose, make sure you do that regularly, you can alternate between activities but they should be happening regularly.
A tired dog is less likely to bark at others and would rather prefer to sleep and relax at home.
4. Follow A Proper Diet And Sleep Schedule
A hungry dog is a cranky dog, that is also true for us as well. Make sure your pooch is getting proper nutrition at the proper times. Have a diet plan made by a dog nutrition expert if you don’t know what to give your dog.
Also, sleep is very essential for not just the growth and development of a dog’s body but also his mind, dogs getting better sleep are more relaxed and calm as compared to those not getting enough sleep.
Make a sleeping schedule for your pooch make it follow that religiously.
5. Positive Reinforcement
Associating desirable behaviors with rewards is a safe and sound technique with high success rates.
What you need to be doing is that, stop your dog when it barks with commands and hand gestures, when it does so, reward your dog. This reward could be a food treat or a game or a toy that the dog likes.
The pooch will start associating your desired behavior which is not barking with rewards and consequently adopts a calmer behavior.
Eventually, you may not even need to motivate your dog with treats, it would leave the unwanted behavior altogether.
6. Use Gadgets And Toys
When you cannot do it with your faculties, try using gadgets and toys to train your dog.
Chewing toys, food dispensers, dog puzzles, etc keep dogs engaged both mentally and physically, they don’t bite, bark or howl when their energy and attention are directed to these activities.
E-collars are especially useful tools to train dogs, however, you need to have the proper know-how and take professional guidance when using these.
7. The Notorious Lemon Juice Method
Many dog owners find it useful to use the lemon juice method, but I don’t use it.
Take a bottle with cap holes or a spray bottle, and mix water and lemon juice in a 1:1 ratio. Sprinkle it on your pooch’s face whenever it barks, this would irritate the dog to the point that it would stop barking.
This is a form of negative reinforcement and it does work. However, always prioritize positive reinforcement over negative.
8. Know When It’s A Call For Danger
Dog’s also bark in danger, this could be to dogs themselves when they get hurt or to their owners. Always check if your dog needs help or when there is a nearby danger. Do not stop him from barking directly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let me share some questions that I have been asked in private sessions.
Are Pitbulls very vocal dogs?
Don’t get deceived by their smaller sizes, Pitbulls are a very vocal breed. They tend to make barking noises on many cues, be it a lack of food, sleep, or strangers, or when they want your attention.
At what age do Pitbulls calm down?
Generally, a Pitbull would become calmer and more relaxed as it grows, typically by the age of 1 year you would see a much more mature and relaxed dog. However, variations do occur and a lot depends on how you raise a Pitbull.
Do Pitbulls have separation anxiety?
Yes, Pitbulls are fond of living with others and do not handle loneliness well. Often they are struck with separation anxiety, so need to be cared for a lot.
Do Pitbulls Bark A Lot? Conclusion
Pitbulls, the nanny breed, was once raised as baits for bulls as the name implies.
They are a loving and obedient breed but come with a moderate tendency to bark. This can be out of certain reasons like being hungry, sleepy, anxious, in danger, or sometimes out of old habits.
This makes them prone to be disliked by many people, even their owners. However, being a smart and obedient breed, they can be easily trained not to bark.
But you need to distinguish when their barking is a call for help and when it is not.