Does your schnauzer bark at anything and everything? Sometimes their barking can be playful, but for the most part… It’s a little excessive. Why on earth do they bark so much? Is it normal for schnauzers to bark so much?
Why Do Schnauzers Bark So Much:
Schnauzers were bred to be guard dogs. This means instinctively they will be more likely to bark a lot for protective and territorial reasons than other breeds. You may also find your schnauzer barking because they’re excited, they’re bored, they want attention, or they’re feeling frustrated.
In this post you’ll discover the 14 most common reasons why schnauzers bark so much, what their barking means in different situations as well as 4 helpful anti-barking tips.
Tip #4 might be difficult but is absolutely necessary!
Let’s jump right in.
14 Reasons Why Schnauzers Bark So Much
1) They’re Excited
At its simplest form, your schnauzer is barking so much because they’re excited or easily excitable.
Whether it’s barking when mom or dad pull in the driveway after work or seeing another pup on one of their walks.
If they see something that excites them and they want to play/engage with them, your schnauzer is likely to bark.
PetMD says there’s a fine line between excitement barking and fearful barking.
They share the easiest way to know if your pup is barking out of excitement instead of fear is if they’re jumping toward what they’re barking at.
If they’re slowly backing away from something odds are this is fear barking.
2) They’re Overprotective
When an unfamiliar dog or person enters an area that your schnauzer considers theirs, this can cause them to bark a lot.
You may find that your schnauzer excessively barks because they’re being protective/territorial.
This is likely due to the fact that they were bred to be hunting as well as guard dogs.
It’s more the guard dog instincts in them kicking in in this situation.
The louder the bark, the more likely whatever is approaching will back off.
So if you notice much of your schnauzer’s barking happens when unfamiliar dogs or people are around. They’re probably barking to protect you and the rest of their domain (home).
One way to avoid this is to limit what your schnauzer can see. They will typically bark a lot when they see a perceived threat to their territory.
If you limit access to looking out windows in your home you should notice them slow down on the barking.
3) They Need Something
Some barking is totally necessary, and actually quite helpful.
If your schnauzer is standing by the door to the backyard and barking, they could be letting you know they need to go to the bathroom.
And rather than make a mess inside and upset you, they’re barking to let you know they need to be let out.
Or, they’re barking because their food/water bowl has been empty for some time and are getting hungry.
These types of barks are quite helpful and have a purpose. They need something that they’re not able to do on their own, so they’re simply letting you know they need help.
4) They Want Your Attention
If your schnauzer feels like you haven’t been giving them enough attention, they may bark to get you to pet or play with them.
Whether they want you to notice their toy patiently waiting to be thrown, would like a treat, or simply want some lovin’.
Many dogs will bark simply because they want your attention.
5) They’re Playing
When a dog gets excited during playtime, they may bark.
They’ll bark to remind you to throw their toy.
Or they’ll bark to tell you to give back their favorite ball.
If your schnauzer is more expressive, they may bark a lot during play because they’re communicating with you.
If only they knew how loud they were!
6) They’re Alerting You
It’s in your schnauzers DNA to want to keep you on notice if somethings afoot.
Whether it’s another dog coming close to your home, mom or dad pulling in the driveway after work, or letting you know someone is at the door.
I guess they don’t think knocking or a doorbell is quite enough…
Keeping you in the know is important for your schnauzer because they were bred to be guard dogs.
If you ever notice your schnauzer alone in the backyard barking at nothing, they’re likely bored.
Dogs are very social animals and they want to interact with other dogs or people.
And if they’re bored in your backyard, they may bark in an attempt to hear back from another dog. Or even to get your attention so you interact with them or play with them.
If they seem to be barking for no other logical reason you can think of, it’s likely boredom.
If that’s the case try getting them some new fun toys, playing with them more often, or take them on longer walks/hikes.
A tired pup is a quiet pup.
Reasons Why Schnauzers Bark At Strangers
As mentioned earlier, schnauzers were bred to hunt as well as be guard dogs.
This means instinctively they’ll be a little more territorial than other breeds.
If someone they don’t know gets close to you or their domain (home) they may feel the need to scare them off.
They want to ensure their territory stays safe and any strangers are potential threats.
Whether it’s coming onto your property, taking one of their toys or touching their food.
Your schnauzer might bark in all these scenarios when strangers do these things.
They want what they consider theirs to remain theirs and feel the need to protect it.
9) They’re Scared
As mentioned earlier, your schnauzer may bark in similar situations to when they’re excited.
It’s up to you to observe their other behavior to tell if they’re scared or excited.
If they’re backing up while barking, they’re likely afraid of whoever is approaching them. Whether it’s another dog or a stranger.
They could also be frightened by loud noises such as fireworks that would make them bark a lot.
10) Lack Of Socialization
If your schnauzer wasn’t properly socialized as a young pup, they may bark a lot because new faces are potential threats to them.
That’s why it’s so important to give your schnauzer lots of exposure to different dogs, people and places when they’re younger than 1 year old.
When they understand that unfamiliar people can be friends, they won’t feel threatened by them and react by barking.
But if their only experience with people was with you their entire life, they won’t handle being around others very well.
Reasons Why Schnauzers Bark At Other Dogs
11) They’re Jealous
If you have a jealous pup on your hands, when you pet or give attention to another dog, your schnauzer might bark a lot at you and the other dog.
They don’t want you giving your attention to another dog.
This also can come from lack of socializing. If they were the only one to get your attention their entire life, they’ll want that to continue.
So as soon as they see you giving attention to another dog, they’ll act out by excessively barking.
They simply can’t help it. They love you so much and it hurts them to see you give another pup attention.
12) They’re Frustrated
Your schnauzer may bark excessively if they’re frustrated.
For example, if they see kids playing in the front yard and aren’t able to go out and play with them.
Or they see other dogs outside playing and they want nothing more than to be outside playing with them.
These types of situations could frustrate your pup and make them bark, and bark a lot.
They don’t like that they’re restricted from engaging in what they’re seeing and respond by barking.
13) They’re Communicating
Some dogs bark simply because they hear other dogs barking.
In their own special way, this is them communicating.
If you live in a neighborhood with many other dogs, you may find your schnauzer barking a lot because they’re chatting when in the backyard or on a walk.
They may be saying stay away, or I want to play. The rest of their body language can help you understand what they’re communicating.
14) Excess Energy
If your schnauzer hasn’t been for a walk yet on a given day and they see other dogs, their excess energy could be why they’re barking.
They have so much pent up energy that they want to play and run around.
Since they need to burn the energy off somehow, they bark to either burn off steam or get the other dog to play with them.
Either situation helps your pup get rid of some of their extra energy.
Top 4 Tips To Reduce Schnauzer Barking
1) Lots Of Exercise
Exercise can help with many reasons why your schnauzer is barking.
If they’re pooped from a long walk or from playing fetch at the dog park, they won’t be interested in barking.
They’ll be more focused on regaining their energy and getting some much needed R&R.
More often than not, barking is a result of excess pent up energy.
If they’re in a safe environment and not being territorial/trying to protect you, they’re barking because of pent up energy.
If you make each of their walks a little longer, or maybe take them for another walk all together, they’ll likely have less energy to bark as much.
2) Reward Based Training
The most important thing is to never reward your schnauzer’s barking.
If they bark to get your attention and you cater to whatever they want, you’re indirectly teaching them that barking works to get what they want.
Instead, set up other ways for your pup to communicate with you and reward that behavior.
For example, put a bell at the back door that they can paw at and ring when they need to go to the bathroom.
Next time they paw at it, give them a treat.
Also, watch them go outside and when they go number 1 or 2, go outside and give them another treat.
This will help associate a reward with ringing the bell and going to the bathroom outside.
The most important thing to keep in mind is never reward their barking. Don’t yell back, don’t give any additional attention, and certainly no treats.
They should soon understand that this behavior isn’t what you want to see.
3) Consult With a Professional
Sometimes it’s not obvious what the trigger is that’s causing your schnauzer to bark so much.
If that’s the case for you, it might be worth looking into consulting with a professional.
Behavioral specialists have likely been involved in hundreds of different situations so they’ll be able to determine why your pup is barking so much pretty quickly.
They’ll also have ways to help you stop the behavior from continuing if it’s really bothering you and/or your neighbors.
Of course this will come with a cost, but it’ll save you time attempting to figure out the problem on your own.
4) Don’t Shout
If you start shouting at your schnauzer when they bark, they’ll likely think you’re simply joining in.
Which will only continue their behavior as opposed to stopping it.
It’s best to speak in a calm, but firm, tone rather than yell.
Which is definitely easier said than done when they’re testing your patience.
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