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Is your whippet starting to bark more and more to the point where it’s becoming excessive? At first it’s playful and all fun and games, but at a certain point it can become too much.
Why does this happen? Is it normal for whippets to bark so much?
Why Do Whippets Bark:
Whippets are generally very quiet breeds with some hardly barking at all. When a whippet does bark it’s usually because they’re excited, bored, trying to communicate, or in an attempt to get your attention. Reasons a whippet barks more depends on their upbringing as well as the situation they’re in.
In this post you’ll discover:
- The 11 reasons that cause a whippets to bark
- What their barking means in different situations
- 7 tips to stop whippets from excessive barking (Tip #5 is extremely helpful)
- And much more
Let’s dive in.
Table of Contents
The 11 Reasons Your Whippet Barks So Much
1) Territorial Barking
One of the most common reasons dogs bark is for territorial purposes. This can be defending their yard, food, or house
This type of barking can be one of the most difficult to manage because it’s usually self-reinforcing.
What happens is your dog starts barking at someone with their goal being to get rid of that person.
When they bark they are likely communicating something like “HEY, get off my property!”.
And what usually happens after? The person goes away.
The problem here is the person is not going away because of your dog barking, they were just walking past your house or yard.
Regardless, the dog now thinks when they bark they can get rid of people trespassing, thus, reinforcing the behavior.
Related Reading: 7 Simple Strategies To Help Quickly Calm A Reactive Dog
2) Your Whippet Is Alarming You
This next reason your whippet may be barking is to alarm you. This is referred to as “alarm barking” and is exactly what the name implies.
Your whippet is simply warning you to let you know they see or hear something.
Their bark translated into english would sound something like “Hey mom, there is something over there!”
This is separate from territory barking but easy to distinguish based on your dog’s personality.
If you know your dog loves everyone and everything, and they constantly bark at people through the window, it’s likely alarm barking or excitement barking.
If you know your dog is more shy, hesitant, and protective with people it’s likely they are not alarm barking.
Related Reading: Are Whippets Loyal? The Truth + 9 Interesting Facts
3) You Whippet Wants Attention
When whippets want attention they may whine, paw at you, sit & stare at you, or even bark.
Whippets are particularly high in energy and may bug and pester you to play with them.
If they are really eager, whippets will bark to get your attention since they know as soon as they bark, you turn to look at them before saying “Quiet”.
The issue here is anytime you respond to their barking and look at them, you are giving them what they want! It can be tough to ignore but you should only give them attention once they are quiet.
4) Your Whippets Over Stimulated
Excitement fills a dog up with bundles of energy. Depending on a dog’s age and what they are excited about can determine how intense their response.
Some dogs cannot control their excitement and will jump, bark, or whine.
If your whippet is barking when you get home, or when they see other dogs they want to play with, it’s likely they are extremely excited.
A barking response to excitement can be removed with proper training. In addition as whippets get older they will have better control of their excitement.
Related Reading: Why Whippets Get Zoomies & Run Around Like Crazy + Tips
5) Communication Barking
Just like we speak to communicate with one another a dog will bark and whine to communicate.
Dogs are social animals and understand body language and tone.
Barking along with interpreting body language is how they communicate to us and other animals.
Whippets are highly intelligent and might be trying to tell you something if they are barking.
In addition, they will bark at other dogs in response if they hear another barking.
6) Your Whippets Scared
A scared whippet may react to fear by barking. Some dogs whine & shake when scared and become quiet.
Whippets are generally more on the quiet side but depending on the severity of the situation, your whippet may bark in response.
Related Reading: 14 Reasons Whippets Shake, Shiver & Tremble (#5 Is Weird)
7) Frustration Barking
A whippet may bark excessively if they are frustrated with something.
For example, if you are holding back your whippet when another dog is around, they may bark out of frustration.
This is because they want to greet and play with the other dog.
This usually happens whenever a dog is restricted in some capacity from doing what they want.
Furthermore, they may also bark out of frustration if they get stuck, want attention but aren’t getting it, are an older dog and can’t move like they used to, and many more reasons.
Whenever my dog Enzo gets his anchor leash wrapped around trees he will bark out of frustration and to let us know he needs help.
8) Illness Or Injury Barking
Another reason your whippet may bark is due to an injury or illness.
This kind of bark might sound quieter and more sad sounding. Almost like a combination of a whine and a bark.
If they had an acute injury (meaning it was very sudden) it might be more intense sounding versus chronic injuries that develop more over long periods of time.
9) You Whippet Needs Something
Some barking is extremely helpful for us understanding what our whippets need.
If your pup walks over to the door and barks, they probably need to go potty.
If your dog is in their crate and starts to bark, they probably need something. This type of barking is great since it lets us know our dog needs something.
Related Reading: Are Whippets High Maintenance? (What To Expect + Tips)
10) Jealous Barking
Ever been in a situation where you whippet barks at someone you hug or another dog you pet?
If your whippet has a habit of barking only when you give other people or animals attention, they might be jealous.
They want all your love and attention for themselves.
This habit could develop from a lack of socialization or they simply love you too much to share.
This leads us perfectly into our last reason.
11) You Whippet Lacks Social Skills
If your whippet was not properly socialized they may bark at new people, animals, and things that are new to them.
This lack of socialization makes new things scary and intimidating for whippets. Some respond by being nervous in these situations, and some may bark.
Top 7 Tips To Reduce Whippet Barking
1) Know Your Whippets Barking Triggers
The first step in reducing and eliminating any bad behavior is to first identify the triggers causing the problem.
Above there is a list of 11 reasons a whippet may bark.
Determine which things are triggering the barking and determine what reason your whippet has for barking.
For example, if you know your whippet is barking at the window whenever they see a person, this could be a sign of territory or alarm barking.
In this example the trigger is a person near the house.
Once you’ve identified your whippets triggers (all of them) you can now begin reconstructing their barking habit.
2) Control The Environment
Now you have an idea of what your whippets triggers are so you can start to adapt to their environment.
If they are constantly barking out the window or in the backyard at people, you need to control the environment and remove the trigger.
This type of barking keeps self-reinforcing so it’s important to remove the trigger.
For this particular example you can put up blinds and make sure your dog can’t see through the fence.
This will make it so they cannot see people or animals to bark at.
Another example with controlling the environment would be making sure your dog has plenty of toys to mentally stimulate them and keep them busy.
This would help reduce attention seeking barking by making sure they are being stimulated in other ways if you are busy.
3) Consistent Positive Reinforcement Training
Training a whippet to stop barking should always be done with positive reinforcement training.
In the most simplest form, this means that anytime your dog behaves the way you want you reward them.
If they are barking, say “quiet” and wait for them to stop. As soon as they stop barking, reward them.
This positive reinforcement will go a long way but it needs to be done consistently.
Be patient and overtime your dog will learn to be quiet when you ask.
4) Do Not Punish Your Whippet
Avoid punishing or yelling at your whippet. This only makes things worse and confuses your dog.
First and foremost, if you are yelling at your dog when they are barking they can easily misconstrue this for you “barking” with them.
Depending on why your whippet is barking their reasoning is usually revolving around protecting you, your “pack”, and your territory.
They think they are contributing to the team and doing their part to help.
Thus, it’s important not to yell and punish them.
5) Socialize Them More
There has been a theme throughout this article emphasizing the importance of properly socializing a whippet.
Not only is it important for this shy breed to gain confidence but it will help them become confident well rounded dogs that do not bark!
Socializing them with people, kids, and other dogs will help reduce barking. Especially if their triggers are other dogs or people.
The more familiar you can get them with different things and environments the better.
6) Exercise & Stimulate Them More
This next tip is important for whippets due to their high energy and athleticism.
Whippets can become bored very easily so exercise and mental stimulation goes a long way.
For all barking triggers, giving them more exercise and stimulation can reduce barking.
If your whippet is barking out of boredom, attention-seeking, or excitement, increasing their activity will help.
The more you can stimulate them physically and mentally the better behaved they will be.
A tired dog is less likely to bark since they don’t have as much built up energy.
7) Consult With A Dog Trainer
Last on the list of tips is most people’s last choice. Mostly because it can be pricey to pay for, however, well worth it in some cases.
Whippets that bark at anything and everything are a lot of work to train. That’s why getting advice and instruction from an expert can go a long way.
They will not only give you specific tips but will speed up the process tremendously.
Other posts you may find interesting:
5 Reasons Your Dog Won’t Stop Barking
Why Do Dogs Bark Excessively?
Why Dogs Bark and Curbing Excessive Barking
How To Stop Nuisance Dog Barking
How To Get Your Dog To Stop Barking
Cesar’s Best Tips To Stop Dog Barking
Why Your Dog Is Barking And How To Stop It