Do Bernese Mountain Dogs bark a lot? An important question for any aspiring Bernese dog owner. The barking level of a dog is determined by many things. These can range from their genetics, what they were bred to do, to how you socialize and train them. A loud dog can bring a lot of headaches such as problems with neighbors, as well as your own peace and quiet. So how much do Bernese Mountain Dogs bark?
Bernese Mountain Dogs are diligent and alert; traits that make them excellent watchdogs. This can also lead to a great deal of barking. When a Bernese Mountain Dog barks you will definitely hear it. They can be quite loud but this can be reduced with training.
A dog’s barking can be measure in two levels. One is how much they bark. The other is how loud is it. While some Bernese Mountain Dogs actually don’t bark as much as you would think, others almost never seem to quiet down. The biggest problem is just how loud it is. It would seem like these lovable dogs have voices that can travel for miles.
While this can be quite a difficult problem for the unprepared owner, there are actually many things that you can do to reduce a Bernese Mountain Dogs barking.
You are not helpless in this case and Bernese are incredibly loving and eager to please their owners. This can make training them a breeze at times. The key is patience and consistency.
Here you will find out all about the barking habits of a Bernese Mountain Dog, from why do they do it, all the way to the many different methods to stop it. We will be trying to covering all aspects affecting dog barking. By the end of this article, you will be an expert on everything concerning dog barking. At least enough to help you with either your current dog or any future dogs you hope to have.
Why Do Dogs Bark?
Dogs bark for many different reasons. The main one being that it’s their chief form of communication. Their sharp ears combined with vocalizations capable of traveling miles makes barking sorta like their cell phones or the internet.
They can talk to other dogs or people. Scaring away other animals is a significant advantage to barking as well. Even though it may seem like yelling to us, to them it’s often just their way of saying hello. Dogs are far too cheerful and boisterous to ever use whispering. When they have something to say they got to let it out with a great “Ruff Ruff”.
Some of the chief reasons they bark and why are the following:
- They’re saying “Go away!” Protecting one’s family is an important part of a dog’s life. After all what kind of dog are you if you let your pack get hurt? When it comes to Bernese Mountain Dogs this takes on special meaning as they will often bark to ward off danger to their family.
- When dogs are frightened instead of screaming they bark! When humans get scared with might scream like when we’re watching a scary movie and the killer clown pops out. While small dogs will sometimes let out a high pitched bark that can sound like a scream, this isnt really possible for a Bernese Mountain Dog. If they’re scared they will try barking their problems away.
- It’s their way of saying hello! This applies particulary to a bernese as they are extremely friendly. If theyve been properly socialized then they just want to be buddies with everybody. So next time you see a big dog barking be careful but realize they may just be saying hi!
- Dogs like to bark when they’re bored. Boredom can be a terrible thing especially when you’re a canine. A lot of doggy vocalizations could actually be summed up as they just trying to get some entertainment in their lives. I mean when you’re not sleeping you gotta do something to get your rocks on am I right?
Of course, there can be other reasons why a dog might be barking a lot. It could be a medical issue. While many dogs get real quiet when they’re feeling unwell. There are some canine fellows that get louder. Maybe they’re trying to tell their humans that something is wrong? So if you have a dog that’s barking more than usual, before you get angry and frustrated with them take them to a trusted vet.
Why Do Bernese Mountain Dogs Bark?
While Bernese do bark for all the reasons given above that all dogs bark for. There are certain special considerations. Reasons that they bark that arent really shared with other canines.
To understand these reasons we have to delve a bit into their history, how they were developed as a breed and why. Basically, what was their purpose?
Bernese Mountain Dogs originated as family farm dogs in various parts of Switzerland. There they would help out their master’s activities on the farms. Things like pulling a cart filled with milk to the local market, leading them to be called cheese dogs by the locals. Or helping to drive cattle over long distances.
This origin story is part of what gives them their excellent personality: strong, dutiful, loyal and loving with their family. Berners are real team players.
But when you’re playing on a team, whether this is cows, people, or other dogs, then communication becomes key and of course, Bernese Mountain Dogs communicate through their barking.
Drawing from the earlier list of the different reasons that dogs bark. For Bernese Mountain Dogs probably the biggest one is simply saying hello. When your as a friend as a Bernese dog you just can’t help it.
Ways to Reduce Bernese Mountain Dogs Barking
If your dog is a big barker, all may seem lost. But don’t worry too much with a bit of patience and elbow grease there are things that can be done. For all the many different reasons that dogs bark there are just as many techniques that can reduce it.
You may not be able to completely get your Bernese Mountain Dog to stop barking but lessening it is a real possibility.
Here are a few different methods that we will go over:
- Special training techniques
- Using a water-spray bottle on its own and in conjunction with other forms of training
- Bark collars which ones that can be good and which ones to never use
- Figuring out your dogs barking temptations and eliminating them
But first were going to need to go over all those things that don’t work. You may have been told they do but they just don’t. So without further ado here we go.
Things That Won’t Reduce Your Bernese Mountain Dogs Barking
While a barking dog can be terribly frustrating you must try to always keep your cool. You’re on the phone and all of sudden the dog starts barking and you feel like you can’t even hear your own thoughts never mind the person on the phone.
I understand we’ve all been there. But if you get mad and express to your dog. Then that is not going to help. In fact, it may just make things work.
If you lash out in anger, shouting, or using hard physical methods then this could make your dog even more aggressive. Which of course will lead to more barking.
Or the dog might even feel like your joining in and encouraging them to bark. After all, from a dog’s point of view human yelling might seem an awful lot like barking. All of this will lead to the complete opposite of what you wanted to achieve.
So try your best to never do the following:
- Never hit or yell at your dog. It just makes things worse
- Don’t use shock collars. This also can increase aggression and worse possibly injure your dog.
- Never be inconsistent. Training a dog is hard work and every bout of inconsistency just confuses them and makes it take all the longer.
- Don’t use debarking surgery on your dog. This causes them to still be able to bark but now it comes out as a terrible rasping sound. It’s cruel and you shouldn’t do just to make life a little more convenient for you.
Training Your Bernese Mountain Dog to Stop Barking
The most effective form of getting your dog to stop barking that you will ever find involves hands-on training. The key is making the dog understand exactly what it is they want them or don’t want them to do.
While dogs can understand some human words it doesn’t come as naturally as it does to people. To help them understand, you have to pair a word, a command phrase with the action that they’re doing.
With this a little bit of trickery can go a long way.
What we do is we wait for the dog to start barking. This is okay for now we actually kinda want them to bark so we can pull off what we’re going to do next.
When the dog starts barking we then patiently wait for them to stop. They will eventually I promise. During their barking time we should go ahead and get a treat ready. It can really help with training if you go ahead and develope the habit of having some in your pocket ready to go at all times.
As soon as the dog stops barking tell them”hush” or “quiet” and give them the treat. Rinse and repeat as many times as necessary.
What this does is it helps the dog to understand that when they stop barking they get praise and a treat. Try to make the treat be something uber juicy and yummy. You really want them to be salivating to obey you, it makes everything so much easier.
After having repeated this step many times over then you can move on to the next level.
Now when your Bernese Mountain Dog starts barking tell them your command phrase of “hush” or “quiet” and then when they obey you and stop then quickly give them the treat and tell them how much of a good dog they are.
Really try to put as much love as you can in your tone. Dogs respond really well to that. Probably try to use baby talk. Or as I like to call it “puppy talk”.
Using a Water Spray Bottle
While the last technique is the cornerstone of training your Bernese Mountain Dog to stop barking. It may have to be paired or alternated with other training techniques. Some things will work better than others for individual dogs.
In this method, we are going to use a waterspray bottle. Now there are several ways you can go about it. You can spray your dog when they start barking while also using your hush command phrase, then if they respond to the water by stopping. Then you follow it up with the earlier method and praise them heavily while giving them their favorite treat.
I’ve seen some very difficult dogs that have responded wonderfully to being squirted with a little bit of water. Dogs who weren’t responding at all to other training methods. So if the earlier technique wasn’t enough hopefully this will help reach your Bernese Mountain Dog.
Using a Bark Collar
Now here I am not at all talk about using a shock collar. Those are awful, and should only be used by professionals and only under the most dire and dangerous of circumstances.
But there are many kinds of non-violent bark collars ones that spray them with annoying smells like citronella. Or spritz them with water, essentially automating the water-spray method. Don’t you just love the 21st century.
You can also use a noise emitting collar. I’m not completely sold on these, however. I’m a little skeptical of whether they’re truly safe for a dog’s ears. I’ve had some dogs go deaf with old age and you certainly don’t want that to happen to your Bernese Mountain Dog simply because you want them to stop barking.
Getting Rid of Temptation
There is so much sensory stimuli hitting your dogs, ears, eyes, and nose all the time. If we could hear and smell like they could we would probably be barking into the air just as much.
So combined with the earlier methods you should also seek to discover the specific thing that your Bernese barks at. Depending upon how much your dog barks this may feel overwhelming. But if you just calmy try to be aware of the times and places your dog barks then soon you begin to understand why their barking.
Perhaps what they like to bark at is something outside and maybe they only know it’s there because they see it. So try pulling the blinds down. this could help to remove their temptation to announce themselves to whatever it is that they see.
In the same way, if you notice them often barking at a specific person, maybe they don’t know them and because of it, they feel sad. So introduce your Bernese Mountain Dog to them. You never know it could be the beginning of an excellent friendship.
There are many reasons that dogs bark and some bark more or less than others. In the case of many Bernese Mountain Dogs, they do tend to bark a lot. Not all of them but many of them. But there are basic techniques that you can use that with a bit of patience and consistency will deliver good results for you and your dog.
Remember though not all dog barking is bad. Sometimes it might be the case that your Bernese is actually warning you or directing your attention to something of immediate danger. You never know, a dog barking might even save your life. So don’t always hate on a dog for barking try to listen to understand are they barking for silly dog reasons or are they actually performing their sacred watchdog duties.