If you’re considering getting a greyhound as a pet or you already just got one. The question of do greyhounds bark a lot is a very important one. Knowing the barking level of a dog can help a lot in your choice as well as in how you train them and deal with various problems. So do greyhounds bark a lot and how do you reduce it?
Greyhounds are generally a quiet laid back breed. Trained to be sighthounds they are extremely fast but paired with quiet stealth. They are meant to come upon prey fast and silently. For this reason while there are exceptions most greyhounds rarely bark, except when their excited to be meeting up with friends.
Being the fastest sprinting dogs on the planet, might make one think that greyhounds are noisy energetic dogs. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Sighthounds, which is what greyhounds are, need to be fairly quiet. Because they’re meant to chase down prey by sight independently on their own, stealth becomes a must. Hunting on their own separately from people makes barking not necessary for communication.
Many hunting dogs are heavy barkers because of they need to be in constant communication with their human hunter handlers. Using their barking to share their location and the location of their quarry makes barking for such dogs essential to their effective operation.
This is not true for the quiet greyhound. Even so some owners may still have certain problems with their greyhound barking, though rare every dog is its own individual. Some greyhounds will be bigger barkers than others. This is just how things are.
For owners who may have gotten a noisy greyhound there are many highly effective methods that can help reduce barking and make sure that it happens only at appropriate times.
Why Do Greyhounds Bark?
Greyhounds may bark for many reasons. While some breeds of dog have special unique reasons that they bark this is not really true for the greyhound. These speedy dogs by and large bark for the same reasons that are common to all dogs.
A greyhound may bark because their afraid or alarmed by something. A startling noise or someone they don’t trust. Any of these things could set off even the easy-going greyhound. Fear and noise often go hand in hand for both people and canines.
Loneliness or boredom can also be a barking precursor. While this is a much less likely reason for greyhounds even so some dogs will bark because their bored. After all making a lot of noise and getting attention from your owners can be a perfect boredom killer. Not to mention they might do such a good job at it that they’ll be surrounded by people ending loneliness just like that.
Even the quietest greyhound will likely bark while playing or if they’re greeting a long lost friend. Joy brings out laughter in humans and barking in dogs. A Bark can mean many things to a dog and one of them is as an expression of joy and happiness. Many greyhound owners often report that this is the primary reason that their greyhound may bark. Even the quiet ones.
If your greyhound develops separation anxiety then that can be a major source of barking as well. Many owners may not even realize that this barking takes place since it usually occurs when they have left the house. The dog out of its sadness at its seeming abandonment even if it’s only for thirty minutes may lash out by barking. Trying to bring their loved ones back and mourning their situation.
5 Ways to Reduce Barking in Greyhounds
While most greyhounds won’t have a problem with barking there are always exceptions. Any owner that finds themselves with a noisy greyhound companion is not without options however.
There are many highly effective methods time tested and true that you can fall back on to help you stop your greyhounds barking. While many of these methods do take time and patience. With consistency and perseverance they can produce amazing results for the diligent practitioner.
Without further ado lets go ahead and dive into these various methods. So that you a dog lover can be armed with a variety of highly effective techniques.
Excercise Your Greyhound
Hyper energetic dogs generally tend to bark a lot. So providing enough exercise for your pet canine is a must. Now greyhounds are not as energetic as one might think though.
They are sprinters and not marathon runners. Greyhounds will generally have strong energetic spikes which is when they want to let go and sprint. But most of the time they actually like to laze around and sleep a lot. Many owners actually consider their greyhounds to be somewhat lazy.
Even so absent any chance to exercise and run any greyhound could become unruly. So the first thing to do with any dog with a barking problem is to ask if you’re providing them with enough exercise to burn of excess energy. Without that barking issues will generally get worse even in the quiet greyhound.
Taking your greyhound on walks and letting them run around in a backyard is good if you have one. All breeds of dog benefit immensely from consistent daily walks. But depending upon the size of your backyard the best thing you can probably do for them is to take them to a local dog park. While greyhounds are not that active they do need the space to run at full speed from time to time. After all their speed is the main quality of a greyhound. Many yards may not be large enough for them to get up to full speed so a larger area that a dog park provides may be necessary.
Using a Command Phrase to Help Your Greyhound Stop Barking
Probably the most effective method for reducing barking in any dog including greyhounds is training them with a stop barking command phrase. This is a phrase that can be anything you like. When your dog starts barking at a time that you don’t want them to then you merely use your command phrase. If you’ve done the training correctly and long enough then it should be highly effective.
The key for starting is getting your greyhound to understand what your command phrase means. This can be a bit more tricky with something that dogs do naturally like barking. So the first part of the training is focused on teaching them what that command phrase means.
In the first part of the training, you’re not going to actually use your command phrase to get them to stop barking. Instead when their barking you’re going to get them a treat and wait patiently until they stop. Once they’ve stopped barking on their own then you use the stop barking command phrase that you’ve chosen along with the treat. Say the command phrase and then give them the treat with lots of love and praise.
This tricks the greyhound and makes them associate the command phrase with stopping barking. Even though they didn’t stop barking because of your command phrase still they will over time come to think that they did. When it comes to time dogs can be quite funny and don’t really understand before and after like we humans do.
Only once you feel confident that your greyhound fully associates the command phrase with stopping barking and receiving a treat do you then move on to the second part of the training.
In the second part of the training now you will actually use your command phrase on your greyhound when they are actively barking. Do the same thing except use it when their barking and then when they stop give them your treat and lots of love.
If they don’t respond then they don’t fully associate the command phrase with the behavior and reward. So go back to step one and repeat as necessary. Keep in mind that proper training takes time so you’re going to need to be very patient with this method.
Also remember to always use the same command phrase for stopping barking. Don’t change it willy nilly, inconsistency kills effective dog training. Full consistency is a must, changing the command phrase will just confuse your greyhound and make their bark training ineffective.
Using a Waterspray Bottle Combined With a Command Phrase
Another way that you can do that previously method is combined with a squirt water bottle. Basically you do everything that you do in the first method but now the added equipment and activity of squirting wiith a water bottle.
This technique will work better with some dogs than others. Generally hardier dogs that like living outdoors are as you can imagine more immune to this method. But with Greyhounds who don’t have thick fur and tend to be a bit meek and sensitive this technique could be much more effective.
When you find your dog barking at a bad time merely give them a little spritz with the water while saying the command phrase. Of course once they stop barking then immediately reward them with a trait and the best highest quality praise that you can manage.
This way hopefully they will associate barking with getting sprayed with water but will associate the command with being quiet and being rewarded. After a few repetitions you should be able to begin to transition to just using the command phrase and leaving the water bottle out of it.
Using Bark Collars
while this will likely not be necessary for a greyhound. Bark collars can also be an option to help you reduce your dog’s barking. Now to make it clear I do not recommend shock collars at all. They are rather terrible devices that should only be used if at all by a profession in extremely serious and difficult situations.
Instead, I am rather referring to some non-violent bark collar options. There are a wide variety of types that usually spray something unpleasant to smell, water, or make an irritating sound. Even a more noisy greyhound will likely not be barking enough to warrant a bark collar but still, I will go through the different options for you.
- Citronella spraying collars: These useful little doodads will spray your dog with a light mist of citronella whenever they bark. Citronella is neither painful nor poisonous for dogs the smell merely irritates them. They tend to find it rather unpleasant so hopefully with most dogs it will discourage them barking a lot.
- Water spraying collars: These collars will simply do the same thing you use the water spray bottle for. If your Greyhound wears this collar and barks then they will be spritzed by a light mist of water. Presumingly they will dislike it and so be less likely to bark a lot.
- Noise emitting collars: With these collars they will put off an irritating sound whenever your dog barks while wearing them. I don’t like these as much because of the sensitivity of many dog’s ears. So I would generally recommend trying the other collars first if you have found the command phrase training to not work well for you and your greyhound.
Greyhounds May Bark a Lot Because of Health Issues
Something else important to consider is that the cause of your dog’s barking may not have anything at all to do with behavior. If you find training unsuccessful then probably your next line of inquiry should be your dog’s health.
While many dogs when they feel ill will grow quiet and lethargic the opposite will actually occur for many others. When they feel sick, or theirs some underlying health problems it will make the act up and bark a lot more. The key to identifying this is to know your dog’s barking habits quite well.
If you all of a suddenly find your Greyhound barking a lot more then they usually do without any seeming outside cause. Then there could be a high chance that its actually a health problem of some sort. In this case a dog’s barking is kind of like a child’s crying. Their saying that there in pain and need help from their beloved owners.
So in this case schedule, an appointment for your Greyhound with your most trusted vet so that they can get a health check-up. Just to make sure that there is no health issue causing their excessive barking.
Greyhounds are generally quiet dogs that usually dont bark a lot. Due to the needs of their sighthound evolution the need for barking was never really their. This lead them to be quiet with a usualy calm maybe even lazy temperment. But even so their are exceptions to every rule and so some greyhounds may develope a barking problem.
In that case their is nothing to worry about as you have quite a few options for helping you reduce your greyhounds barking. Training with a command phrase should be the first technique that you should try. If that doesnt work well then you can try with a squirt water bottle and if the barking is still just too much only then step up to using a citronella, water, or noise collar. Command phrases and generally training hsould be the first as collars are nuisances for both you and your greyhound.