Most dog owners search for ways for their dogs to stop barking. However, a dog who does not bark can pose some problems, which can become worrisome. A silent dog can suffer from medical issues or a troubled past. In this article, we will tackle different reasons why your dog isn't barking.
The larynx is the voice box of a dog's internal system, so if anything happens to this important organ, it can make it painful or impossible for a dog to bark. To rule out this complication, consider bringing your dog to the veterinarian for a complete diagnosis.
Some dog breeds are more susceptible to this condition than others. For example, Saint Bernards and Newfoundlands have a higher chance of acquired paralysis during their later years, developing because of cancer, trauma, stress, and other unknown causes. When there is paralysis, the airflow becomes restricted, thus making it difficult for your dog to bark.
On the other hand, sometimes dogs stop barking not because of severe medical conditions but because they have sore throats from excessive barking. In this case, your dog needs to rest.
Some dogs are naturally quiet. It may be that your dog's personality does not involve too much barking. If that's the case, then you don't need to worry. But if ever your dog suddenly stops barking, then you should see the veterinarian for a more accurate diagnosis.
Quiet dogs who bark occasionally can be a good thing since you won't worry about bothering the neighbors. When your dog suddenly barks, you'll also know that something is wrong, or you are being alerted of danger.
Comfort takes time
Whenever you adopt a dog from the shelter or the rescue, it still needs to familiarize itself with its new surroundings. Your dog could be a bit shy towards you and its new home. Do not worry about this as it will be temporary, and your dog will get comfortable in no time and bark more in the course of a few weeks. To help with your dog's comfort, make sure that you raise your pet with love and in a positive environment. Help your dog be familiarized with you by playing with it occasionally and giving food and treats to encourage bond.
Your dog could be a victim of unpleasant past experiences, which caused a traumatic disposition. Your dog may be beaten up in the past, thus instilling fear and passiveness in its behavior.
All dogs getting older are becoming less and less active, thus not barking as much as they used to. When the older dog's hearing is lessened, it may not react as much to its surroundings.
Debarking or Training
Some owners "debark" their dogs through surgery where they trim the vocal chords to reduce the volume of the barking. These dogs can still bark, not just as loud as they used to be. While this surgery is widely done across different parts of the world, most veterinarians recommend engaging your dog in training instead if you want to control his barking.
Use Positive Reinforcement Training where you reward your dog every time it successfully does what you want your dog to do. For example, you can give your dog some treats when it barks during training, so that it will recognize that barking is what you want your dog to do. Remember that your dog won't bark immediately, so start giving it treats when it growls, and slowly as you reward it more, your dog will surely learn how to bark.
Lastly, you are the best person to know your dog best, so it will be up to you on how you train your dog. If you are utterly concerned about your dog's unusual silence, it won't hurt to go to the veterinarian immediately and have your dog checked.