Do Bull Terriers Bark A Lot? Causes And Solutions To Excessive Barking

Before adopting a Bull Terrier, it’s important to ask the question, do bull Terriers bark a lot? As a responsible dog owner, you don’t want to be getting yourself into something your not prepared to handle. Well, to put it simply, there’s no short answer. It really depends on the dog and how they were raised. In this article, I’ll discuss why your Bull Terrier barks and what you can do to prevent this negative behaviour. 

As I’m sure you’re aware of, many owners actually like a Bull Terrier that barks which is understandable since barking is a great way to alert you of the presence of an unknown person. However, depending on the amount of control you have over their barking the frequency of it, it can quickly morph into a much greater problem that must be taken care of sooner rather than later. 

Why Does My Bull Terrier Bark So Much?

As I mentioned above, there’s no single answer. Listed below are a few common reasons.

  • Barking due to separation anxiety/compulsive barking: Bull Terriers with separation anxiety may bark a lot whenever you leave them alone. Compulsive barkers may bark just because they like the sound of their voice
  • Barking because of boredom/loneliness: Like us humans, Bull Terriers are social animals that don’t like being left alone for extended periods of time. 
  • Barking to greet/play: When dogs meet other people (or animals), they often give a happy bark to show welcoming. 
  • Barking due to territory/protection: When someone or something infringes upon your Bull Terrier’s territory, they make begin barking to let the intruder know they are not welcome.
  • Barking for attention: When your dog wants something, it may begin barking to let you know of this whether it is playing fetch or wanting a treat. 
  • Barking out of alarm/fear: When your Bull Terrier hears something or spots something that startles them, they may begin barking to show authority or to warn you. 

As you can see, it can be difficult to pinpoint your Bull Terriers barking to one singular reason. Check and see if any of the reasons listed could be the cause of your Bull Terrier’s frequent barking. So now you’re probably thinking, what can I do to put an end to their negative behaviour. Well, once you’ve determined the situation that is causing your Bull Terrier to bark excessively, there are a few easy steps that can be taken to mitigate their barking. 

How Do I Stop My Bull Terrier From Barking So Frequently?

It is very important for you to understand that you must provide your dog Bull Terrier with both negative and positive reinforcements. When you catch your dog barking, make sure to use an appropriate correction while the barking is occurring so your Bull Terrier can make the connection between their bad behaviour and your correction. 

You must not reinforce the behaviour in any way such as giving in to their demands for barking. Once your dog is quiet and well-behaved, then you can reward them and show that you are happy with their behaviour so that they can make a positive connection. 

You must understand that correcting their behaviour will not happen overnight. In fact, it could take days or even weeks before they are able to stop barking entirely. But with proper techniques and effort, I guarantee you’ll be able to see some great progress right away. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you begin your efforts to control your Bull Terrier’s barking. 

  • Most bull Terriers can’t understand what you want when you yell at them to be quite. In other words, instead of just yelling at them, teach them to understand an individual word that they can associate with stopping their barking. 
  • Shouting may actually stimulate your dog to want to bark more because they may interpret it as you joining them. So instead of raising your voice, speak firmly and calmly and make sure not to yell. 

Here are two methods to help:

Right, when your Bull Terrier starts barking, say “Quiet” in a firm, yet calm voice. Once your dog stops barking, praise them and give them a small treat. However, make sure not to reward them while they are barking. After a short while, you Bull Terrier will understand that if they stop barking when they hear the command, they will get a treat. Simple, right?

As another option, you could try teaching your Bull Terrier to “speak”. And once they can do that reliably, use a body signal such as your fingers to your lips to quite them. Dog’s are often known to pick up body signals much faster than voice commands. Remember:

  • If your dog seems to be barking while they’re alone, try and tire them out before you leave them. Take them on a good walk/run, play fetch, etc. 
  • Remember, the longer a dog does something, the harder it is to break that habit because it becomes more and more ingrained in them. So rather than wait and allow the problem to persist, end it early on. 
  • Barking may also be due to medical problems such as an insect sting or something more serious like a disease. If their barking seems to be caused by something more serious, check in with a veterinarian and listen to what they think. 

Here are a few specific solutions to each reason your Bull Terrier may be barking.

Territorial/Protective/Fear: Most of the time, this type of barking is motivated by fear or a threat (perceived or real). It can be lessened by limiting what you Bull Terrier is able to see. Some options include using a solid wood fence instead of chainlink fencing. In they’re inside the house, covering the windows with some type of opaque material may also help. 

Loneliness/Boredom: If while your gone you Bull Terriers barks excessively, you may need to provide them with more activities or companionship to keep them preoccupied while you’re gone. You could try using a food-dispensing toy which could keep them distracted for a least an hour each day.  Additionally, if you have the time or the money, you could try taking them to dog training whether it be for agility, obedience, etc. 

Greeting/Play: To stop your dog from barking every time the door opens or you come home, you’ll need to them a better type of behaviour. One method is to teach them to go to an assigned spot and stay there whenever someone is at the door. After practice and good behaviour being rewarded, your dog will quickly learn to stay in their spot whenever a visitor arrives. 

Attention seeking: It is absolutely crucial that you never reward barking. If your Bull Terrier barks when they want something and you obey their wish, then they’ve associated bark with getting what they want. Instead, you could try teaching them to perform less bothersome behaviour such as ringing a door whenever they want something. Also, if your Bul Terrier barks because of something like their water bowl being empty, walk out of the room for a few minutes and then return and fill it so they don’t know that their barking was effective. 

Separation Anxiety/Compulsive Barking: Both of these behaviours are difficult to treat and should be solved with the help of a certified professional such as an applied animal behaviourist or a veterinary behaviourist. 

Hopefully, you found this article helpful and it answered your question – Do Bull Terriers bark a lot? If you have any further questions about this subject, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments down below and I’ll be sure to help you as best as I can. 

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