Due to their flawless herding and guarding skills it’s pretty normal to ask, ‘Do Bernese Mountain dogs bark a lot?’
And after all no one should blame you if you ask so since, one quality of a good guard dog is its ability to intimidate an aggressor through barking.
So, if you are planning to adopt this loyal, alert, protective, kid and pet-friendly, and affectionate dog and you are wondering whether or not they tend to be ‘extra’ through vocalization, then ease your mind as I got you covered through this article.
I will provide you with a direct answer regarding their barking tendency.
I will also walk you through reasons that may be causing your dog to bark a lot, how to stop it, and things that you should NEVER do when training your canine not to bark unnecessarily.
Do Bernese Mountain Dogs Bark A Lot?
No, usually Bernese Mountain dogs don’t bark a lot.
If Bernese Mountain dogs bark constantly they are not adequately trained or they feel that their dog parent is insufficiently meeting their wants or needs.
Why Do Bernese Mountain Dogs Bark?
Alerting You Of A Danger Or An Intruder
Bernese Mountain dogs make good watch and guard dogs due to their alert, obedient, protective, and easy-to-train nature.
Berner’s will bark to alert you of any danger, or to warn you that an intruder is around.
Due To Boredom
Bernese Mountain dogs are a working dog breed.
This means that they dislike being inactive or in any state that may cause them to experience boredom.
A bark caused by boredom is usually the same in intensity and frequency. That is long pitched and repetitive in nature.
Things you can do to reduce chances of your dog engaging in boredom barking behavior:
Have a pro construct a digging pit in a safe corner in your backyard. Hide toys, bones, or anything that your dog fancies and let it dig it out.
You can also keep your dog engaged by placing treats in a [amazon link=” B00P0MK4UO ” title=”treat ball” link_icon=”amazon” /] and letting it retrieve them without helping it out.
This also helps improve your dog’s problem-solving ability.
When Seeking Your Attention
Berners dislike being left alone or unattended to.
When your Bernese Mountain dog seeks your attention through barking, it will often assume a sitting or standing position, wagging its tail and directly staring at you.
This type of barking is usually high pitched, long, with short or no breaks at all.
Usually, a dog will bark out of excitement if it sees its owner or another dog or animal it considers its friend.
It can also bark due to excitement if it’s about to be taken out for a walk or when it’s playing.
The barking is often associated with the Bernese Mountain dog wagging its tail to the right and wiggling its whole body, jumping, running back and forth, or spinning around.
Pro-tip: Berners who have an underlying epileptic condition shouldn’t be allowed to get over-excited as this can trigger a seizure episode to occur.
Be sure to discourage over-excited behaviors by training your Bernese Mountain dog to stay calm and rewarding a quiet demeanor with a treat.
Barking due to territorial behavior is usually exhibited more in a pregnant momma dog.
If you notice your Berner barking behavior starts immediately it sees a person or another animal entering your compound, then it’s safe to assume that it’s barking due to territoriality.
Most often, your Berner will raise its tail in a vertical position as a way of intimidating the ‘opponent’ or aggressor.
It’s good that you try and control this type of barking and not try to eliminate it.
Since a bark caused due to territory guarding is of immense importance as it lets you know if an intruder is entering your property.
Pro-tip; You can reduce your dog’s tendency to bark due to territorial behavior by teaching it the ‘quiet’ command, have a pro install a fence that is not see-through.
If you live in a rental apartment, use translucent films to cover your windows.
Out Of Fear
Despite Bernese Mountain dogs being bold, they can sometimes be scared.
Still, nevertheless, they will use their vocal ability to try and intimidate their opponent while slowly and carefully moving in a backward motion.
A growling sound first precedes the bark. The bark is usually high pitched and may last for a long duration.
Normally when your Berner is barking due to fear, it will have its tail tucked in between its legs.
Things that can make your dog bark out of fear include;
A visit to the vet (quite normal and hilarious), loud and unpredictable noises like thunderstorms and fireworks, going up or downstairs, other dogs (happens when your dog isn’t properly socialized.
Pro-tip; Bernese Mountain dogs don’t fear snakes and will never bark at the sight of a snake, so if you live in a snake-infested area, be sure to keep a close eye on your hound.
Experiencing Separation Anxiety
Barking due to separation anxiety (a situation in which a dog cannot tolerate being alone by its owner) is typical in small pups (age 5-12 weeks) or in Berners who have not been adequately trained to physically detach from their owners.
A howling sound usually accompanies this type of barking. Separation anxiety barking usually begins at least 30 minutes before the caregiver goes away.
Note! Bernese are intelligent dogs who have a sense of time. That is, they know when you are about to leave (if you follow a strict leaving routine).
The tail may be tucked between the legs or wagged to the left vertical side when your dog’s barking is caused by separation anxiety.
Communicating With Another Dog
Apart from sniffing each other and circling, dogs also bark to communicate.
However, studies have shown that dogs’ barking sounds don’t necessarily have a meaning. But how would we know?
How Do I Stop My Bernese From Barking A Lot?
Determine What’s Causing The Barking Episodes
Be sure that you know what’s causing your dog to bark a lot, then eliminate or desensitize your dog to its barking triggers
Eliminate The Triggers
For instance, if your dog is barking due to boredom, keep it busy and if your dog is barking as a way of seeking your attention, then ensure that you spend quality time with it.
Just be sure not to overspend time with your Berner as you may end up causing it to become dependent on you.
This may cause it to develop separation anxiety or turn into aggressive social behaviors when left on its own.
Since you cannot entirely eliminate everything that’s triggering your dog to bark a lot, like loud noises caused by a thunderstorm, you should consider desensitizing your dog.
Desensitization is the act of making your dog get used to a stimulus that causes it to be scared.
You can desensitize your Berner from loud noises by;
Using recordings of sounds that your dog tends to get scared of.
Play the recordings in minimum volume for about 1 week. Gradually increase the volume over the course of 2-3 weeks.
Each time your dog reacts positively to the increase in volume of the sounds, give it treats and lots of praises.
Train It The Quiet Command
Train your dog the ‘quiet’ command. Whenever it starts to bark for no reason, command it to keep quiet in a clear and firm voice.
Studies have shown that dogs respond more to gestures than verbal cues.
So why not put this theory to the test?
Place your index finger on your lip as a way of telling your dog to keep quiet.
Ensure that you don’t mix up the hand gestures as you may end up confusing your dog.
Socialization helps your dog learn and adopt positive behaviors from adequately trained dogs.
Your dog will learn not to bark for no reason and know how to react to different stimuli without vocalization.
Extra tip; Ensure that you enroll your dog in a socialization class with a ratio of 1 trainer to 6 puppies or dogs.
Also, ascertain that the trainer is certified and reputable. Make sure that the staff around maintain proper dog hygiene.
And finally, before fully paying the registration fee, ensure that you attend one of the socialization classes to determine whether or not the socialization class is fit for your Bernese Mountain dog.
Hire A Professional Dog Trainer
If you are unsure of how to stop your dog from barking excessively effectively, please hire the services of a pro and let them help you bring up a Bernese that only barks when necessary.
What Not To Do To Stop A Barking Bernese Mountain Dog From Barking?
#Do NOT Delay Its Training
As soon as you realize that your hound has started developing a tendency to bark excessively, start its training immediately.
Delaying its training may make it hard for you to revert your dog’s unwanted ‘woofing’ behavior.
#Do NOT Mix Up The Commands
Always use the exact words that indicate a command when training your hound to stop barking.
Mixing commands will not only leave your dog confused, but it may also cause your dog to relapse in its training.
#Do NOT Overuse Or Repeat The Same Commands
Repetition can be pretty boring, and no one understands this phrase more than a dog who has to endure being given repetitive commands.
So be sure not to give your dog commands unnecessarily when training it not to bark.
#Do NOT Yell Or Punish Your Berner
Bernese Mountain dogs can be quite stubborn if they feel underappreciated or harshly treated.
So don’t yell or punish your hound if it doesn’t perform to your expectation. Doing this risks turning your obedient dog into a strong-willed dog!
And trust me, you don’t want this happening around you!
#Do NOT Overwhelm It
If you want your Bernese Mountain dog or any other dog to achieve positive results during its training then do not overwhelm it.
Work within your dog’s limit. Don’t overwhelm it, as you risk having a defiant Berner to train.
Extra tip; Some of the telltale signs that indicate your dog is overwhelmed or mad at you include;
iding, trying to escape, pooping or peeing in undesignated areas, looking at you with its eyes halfway closed (this can also be an indicative sign of an underlying eye condition), chewing on things (mostly your favorite items) reduced appetite and reduced physical exercise.
#Do NOT Skip Its Training
Be consistent in training your Berner not to bark.
Inconsistency not only makes it hard for your dog to adapt to its new conditioning but also leaves it confused and overwhelmed.
#Do NOT Forget To Proof Your Hound’s Training
Proofing your hound’s nonbarking training help reinforce the training.
Expose your dog to the same stimuli but in different locations or places to proof or reinforce its nonbarking behavior.
#Do NOT Reinforce Negative Behaviors
NEVER reinforce a negative behavior in your dog.
Let your hound know that you are displeased by its unwanted behavior by:
Not maintaining eye contact or acting as though you are uninterested in what it’s doing.
Do Bernese Mountain Dogs Howl?
Yes, Bernese Mountain dogs do howl. However, they rarely engage in this type of vocalization.
Most of the time, your Berner will howl in response to a high-pitched voice, as a way of expressing its emotions (either negative or positive), or as a way of communicating with other hounds around it.
Please note! Infrequent howling is a regular occurrence in Berners.
However, constant or repetitive howling should be treated as an emergency since it could be your dog’s way of telling you that ‘medically’ something isn’t right with it.
Do Bernese Mountain dogs bark a lot?
No, Berners do not bark a lot unless they have been inadequately trained or they have an underlying social or medical issue.
You can stop your Bernese from engaging in an unwanted barking behavior by;
Finding out what’s causing it to bark a lot, eliminating the triggers, and teaching it the quiet command.
When training your dog to stop barking, never;
Yell or punish your dog, reinforce negative behaviors, skip its training, forget to proof its training, delay its training, mix up its commands or over repeat its commands.
Always work within your dog’s limit, and use treats or praises as a way of reinforcing positive behaviors.
Bernese Mountain dogs also do engage in howling behaviors which is quite normal.
However, repetitive howling(more than 4 times a day, for a consecutive period) may indicate an underlying medical condition that requires medical intervention.