How to Stop Dog Barking at Birds [10 Easy Steps!]

Does your dog bark at birds and refuse to knock it off? Obviously, this is going to get really annoying in a hurry.

This article will shed some light on why dogs bark at birds. We’ll go over how to recognize if it’s for attention or just a reaction to birds landing on the fence. You’ll also learn how to effectively put a stop to this behavior, even when your dog is barking at birds in the morning every single day. We’ll also give you a 10 step fix to help restore peace and quiet in your home and yard.

If you’re a new puppy owner, we’ll also cover some helpful advice on managing a puppy that’s barking at birds. Keep reading below!

Stop Dog Barking at Birds

How to Stop Dog Barking at Birds

To stop your dog from barking at birds:

  1. Teach your dog the “quiet” command to use anytime they bark at birds or whenever you need them to pay attention and be silent.
  2. To accomplish that, take your dog to a place you know they’ll likely bark like the park with plenty of small treats.
  3. When your dog starts barking, say “quiet” in a calm, positive voice. If they respond and get silent while also giving you their attention immediately give them praise and a treat.
  4. But if your dog keeps barking or quickly starts back up, then hide a treat in the palm of your hand and put your hand right by your dog’s nose. They’ll still be able to detect the scent even within your fist and will pause their barking to sniff it.
  5. As soon as they’ve stopped barking and are paying attention to you, again say “quiet,” and then open your hand to reward them with praise and a treat. If they continue to be silent and are giving you their attention, keep rewarding them with treats and praise.
  6. But if they again start barking or are not giving you their attention, repeat the process of hiding a treat within your fist, placing it close to their nose, and waiting until they quit their barking and pay attention.
  7. Always be sure to pause until they’ve stopped barking and are paying you all their attention, and then say “quiet” before you reward them with any praise or treats. This forms a positive connection with your dog with the “quiet” command, and with being silent and giving you their complete attention.
  8. With practice, time, and patience, you will be able to get them to respond solely with the “quiet” command, and you’ll no longer have to place your hand near their mouth.
  9. When your dog is doing well with only the command, then you can begin increasing the duration of time you wait until you reward them.
  10. Begin by waiting for 1-2 seconds, then as they do well increase that to 5 seconds, and so on. Before long, you won’t need to reward your dog with praise and food, and they will be silent and give you their focus just by you giving the command.

These steps will get your dog to stop barking at birds, but it’s important to remember that the underlying behavioral issues (anxiety, territoriality) that were causing all of this to begin with will still be present. And until you address those, any positive changes you see are only going to be temporary.

“So, how do I make sure my dog won’t just return to its old ways?”

By getting your dog to truly choose to follow your direction, that’s how. I tried many times to write out how you can do that before deciding it made more sense to just link you to the free video series that explains it better than I’d ever be able to.

The series is by a man named Dan who is one of the world’s leading dog obedience trainers. In it, he teaches you how to put an end to things like when your dog barks at birds and all other misbehavior using his fast and easy-to-follow methods.

In the first video, Dan will reveal to you why the two most common methods of dog training only doom you to failure. You can watch the video now by clicking here. Follow the proven system he’ll show you in his series and you’ll never have to spend another second worrying about your dog barking at birds ever again!

Why Do Dogs Bark at Birds?

Why Do Dogs Bark at Birds?

There are multiple reasons why dogs bark at birds, ranging from territorial dominance to predatory instincts, and even just simple curiosity or boredom.

Protective Instinct

Dogs often bark at birds due to their protective instinct. Dogs are naturally territorial creatures and are protective of their pack, which includes their human family. If a bird enters what your dog perceives as their territory, such as your yard or even inside your house if a bird accidentally gets in, your dog may bark to try to scare the bird away. This is their way of saying “This is my space, stay out!”

Predatory Instinct

Dogs are descendants of wolves, and therefore they have a natural predatory instinct that’s hard to ignore. Birds, with their fast and unpredictable movements as well as high-pitched sounds, can often trigger this instinct, causing dogs to bark.

They may see birds as potential prey, leading to barking as part of their hunting behavior. Moreover, the erratic behavior of birds, flitting here and there, can provide a kind of stimulation that dogs find hard to resist. Chasing birds would also be a common response.

Exceptional Senses

Dogs have remarkable senses, with keen eyesight and acute hearing that far surpasses ours. They can spot a bird’s flight patterns from afar and hear bird sounds that we might not even notice.

Dogs are usually reactive to quick movements and high-pitched noises, which are both characteristics of birds. As such, your dog may be barking at birds due to a kind of sensory overload, where their senses are so stimulated that they respond vocally.

Curiosity or Boredom

Finally, there are times when dogs bark at birds out of simple curiosity or boredom. Dogs are naturally curious creatures, and a bird, being a different creature moving about in their environment, can stimulate their interest. Moreover, if they’re bored or have pent-up energy, they might decide to bark at birds as a form of entertainment.

Addressing Excessive Barking

While it’s normal for dogs to bark at birds occasionally, excessive barking can become a problem. Too much noise can be distressing for both you and your dog. In such cases, it’s likely necessary to consider training methods to minimize this behavior. Go back to the first section of this article and we’ll teach you to do this yourself.

Allowing this to continue gives them tacit approval and then your problem will only spread. You’ll soon find that your dog is barking at the postman, barking at joggers, barking at the moon, barking at the sky, or barking when tied up for even a few minutes outside a store.

Dog Barks at Birds for Attention

Does your dog bark at birds for attention? It can be challenging to manage this behavior, but with the right approach, you can help redirect your dog’s focus and discourage excessive barking. Here are some tips to help:

  1. Ignore the barking: When your dog barks at birds, it’s essential to avoid giving them attention or reinforcing the behavior. Ignore the barking and avoid reacting or engaging with your dog until they become quiet.
  2. Teach an alternative behavior: Train your dog to perform an alternative behavior when they notice birds, such as sitting or coming to you for a reward. By redirecting their focus to a more desirable behavior, you can gradually replace the barking.
  3. Provide mental and physical stimulation: Ensure that your dog receives enough mental and physical exercise throughout the day. A bored or under-stimulated dog is more likely to engage in attention-seeking behaviors, such as barking at birds.
  4. Use positive reinforcement: When your dog remains calm and quiet around birds, provide positive reinforcement in the form of treats, praise, or play. This helps reinforce the desired behavior and teaches your dog that being calm leads to rewards.
  5. Create a distraction: When you anticipate that birds may trigger your dog’s barking, distract them with a toy, puzzle, or interactive game. Redirecting their focus onto an engaging activity can divert their attention from the birds.
  6. Practice desensitization: Gradually expose your dog to birds in controlled settings, starting from a distance where they can remain calm. Reward them for calm behavior and gradually decrease the distance over time. This process helps desensitize your dog to the presence of birds.
  7. Begin behavioral training: If your dog’s barking persists and becomes a significant issue, you should work not just to address the behavior itself but also the underlying cause. Go back to the first section of this article now and we’ll teach you how to do that yourself.

Remember, consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement are key when working on attention-seeking behaviors. By providing appropriate outlets for your dog’s mental and physical energy and teaching them alternative behaviors, you can help them become calmer and less inclined to bark at birds for attention.

Implementing these strategies may take time and effort, but with dedication and consistency, you can guide your dog towards more appropriate behaviors and create a harmonious living environment for both you and your canine companion.

Dogs Barking at Birds on Fence

Ever noticed your furry friend always has something to say when birds perch on your fence? If you’re scratching your head trying to figure out why, there are a couple of reasons that could explain your dog’s penchant for barking at these feathered visitors.

  1. Predatory Instincts: Your pup is a domesticated creature, but don’t forget they descend from wolves. This ancestry comes with some primal hunting instincts that can be triggered by birds. Picture it: the fluttering wings, the chirping sounds, the sudden movements – all these stimuli can bring out the inner hunter in your dog. When this instinct kicks in, your dog may respond by barking or even lunging towards the birds.
  2. Excitement: Dogs are like kids in a candy store when it comes to new sights and sounds, and birds are no exception. For your dog, watching birds might be like a live-action nature documentary. Their unpredictable flight paths, their varied songs and calls, their vibrant colors – it’s all a source of excitement and stimulation for your pooch. And how does your dog express this excitement? By barking, of course!
  3. Territorial Behavior: Dogs have a keen sense of territory. It’s in their nature to guard their home and their family. When birds land on your fence, your dog may see this as an invasion of their space. So, they bark, sending a clear message to these uninvited guests: “This is my home. Stay away!”

Though barking at birds might be part of your dog’s natural behavior, it’s important to remember that excessive barking can be an issue. It can cause a disturbance, especially if you live in a neighborhood with close neighbors.

If your dog’s barking becomes too frequent or disruptive, then you need to take further steps to address the problem at its root. Go back to the first section of this article now and we’ll teach you exactly how you can do that.

My Dog Barks at Birds in the Morning

Are your mornings filled with your dog barking at birds? You might be wondering why this happens. Let’s take a look at some reasons and what’s going on in your dog’s mind:

  1. Increased Bird Activity: The early morning hours are a busy time for birds. This is when they’re most active, searching for food and chirping away. For your dog, this increased activity can be exciting and stimulating, leading to a burst of barking.
  2. Territorial Protection: Dogs are very protective of their homes and the people such as yourself that live in them. It’s no surprise that they’d be territorial in the mornings when birds are active, just as they would at other times of the day.
  3. Barking out of Habit: Dogs are creatures of routine. If your dog has gotten into the habit of barking at birds in the morning, they may continue doing it simply because it’s part of their daily routine.
  4. Alerting You: Dogs often consider their family as part of their pack. If they spot something unusual, like a flurry of bird activity, they may bark to alert you to what they perceive as a potential threat.

It’s important to note that while it can be a bit annoying to have your dog barking every morning at birds, it’s a pretty normal dog behavior. However, if it’s causing a significant disruption, you should work to address the root cause of the behavior through training. You can do that yourself at home; go back to the first section of this article now for the steps to follow.

Puppy Barking at Birds

When your puppy is barking at birds, it might seem a bit odd at first, but there are multiple reasons for this behavior. These can range from curiosity and playfulness to more instinctual behaviors related to their hunting ancestry.

Curiosity and Playfulness

Puppies are naturally curious creatures and are still discovering the world around them. Birds, with their unique movements, bright colors, and distinctive sounds, can capture a puppy’s attention. Your puppy might bark at birds as a way of engaging with these interesting creatures. Additionally, a puppy’s playfulness might also be a factor. They may see a bird as a playmate or toy and bark as a form of initiation or invitation to play.

Predatory Instinct

Even as puppies, dogs possess an innate predatory instinct. This comes from their wolf ancestors, who relied on hunting for survival. Birds, being smaller creatures that fly or move quickly, might trigger this instinct, leading your puppy to bark. It’s essential to understand that this is a natural behavior for dogs, even if it can sometimes seem excessive or annoying.

Learning from Surroundings

Puppies learn a lot from their surroundings, including the behavior of other dogs. If your puppy sees other dogs barking at birds, they may imitate this behavior. They could perceive it as the correct or expected response when they encounter birds.

Addressing the Behavior

While it’s normal for puppies to bark at birds due to curiosity, playfulness, or instinct, you don’t want it to become a problematic behavior. Excessive barking can be disruptive and might indicate that your puppy is overly stressed or anxious.

Positive reinforcement training can help manage this behavior, rewarding your puppy for quiet behavior and ignoring them when they bark. Also, providing enough physical and mental stimulation can prevent your puppy from barking out of boredom.

Remember, patience is key when dealing with a barking puppy. Understanding the reasons behind their actions can go a long way in creating effective strategies to manage this behavior. For more on help on how to do that, go back to the first section of this article now.

I’m sure you’re eager to get your dog to listen and stop this annoying behavior, so I’ll let you get started on things now. Good luck, and thank you for reading “How to Stop Dog Barking at Birds.”

The Author

KB Williams

KB Williams

Hey there! I'm a dog behavior expert and lover of travel. Since 2016, I've been sharing my knowledge of dog training and behavior while exploring the Pacific Northwest with my two rescues.