Dogs descend from wolves but their dog barking sounds are much different. The wolf uses howling more than dog barking sounds and only bark as young pups or for close range communication. On the other hand the modern dog uses barking almost exclusively.
Domestication of the dog is theorized as being the main reason for dog barking sounds. Barking warned humans of danger from domesticated dogs.
Warning bark – Usually starts with a low growl progressing into a howling bark. Signifies intrusion into territory or potential danger.
Alarm bark – Short barks usually from something that the dog cannot see. This may continue until they see some action being taken.
Anxiety – constant, uninterrupted barking along with some whining shows anxiety possibly loneliness. Dogs are social creatures and need the company of humans as well as other dogs.
Excitement/playfulness – higher pitched barks that dogs do when playing or excited about going for a walk.
Yelps – single or series of yelps comes from pain.
The biggest idea behind preventing or stopping excessive barking is find out why the dog is barking.
Start checking off the different causes of any type of barking.
Make sure you dog get plenty of exercise everyday and not just throwing them in the backyard, they need to be walked and exercised by you.
Do not comfort your dog when they are barking as this may support the behavior.
Shouting to correct your dog will likely frighten them and make them bark more. Remain calm when you are working with your dog.
Do not use a shock collar to work with your dog’s barking. These are not for the casual user, can cause pain to the animal and they tend to get used to them.
Do not let your dog bark constantly in the backyard. This is where they may start to associate barking with getting your attention, even though it may not be a warm reception it is attention none the less.
Your dog is always trying to tell you something when they bark. With some patience you can learn what they are trying to communicate and either gets them what they want or solve an ongoing problem they have. Plenty of attention and exercise is the best plan with dealing with habitual barking.