If your dog is vocal, when playing, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do about them.
So, why is my dog vocal when playing? Possible reasons why your dog is vocal, when playing, are that it is showing its excitement, it has learned that the behavior is rewarded, it is trying to tell you to do something, or it might actually be being aggressive.
There are a number of possible reasons why your dog is vocal when playing and it could be due to a combination of them. However, there are a number of things you can consider when figuring out the main cause.
Reasons why your dog is vocal when playing
Below are a number of possible reasons why your dog is vocal when playing and what would make each of them more likely.
Sometimes, dogs will bark or growl when they are excited and they will often do it when they are playing. The reason why your dog barks, while playing, is likely to be that it is excited. This would be more likely if it also shows other signs of excitement such as wagging its tail, having its tongue out, and licking you.
Encouraging the behavior
It could also be the case that it has learned that the behavior gets rewarded. If you tend to give your dog things such as extra attention, toys, or treats, when it starts barking, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards. Instead, it would help to reward it when it behaves the way you want it to and to avoid rewarding it when it does not.
It might also be the case that your dog does it naturally. This is because dogs will often bark when they are playing with each other. This would be more likely if it does not show signs of aggression and it has always done it.
It wants you to do something
Another possible cause is that it wants you to do something such as to throw the ball. This would be more likely if it becomes vocal at moments when it is likely to want you to do something such as when you have the ball in your hand and it is waiting for you to throw it.
It might also be the case that it does it because it feels threatened and it is actually warning you to stop. This would be more likely if it shows signs of aggression such as snarling, showing its teeth, growling, and being aggressive.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider about your dog being vocal when playing with it.
What else happened when it first started being vocal while playing
If your dog was not always vocal while playing, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started being vocal while playing. If it started doing it suddenly, it might be because it learned that the behavior is rewarded, or it might have gotten an injury that gets aggravated when playing.
What is different when it doesn’t become vocal when playing
If your dog is not always vocal, when playing, it would help to consider what is different when it is not vocal. For example, if it is only vocal when playing a certain game, it could be the case that the game naturally causes it to be vocal such as “tug of war”.
The body language it shows
It would also help to consider the body language your dog shows when it does it. For example, if it shows signs of being excited such as wagging its tail, having its tongue out and licking, it would be more likely that it is showing its excitement. Whereas, if it shows aggressive signs such as snarling, showing its teeth and growling, it would be more likely that it is doing it due to feeling threatened.
If you want to get your dog to stop being vocal when playing, it would help to give it training. To do so, you could start playing with it, reward it with a treat for not being vocal and stop playing with it as soon as it starts being vocal. Repeating this process should help to teach it that being vocal results in you not playing with it and it not getting rewards.