Yes. Dog barking can trigger Misophonia. Misophonia is a medical condition in which patients get irritated by common sounds like typing, chewing, ballpoint clicking, music, breathing, yawning, foot tapping, and various other sounds. People suffering from misophonia are emotionally affected by such sounds because it creates a fight-or-flight response, triggering anger and a desire to escape.
Misophonia and Dogs’ Barking
According to a research conducted in 2013, 75% of patients got triggered by eating, chewing, and breathing sounds. While the rest of 25 % of misophonic patients got triggered by bass through walls, dog’s barking, coughing, whistling, talking, clicking sounds, sibilance (the sound produced when saying words such as sun or chip), and typing noise on a keyboard.
Source: Anxiety Specialists of Atlanta
Also Read: Can Dog Barking Damage Babies’ Ears?
What can Misophonic Patients do when they hear a Barking Dog?
Different triggers have different impacts on different patients. You cannot generalize how misophonic patients react when they hear a barking dog. It often leaves people helpless. The situation worsens in the countryside as no noise laws exist. The only thing people can do is request dog owners.
You may be lucky if someone considers your condition and attempts to pacify their dogs when they start barking. But this rarely happens. The dog owners usually say they don’t hear it, and the barking continues.
One misophonic patient commented at a discussion forum that flood lights help. You can ask your neighbors to install a flood light at your expense, and it keeps the dog silent.
Another suggested a rather aggressive approach to dealing with the problem. He hooked a guitar amplifier with a Bluetooth receiver (hidden in a weather/waterproof box) and pointed it at their house. He simply clicked the button whenever the dog started. Result; neighbor’s dog stopped barking after a month.
Can a person with Misophonia live with Dogs?
Misophonic patients may not be too tempted to own a dog, but their partners or family members may love dogs. Staying with dogs and convincing family members to let them sleep separately or stay out of the home can be an uphill task. Here are a few tricks that can help you live with dogs.
Train the Dog not to Bark
Many dog owners have trained dogs to stop excessive barking by teaching them the “quiet” command. It will take some time, but you can teach your dog to only bark at intruders.
Use Stop-Barking Devices
Ultrasonic pet training devices are excellent for stopping your dog’s excessive barking. These devices give instant results and work on cats too. All you have to do is press the button on the device, and it emits an ultrasonic sound that only dogs can hear. The tone is slightly annoying to dogs and makes them stop whatever they are doing.
You can buy outdoor devices to stop your neighbors’ dogs from barking. These devices are specifically built for outdoor use and have long ranges.
Make the Dog Comfortable
Most dogs bark excessively when disturbed, hungry, bored, anxious, or not well. You can take care of all these things to stop your dog from barking excessively. Ask the pet owners to take care of their dogs, so they don’t become a nuisance to misophonic.
Don’t Reward your dog for Barking
Reward your dog when they stop barking after you use the “quiet” command or stop-barking device. You can teach your dog to stop barking by behavioral modification, like not giving them food until they stay quiet.
Call Animal Control or 911
There are laws in most states except in a few countryside areas that govern excessive dog barking. The dog owners can be penalized, and even the dog can be impounded if they fail to stop their dogs from barking.
However, it is better to talk to your neighbor politely and discuss the issue with them. Most people fear fines and try to solve the problem without involving authorities.
Related Guide: Can Dog Barking Cause Tinnitus?
Can Dog Barking Worsen Misophonia?
Yes, dog barking is one of those things that trigger misophonia. The misophonic patients get irritated by dogs’ barking and want to escape from the scene. You can use ultrasonic devices to keep your dog quiet.
What are the common Misophonic Triggers?
- Sounds of people eating
- Sounds of people drinking
- Sounds made at the table
- Breathing sounds
- Animal sounds
- Home sounds
- Workplace and school sounds