The first thing to keep in mind if your dog is barking for no reason that is apparent to you is that your dog has far more sensitive ears than humans do. They hear things that we don't, and they can be scared by these things. It is perfectly natural for them to bark once or twice at unknown noises, but then it is up to you to stop the barking after that. You can do that in a number of ways that is natural and not painful or threatening to them.
Sometimes dogs bark incessantly because they need love, attention, and affection. Barking is their way of wheedling, of forcing their owners to pay attention to what they need. Whether you think of your dog as part of the family, or just a runt that the kid brought in, they are still a living animal that needs the same things that humans do. A dog cannot survive without sufficient affection, and just like a child, they will make noises when they aren't getting the affection that they need. Unfortunately, the barks can be loud and prolonged if your dog doesn't get enough love.
Dogs do not bark for no reason. They are barking for a reason you may not be aware of, and it is your job to find out what could be causing the barking. By finding patterns in your dog's barking, you might be able to figure out what your dog wants and what it is that happens to be bothering the dog at the moment.
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