You know that if you were home and a dog barked all day, you wouldn’t like it either. One large aspect of being a conscientious owner of a dog is to make sure the way he behaves doesn’t affect other people in a negative fashion. You know that you can’t stay home from work and you also don’t want to be evicted. You also don’t want unhappy neighbours. However, you must stop your dog barking immediately, so what can you do?
The first step is to identify the trigger for his barking. He may be bored. He may hear or see things or people outside. He may be anxious. Maybe there has been a recent change in his life such as moving to a new home or changing his schedule.
Begin with regular exercise. If your dog is young and full of energy, he’s probably not getting sufficient exercise. Don’t underestimate how much exercise he needs. Two 30 minute walks each day won’t be enough to tire him out. There are some breeds that need plenty of vigorous exercise for around two hours every day! Get up earlier each morning and take him for a long walk. That’s good exercise for both of you and once he’s tired, he’ll likely have naps during the day and be mellower.
Locate a good dog walker who will come to your home and walk your dog around lunch time to break the monotonous feeling of being alone every day.
Although it can be expensive, doggie day care is a possibility. Your pet will be happy to be with other animals and will be ready sleep once you take him home. It’s cheaper than moving house or fixing the amount of damage a bored dog may cause.
Spend more time training him. Obviously it will have to be when you’re at home. Working with him to stimulate both body and mind, you’ll build a stronger bond with your beloved pet. The training will help to make his life a better quality one.
Decrease what he can see outside. While people hate not being able to look outside, dogs try everything possible to get to what they see. If it’s “out of sight, out of mind,” your dog won’t try to bark or get out because he can’t see anything.
Leave the TV on or play music for your dog to listen to. There are special CDs made for this very reason.
Give him lots of things to keep him occupied. Food puzzle toys are ideal. They have kibble or other treats inside and your dog can be kept busy for hours. Ensure the toy can’t get stuck under furniture or he may start demolishing things to get at it.
If you have a fenced garden, never leave him outside. He may consider your home as his territory and will guard it with his barking, trying to scare people away. Create a play area inside full of toys to keep him happy.
Is barking something new he’s doing? As dogs get older, they may have some loss of hearing and/or sight. Their mental acuity may diminish and anxiety may kick in. While he won’t need as much physical exercise, many of the other tips may still help. Ensure his bed is soft and cosy.
If your dog is getting sufficient exercise and stimulation and nothing stops the barking, perhaps the issue is separation anxiety. This isn’t an easy problem to fix. Don’t make lots of noise when you leave and return. Leave for short periods and increase the time gradually as he adjusts. Place one of your unwashed shirts in his bed. The scent can make him feel more secure. Your vet can give you anti-anxiety medication and/or other calming products to help.
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