We bred dogs to bark and to alert us of threats to our homes and livestock. However, barking can be a real nuisance, especially for your neighbors, in the modern urban environment. This can become an even bigger problem when you’re not home to stop your pet. Read on to learn why dogs bark when alone and how you can stop yours from doing so.
Why Do Dogs Bark When Alone?
There are multiple reasons why your canine might be barking when alone and a few of them are listed below.
- Excess Energy
- Protective Instincts
How to Stop Dog Barking While You Are at Work?
There are various solutions that can counter different causes for this behavior. Some of these methods require time while others need investment. Overall, getting your dog to stop barking while you are at work can be a little tough. But with time and patience, the strategies outlined below will help you get the behavior under control.
Provide Adequate Exercise
It’s easy to underestimate how much exercise your dog really needs. Some breeds need up to two hours’ worth of rigorous activity to burn their energy. If you own one of these canines, it’s highly recommended to get up early to take your pup walking. Ensure that it gets to sniff about and meet other dogs and people.
Get in some agility, obedience, or other training too, so that your pooch is good and tired. A dog that’s tired and napping is the one that won’t bark while you’re at work. But you need to be prepared for when it gets up. Arrange for someone to exercise him/her for an hour in the afternoon to ensure that your pooch doesn’t feel lonely.
You should also consider doggie daycare. Even if you can only take him/her there once or twice a week, it could make an appreciable difference. The time spent playing, exercising, and socializing will tire out your dog nicely. This may be costly, but not more so than moving house or replacing chewed-up furniture.
Besides arranging for the dog walker, you should consider getting your dog a few interactive and/or dispenser toys. These objects take care of your pet’s mental stimulation. The dog can push around or otherwise manipulate these toys to get a reward, like a few pieces of kibble. Some can also be programmed to dispense prizes at regular intervals.
They also include puzzles that the canine needs to solve in order to get its prize. Some are simple enough that a dog will be able to figure them out on its own. Others are harder and you’ll need to help your pup get the hang of them.
Essentially, the idea is that your dog should have something to do (other than barking) while you’re at work. You should be careful though that the toys aren’t likely to roll under some furniture and out of reach. After all, you won’t want to return home to the carnage that ensued as your dog attempted to retrieve them.
Reduce Exposure to Triggers
Dogs often tend to bark at every new sound and sight. Consequently, you can control barking by making your dog less able to detect whatever might trigger this behavior. If you keep your pup outside, consider bringing him/her indoors. Similarly, if you’re keeping him/her indoors, keep the curtains closed.
A dog that’s indoors is less likely to see or hear something that excites it. You can also leave the television or radio on while you are gone. The noise will dampen sounds from outside. Alternatively, you can use CDs with music designed particularly for this noise-dampening purpose.
Dogs can become anxious if they don’t know what to expect at different times during the day. They may then express their anxiety by barking. To ensure that your dog isn’t barking while you are at work, you will have to set his/her routine. Fix time slots in the day for all dog-related activities, including mealtime, potty walks, exercise, and even playtime.
Even if your own schedule is unpredictable, you should try your best to keep your dog’s routine stable. This will foster a sense of security and make your pup less likely to bark when alone. You could also reserve one extra special toy or treat that he/she only gets when you’re leaving him/her by itself. This will allow your canine to view its alone time as a positive experience.
If your dog starts barking like mad whenever you reach for the door, it could be an indication of separation anxiety. This condition will require a lot of patience as you will have to train your pet to stay content in your absence. You will have to slowly build up the time that passes before the dog starts barking while you are at work.
Don’t Reward Barking
If a canine is NOT rewarded for barking, he/she will be less likely to bark in your absence. Don’t pet, talk to, look at, or feed your dog while it is barking. Wait for the barking to stop first. In some cases, this could take up to an hour.
No matter how long it takes, you must not attend to your dog while it’s barking. The best way to do this is to put your dog in a crate and turn your back to it. Reward your pet when he/she stops barking for one second, to start with. Then, gradually increase the duration of silence that will earn a treat. In time, you should note that your dog has started to bark less often.
Recommended Dog Training Courses for Dogs that Barks All Day While you are at Work
There are two online video based training courses that I recommend.
These two courses serve two very different purposes. The Doggy Dan course is the best behavioral training course that I’ve ever used. It tackles problem behaviors like barking in ways that are innovative and kind and most of all WORK.
The Brain Training for Dogs course is a course that will help give curious and bored dogs something to do so that they don’t get destructive. Bored dogs often behave badly. The games in this course are fun to play with your dog and they go from easy to very advanced. If you think your dog is barking out of boredom this video course is a good choice.
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