Dogs are undoubtedly the perfect companion and friend for every human being. Their loyal and friendly nature has made them an inseparable part of every dog parent’s family. However, having a dog in the house is normally associated with some challenges. Of all the behavioral problems, the most distressing one is when your dog keeps barking when left alone.
Your dog will normally have his/her reasons for barking when left alone. Restlessness, fear, boredom, or separation anxiety are the most common reasons for such behavior, but there are other factors that can affect your dog’s behavior when you are away. In each case, identifying the reason and trying to solve it with your dog will make things better for yourself, your small friend, and your neighbors. Instead of allowing your dog to be the nuisance of nearby neighbors and possibly unhappy themselves, here are some tricks on how to stop dog barking when left alone.
Leave some familiar sounds on
Dogs tend to relate to familiar sounds provided by things like television or music. Leaving these sounds on while you are away can really help your dog avoid feeling lonely and unhappy. The hearing of familiar noises, that are similar to the ones that your dog hears when you are home can really relieve any symptoms of loneliness or restlessness that are typically related to unnecessary barking.
Provide your dog with some exercise
Dogs are by nature energetic creatures. They love to play around and they need plenty of daily exercises. Although the amount of exercise each dog needs depends a lot on its breed and age, it is vital that pet owners provide their friends with a sufficient amount of exercise, preferably before they take their leave for work. Tired dogs will normally be less prone to behaviors, like barking, and more likely to spend their time resting while you are away.
Keep the curtains or shades drawn
In most cases, covering up the windows or glass doors while you are away will make your dog calmer since it will create a darker and more peaceful environment. Apart from the darker atmosphere, keeping the shades drawn will also deprive your dog of having visual stimuli while you are away. Your dog will fail to have eye contact with other dogs, cats, or humans passing by and that will make him/her less prone to barking. Moreover, curtains can effectively muffle outside sounds and stop your pet from barking alarmingly.
Leave your dog with a treat or puzzle
Leaving your dog with something exciting to do while you are away can really help your pet feel good and sense your presence even when you are not there. A chew toy with your personal scent imparted on it can be the key to helping your pet feel secure when alone. For example, a sterilized beef bone stuffed with your dog’s favorite canned food or a special treat placed inside a toy can really help your dog feel motivated to find a way to get the treat out. Ideally, pet owners could rub the toy between their palms to bring their own scent onto it. That will make their dog even more excited to reach for it and spend his/her free time trying to solve the puzzle.
Reasons why your dog keeps barking when you are away
Trying to convince your dog to stay quiet when they are alone can be quite difficult. Although in many cases, the reason is solely the fact that your pet misses you as much as you miss them, there is always the case that other reasons play a significant role.
- Boredom – Boredom can lead to several behavioral problems, including barking, howling, or chewing up furniture. Particularly, high-energetic breeds like retrievers are easily bored and they need plenty of exercise and activities to keep them tired and satisfied when their owner is away.
- Ordering you around – A dog’s tendency towards barking when you are leaving the house may be his way of ordering you to stay in the house a bit longer.
- Fear – Dogs, just like humans can get scared. Some are more prone to experiencing fear than others and particularly smaller dogs who have not yet been properly socialized are more susceptible to feeling fear, particularly when left alone.
Why it is important to stop your dog’s barking when left alone
Your dog’s barking can result in feeling stressed out and anxious even when you return home after a long day at work. Although in the short term, that’s not really a problem, in the long run, it may lead to the development of severe health conditions, like depression. Furthermore, your dog’s barking may be related to other behavior issues, including chewing on furniture or constantly howling in the presence of other humans or pets. Once you teach your dog to stop barking, he will be able to spend his free time alone more pleasantly, playing around or resting.
It is also, important to understand that allowing your dog to bark when alone can irritate your neighbors and people passing by. Particularly during quiet hours, like late at night no one wants to listen to your dog constantly barking. Fixing your dog’s barking means that you will not only make your neighbors love your little friend, but it will strengthen the bond between you two, as well.
Bring your dog to a trainer
Sometimes, an expert solution is required if the issue remains despite all of your best efforts. In some cases, barking is due to genetics or other problems you cannot control or solve on your own. In that case, working with an expert trainer can help you and your fur friend face that behavior issue once and for all. For a professional approach to your dog’s barking issue, you could try our dog training services. In each case, identifying the problem as soon as possible and trying to fix it can really improve the quality of life of your lovely friend and make him feel secure, independent, and happy even when you are away.