We must ensure our dog’s behavior does not bother other people. It means knowing how to stop our dogs from barking when we leave them home alone. It is a part of being a responsible pet owner.
The constant barking of our dog can be a serious problem. It can cause problems for our neighbors and landlord. It might even reach the point where we are evicted, or our contract is not renewed.
Some cities have laws that punish people whose dogs bark too much. The owner may be arrested if a dog barks too much after being cautioned by authorities.
A dog does not need to bark to be happy. Barking can sometimes be a sign of anxiety, frustration, or stress. A comfortable and relaxed dog usually does not bark as much.
To stop your dog from barking when left alone at home, you need to work together to solve the problem. It will help you get closer and create stronger bonds with your pet. It can also prevent later issues such as destructive behaviors.
The secret to stopping your dog from barking is to find out why he barks. Once you know what makes him bark, you can work on fixing the problem instead of just treating the symptoms.
Why Do Dogs Bark When Left Home Alone?
It is not difficult to identify what makes your dog bark. Barking is a way he communicates with his environment and us.
We need to pay attention to our dog’s behavior when we are at home. We should watch him and see why he barks. Familiar barks happen because of our relationship with him and what we do every day. For example, he may bark to remind us it is mealtime.
We must also be aware of the many barks and triggers that can occur while our dog is alone at home and we are not around to supervise them. It is essential if we leave our dog in a crate. These symptoms could be the result of anxiety or stress.
If he does it when we’re with him, he’ll do it more when we’re not there. He’ll bark even more because he won’t have our attention and will be distracted. There are different ways to understand why your dog is barking.
Alarm Barking Dogs
Many breeds were bred to bark at danger. They bark at noises and movements. The elevator or neighbors’ arrival can cause barking.
Many watchdog breeds, like the Dobermann and German Shepherd, tend to bark when they sense danger. Other breeds prone to alarm barking include Beagles, Terriers, and small breeds such as Schnauzers, Chihuahuas, Poodles, or Maltese.
The Anxious Dog
Some things in your dog’s life can stress him out. It can be a new home, a new family member, or even a change in your routine. These changes can confuse and stress your dog.
Dogs that have gone from house to house or have been in shelters or rescue homes can often be anxious and nervous. It is because they haven’t had a stable home life. Overprotected dogs who haven’t received enough socialization are generally uneasy and afraid.
When these dogs are left alone, even for a little length of time, they frequently experience anxiety symptoms known as separation anxiety. Most of the time, these dogs continue to bark until they are left alone in the house.
The Bored Dog
Some high-energy and intelligent breeds, like Retrievers and Border Collies, need mental stimulation and daily physical activity to stay happy. If they don’t get this, they can become bored quickly and start barking or being destructive.
Even low or medium-energy breeds need daily exercise and stimulation. The amount and type of training and stimuli vary from breed to breed.
The Demanding Dog
This dog does not like to be left alone because he wants attention from his owner. He barks at his owner to get attention and may also demand rewards, food, toys, or playtime. If your dog starts barking when you prepare to leave, he is trying to tell you that it’s a better idea for you to stay home with him. The problem is that he will probably continue to bark after you leave, even for several hours.
The Territorial Dog
Many dogs considered “watchdogs” have a dominant personality and are from breeds initially bred for protection. These dogs have the instinct to protect their territory from other animals, whether it is another pet in the home or an intruder.
The difference between a “territorial” dog and an “alarm” dog is that territorial behaviors happen only in places where the dog needs protection. In contrast, alarm barking can take place anywhere.
What Can I Do If My Dog Barks All Day While I Am at Work?
We can do a few things to stop our dog from barking when we leave him alone. We need to be patient because this will not happen overnight. It takes time and effort to get him to stop.
2 Basic Things to Start With
You can do two things to help prevent your dog from barking excessively when left alone at home. Not only will they potentially stop the barking altogether, but these methods also promote a calmer temperament and improve your dog’s overall welfare.
Exercising your dog every day has many benefits. It helps keep them healthy, makes them more calm and even-tempered, and releases serotonin in their brains just like humans do. It makes them happy and relaxed.
If your dog does not have enough exercise, he will get bored quickly. He will bark and then find other ways to keep himself entertained. When choosing a dog breed, you must consider how much time you can commit to meeting his needs. You need a pet that fits well into your lifestyle.
If your dog is medium to high energy, you must walk it or play with it at least twice daily. Other breeds that only require two short walks of about thirty minutes daily are content.
It is essential to exercise your dog before leaving him alone. It will help him calm down and sleep while you are away. Barking is often caused by anxiety or boredom, but daily exercise can help control this in most dogs.
Exercise Options That Can Help You
- One way to exercise your dog more is to find a dog walker who can take him for a walk during the middle of the day. It will also help reduce the time he spends alone at home.
- Take your dog to daycare. If you can’t take him daily, go at least once or twice weekly. It will help him socialize, exercise, and play. He will be tired when he gets home.
Establish a Routine
Dogs feel more confident and calm if they have a routine. It means they know what to expect each day. It is essential to set up a schedule for your dog that includes mealtime, potty walks, exercise, and playtime. Even if your plans change, keep your dog’s routine as stable as possible.
If you have an anxious dog, it is a good idea to have a routine. It will help the dog feel more secure and stop barking as much. However, it is also a good idea to have a routine for all dogs, not just anxious ones. If the routine does not entirely stop the barking, try using some tips below for better results.
Tips To Stop a Dog From Barking When Left Alone
Here are six extra tips that can help you stop your dog from barking when left alone, depending on why and what triggers the behavior.
Tip 1: Changes in the Environment
Keeping the curtains closed will help to create a darker environment which will have a calming effect on most dogs. It will help to muffle the sounds from outside that disturb Alarm Barkers. Likewise, it will help to eliminate the visual stimuli that trigger Territorial and Bored Dogs.
Tip 2: Turn on Your TV or Radio
Leaving the radio or television on when you’re not at home can help to calm your dog. It masks the outside sounds that may disturb them and makes it seem like you’re still there. Even particular types of music are designed to relax dogs, which can be helpful when leaving them alone.
Tip 3: Interactive and Mentally Challenging Toys
Toys can be a fun way to keep your dog entertained and busy while you’re not at home. Puzzle Toys or a Kong stuffed with prizes can keep him entertained and stimulated mentally during the day, so he does not get bored.
It is also a good idea to leave your dog a special toy that he only gets when you’re not home.
Tip 4: Training
Adding training time to his routine or enrolling him in an obedience program provides many benefits. Dog training improves his overall life quality by stimulating his mind and providing great exercise. It also helps to have a more balanced dog and strengthens the ties between you and your dog.
Tip 5: Adopt a Companion
Some dogs do well when they have a new canine companion. Remember that dogs are pack animals and often enjoy the company of another dog. Finding a friend and companion for your dog that is calm, playful, and has a good temperament can positively affect your dog. It can help him to be more peaceful and more relaxed. A companion can help with “Bored, Anxious, and Demanding Dogs.”
Tip 6: Building Up the Time He Is Alone
This technique can be used to help dogs with separation anxiety. You will slowly leave your dog alone for more and more time until it can be without barking for up to two hours. If it can do this, you can leave it alone for up to 8 or 10 hours without barking.
It takes time. To attain success, one must exercise patience and consistency in one’s actions.
Start by simulating your daily routine before leaving home. It means putting on your shoes or grabbing your keys, a bag, or a backpack. Make it look like you’re leaving home like any other day. But in the end, sit down and don’t go out. Repeat this until he doesn’t get anxious or start barking.
The goal is to help him feel more comfortable with your departure, so he doesn’t get so anxious.
After you do what you usually do, open the door and go out. But come back inside quickly before your dog has a chance to bark. Praise him gently for not barking, and do this a few times.
It’s best not to make a lot of noise or create big emotional scenes when you leave or come home. It can emotionally charge your dog and stress him out.
Gradually increase the time and distance you are away from your dog. Start with one or two minutes. If you usually use an elevator, call it and go down one or two floors before returning up the stairs. If your dog doesn’t bark, enter and praise it. But if you hear it bark, mark the behavior with a loud knock on the door with a solid object and start retaking the time.
When your dog barks, knock on the door and go back outside. Wait a minute or two without your dog barking before you return inside. When you no longer hear him bark, come inside and give him a lot of praise. Wait for 15 to 30 minutes and start the exercise again.
Things to Remember
It would help if you increased how long your dog is quiet gradually. Set specific goals for how long it should be quiet, and do not wait for an indefinite amount of time to pass before correcting your dog when it barks. Start with one minute and increase the time to two, five, and then 10 minutes over some time. Make sure you congratulate and recognize it each time it is quiet for the set amount of time.
Remember that there will be setbacks, but this is normal. Do not get discouraged; keep going. Be patient and consistent. Getting an hour of silence may take several days, depending on the problem’s severity. Take the time to do it well to achieve great results.
2 Things to Consider When Your Dog Suddenly Starts to Bark When Left Alone
If your dog starts doing something new, it is essential to take it seriously. If it has always been quiet and suddenly starts barking a lot, you need to think about two things.
If your dog barks a lot and seems to be in pain, it is essential to take him to the veterinarian as soon as possible. The vet can help determine if an illness or injury causes the barking.
Old Dogs Barking
Some dogs get old and start having hearing or vision problems. It can also make them lose their mental abilities. The dog might become anxious and bark more than usual when this happens.
You must ensure your dog has everything he needs to be comfortable and safe. Although his exercise needs will be less, some of the recommendations and tips mentioned above can help him.
Helpful Things to Consider
If you like your dog to stop barking when you leave him alone, there are some things that you can do to help. Even though they seem small, these things can make a big difference.
- If you notice the behavior early on, it will be easier to stop it from becoming a habit.
- Your emotions and feelings can affect your dog. They are very wise to the emotions of their family. If you feel worried or anxious, he can feel it, which might hurt him.
- If your dog is barking and you don’t want him to, yelling at him will probably only make the problem worse.
- Use positive reinforcement training to help your dog change his behavior. Speak to him in a calm and firm voice to help him understand what you want from him.
If you are having trouble dealing with your dog, do not be afraid to ask for help. Several people can assist you, including dog trainers and canine behavior specialists.
Read more: How to Be Mindful With a Barking Dog
Frequently Asked Questions About How To Stop Dog Barking When Left Alone
Do Dogs Grow Out of Barking When Left Alone?
Barking is normal behavior for dogs. Puppies will keep barking, but you can take steps to reduce it. Barking can be helpful because it can show us what scares or makes our dog uncomfortable.
Why Do Dogs Bark Constantly When Left Alone?
Dogs need mental stimulation to be happy. Some dogs can get disruptive when bored because they want something to do. These dogs usually don’t look anxious. Other dogs might bark or howl in response to different things in their environment, like new sounds or sights.
Do Dogs Ever Get Tired of Barking?
Dogs bark for different reasons, but they don’t get tired and stop. It’s typical behavior for them. People might think it would take a lot of energy to make them stop, but it doesn’t. Dogs interact with one another through barking.
Do Bark Collars Work for Separation Anxiety?
Do not use an anti-bark collar on a dog that has separation anxiety. It is because using negative reinforcement will only worsen the dog’s anxiety.