A barking dog can drive anybody crazy. The good news is that barking is not something dogs need to do in order for them to be happy. In fact, barking is usually a sign of stress, frustration, anxiety or over excitement and none of these emotions are particularly good for dogs. Or you! Remember, a content, relaxed dog does not bark!
Best Ways to Stop a Dog from Barking
Barking When You Leave the House
A dog barking when you are not home is a very common issue. Usually people have no idea that they have a problem until the neighbors complain. Understanding why your dog is barking is the key to stopping it. You must address the cause of the dog’s problem and not just treat the symptoms. You have to remember to see it all through your dog’s eyes! Think of it this way: your dog is a pack animal and understands that there are leaders and followers. And one of the pack leader’s jobs is to protect the pack. So when in the morning when everybody leaves to go to work and leaves the dog home alone, the dog becomes stressed. So would you if you lost your pack! That’s the reason why he’s stressed and barking. He is calling out to you to come back. He is just are trying to do his job. And all those other annoying behaviors such as chewing, destruction of items, that only happen when you’re not around…they are all symptoms of a stressed dog that’s desperately concerned about you not being home and safe.
So What’s the Solution?
The solution to how to stop your dog from barking is not giving them a bone to chew on while you are away. Imagine saying to a parent who is totally stressed that their young child is out on the streets, “Don’t worry, here’s a box of chocolates.” You may love chocolate, but it is not going to help. Toys filled with food and other distractions do not treat the cause of the problem either. They are only treating the symptoms. It may work, say, for half an hour or so, but not long term. The solution is actually very simple. You need to become the pack leader in your dog’s eyes. Once you do this correctly, your dog will not see it as his job to protect you. You will be able to come and go as you please and he will be totally relaxed. This is the real solution to having a calm, relaxed dog. Becoming the pack leader is not complicated. You may refer to this article, How to be the Pack Leader – then follow up to see step-by-step videos on how to do this.
Exercise. Exercise your dog before you leave. A tired dog is more likely to relax.
Find the right space. Try leaving your dog in different areas. Some dogs are more relaxed outside, others inside, and some prefer smaller areas such as a washroom.
Food and Water: Always leave water down and make sure that your dog is warm and fed before you leave.
Leave the Radio On. Consider leaving music on for your dog or the TV – these distractions can help. If nothing else, it will keep them from hearing every noise in the neighborhood – the garbage truck, car doors slamming, neighbor’s voices.
Herbal remedies. There are some herbal products for dogs which can help relax them.
Hire a dog walker. A break in the middle of the day can certainly help. This doesn’t have to be a paid professional – it can be the kid next door, a retired gentlemen in your neighborhood. Ask around – you may be surprised at how many volunteers you get!
Leave calmly. Say goodbye five minutes before leaving to help your dog stay relaxed as you go.
Don’t get another dog to solve the problem. A popular idea is that getting another dog is going to stop the problem. This is something to stay well away from. Remember, the source of your dog’s issue is not boredom. Many dogs who bark all day when their owners leave are the same dogs who lie around the house doing nothing most of the weekend when their owners are at home!
These are just the basics, but hopefully you now have a far better understanding of your dog’s problem. I would suggest if you are really serious about stopping the barking immediately, then take a look at The Online Dog Trainer. Watch the video on how to become a pack leader. That will be the end of your issue. There is actually an entire section dedicated to stopping this sort of barking under the dog problem section, “Separation Anxiety.” The sooner you turn things around, the sooner your dog will be able to relax while you’re gone, and the sooner your neighbors will be thanking you!
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