In an ideal world, we would all have jobs which allowed us to spend all day every day at home playing with our dogs. We would go on long walks, spend hours playing in the garden, and take them everywhere we could.
In real life, however, this is not always practical. We work jobs which involve long hours, and visit places which are not dog-friendly. In these instances, we will have to leave our dogs behind in their home.
While for most dogs, this is nothing more than a mild inconvenience, some will express their distress through loud, continual barking. This is upsetting for them, and annoying for the neighbors. Many dog owners have found themselves subject to noise complaints as a result of their pet. To help, we have some top tips to help you stop your dog barking when you are not home, restore neighborly relations, and improve the quality of life for everyone.
Make Sure They Are Getting Exercise
One of the most important things is to ensure that your pet is getting enough exercise throughout the day. If your dog is tired, they are more likely to snooze and remain calm and peaceful throughout the day—dogs who have too much energy make a lot of noise! If possible, arrange for a dog walker to pop in halfway through the day and help your dog work off some energy.
Make Sure They Are Not Bored
Many dogs will become bored and restless if left alone for an extended period, and so it is crucial that they have plenty of toys and puzzles to keep them busy. Food puzzles can be a great way to keep them entertained—and they are rewarded with a tasty treat!
Keep Familiar Sounds Around
Most of us do not live in complete silence, and so it can be unsettling for your dog if they are suddenly left in this environment. Play a television or radio while you are out to help relax your dog and reassure them. They will be far more likely to stay calm if they feel safe.
Try a Citronella Collar
A citronella collar can be a great solution to an overly barky dog. These work by spraying a burst of citronella whenever the dog barks. This is a substance made from the oils of lemongrass and is commonly found in candles, incense, and perfumes. It is harmless to your dog but will dissuade them from continuing to bark. After a time, they will associate barking with being sprayed, and this should help them to break the habit. These are often considered to be humane alternatives to shock collars.
Anti-barking collars are— quite rightly—frowned upon, but there are alternatives you can try. Some will emit a high pitched noise which only your dog can hear, and this can be a deterrent to barkers. Most experts will only suggest these devices as a last resort. There are kinder ways to resolve the problem and get to the heart of your dog’s issues.