How do I stop my dog ​​from barking when he's home alone?

Dogs that start barking when they are left alone at home can cause certain problems for their owners with the community of neighbors. Being a recurring theme in the boards of many buildings. That is why we bring you some advice if this is your case and you want to prevent your dog from barking and making noise… or if you want to pass this article on to one of your neighbors with a pet.

dog that does not stop barking at home

My dog ​​barks when he is alone: ​​what do I do?

We have already explained to you in an article which are the main reasons why dogs bark. And how this is a natural and innate form of expression through which they try to convey a certain message. Now, in this short article, we are going to face a recurring problem: Dogs that won’t stop barking when they’re home alone.

Dogs that bark a lot when left alone fit several profiles. One of them is that of the dogs suffering from separation anxiety: Feeling closely attached to their owners, they act as if the world is ending every time they leave home and separate from them. They are animals that, due to anxiety, can also present other symptoms such as urinating in the house, chewing and smashing household objects, or jumping around in a frenzy through the different spaces of the house. But if what you need is information about separation anxiety, we recommend this articleand this one about loneliness in dogs.

some breeds (including most terriers) are born as dogs guardiansprone to “sound the alarm” whenever a noise or movement catches their attention. That is, any noise on the landing from a neighbor in the distance, or the garbage truck passing by the street can unleash your “greatest hits concert”. The elimination of this tendency is somewhat complicated in guard dogs. However, they can (and should) be taught to limit their “alerts” for a possible intruder to five or six barks, then calm down. But never allow our dog to spend long periods of time barking nonstop. Well, it will be bad both for the coexistence with your neighbors and for the well-being of his vocal cords.

Yes, besides we support the tranquility of our dog by leaving him in a quiet, dark and quiet place of our home, this will help in the case of the most irascible dogs to the excitement. Well, a relaxed and quiet environment will also help the dog to be relaxed and spend much of the day dedicated to sleeping instead of barking. What is the ideal when we are not at home.

On the other hand, puppies of any breed can be a challenge, They are capable of barking to absolute and literal exhaustion if they are not educated correctly and are not helped to burn off all that overflowing energy they have when they are so young. So we recommend that you try to get up early to give your puppy a good time to let off steam, play and be active. Long enough for you to come home tired enough to be looking forward to relaxing in your bed.

dog barking

Finally, there are the barkers who love gather “the herd”. That is, to all of you who live at home. What happens to them? Well, the fact that we leave them alone at home causes the fun to end. So they bark incessantly to call family members to come home. If any of us who live in the family home enter the house when he is barking, this will cause him to see this behavior reinforced and think that there are times that it works. The result? Uncontrollable and almost random barking when home alone and wants to stop.

How to break a dog’s cycle of uncontrolled barking?

If the dog is rewarded for his barking every time we go back inside the home, even if it is only to ask him to shut up how do we break the vicious circle? Well you have to reward silence.

To encourage the silence of our dog, we must exercise it: Take advantage of a day off or a weekend and act as if it were a normal working day in terms of your morning routines. But when you walk out the door don’t stray too far… If your dog is silent for a certain period of time, you should go back and reward him. (Treats or caresses and compliments are worth, but it is best to start with the first and then combine).

Start with an easy goal to achieve: 10 to 30 seconds of silence. Every time he barks again we will start the time count from zero. believe me when i tell you that it is better to start with attainable objectives. Because in many cases those 10 seconds will be quite an achievement. If he is already barking as soon as he comes out, wait until he shuts up, obviously. Y reward him.

With some dogs it is sometimes necessary resort to the support of a stimulus or marker that helps them identify that it is an unwanted behavior. Like a sharp, loud knock on the door when there’s a bark. This will help speed up the dog’s understanding process: His barking causes something unpleasant, while silence has a reward. Let’s go little by little.

It is very important that you do not yell at him asking him to shut up. For many dogs, attention from their owner, even negative (scolding) is better than no attention. So yelling at him to shut up can become a “reward” for his barking. Because you are paying attention to him.

Once you have achieved the first stretch of time without barking go back to walk into your house and reward him with compliments (a “good boy” or “good dog” is much more powerful than you think) and with a treat. Then go back to your chores.

Repeat the operation several times, trying to increase the silence times. and doing it each time as calmly as you can, so as not to excite him (if you are one of those who leaves the house slamming doors, you better rethink it). If you find that you have to reset the timer more than a couple of times, you may be going too far, or that you’re doing it too fast.

dog barking at home

Of course, some dogs are very smart and will be aware that you are on the other side of the door. But you will be able to lengthen the distance as you reap successes (and enjoy the corresponding prize).

Some people use collars instead of hitting or loud noises to discourage barking. In Terranea we are against shock collars. But there are some collars with citronella dispensers that are completely harmless and that seem to work quite well for this type of behavior, at least as a support for the animal to identify barking as unwanted behavior. The collar interrupts each bark by dispensing a citronella-scented diffusion.

However, we also do not recommend these collars for dogs that suffer from separation anxiety. In that case we refer you to the article linked above.

Usually, if you repeat the exercise of “rewarding silence”, it is most likely that in a short time you will be able to prevent your dog from bothering your neighbors. But above all, do not despair and arm yourself with patience (your pet deserves it). You can go forward and back to the beginning. Just repeat the exercises periodically until you stop doing them. If you already have a problem for this reason and you are going to start working on it, it is worth noting that you inform your neighbors that you are doing it. Because It is not something that can be achieved overnight. But they’ll be happy to hear that their complaints haven’t gone unheeded (it doesn’t take much to try to be a good neighbor and foster friendly coexistence).

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