It can be so frustrating knowing that your dogs barking when left alone, is disrupting the neighbourhood every time you nip out. You know it wouldn’t happen if you were there to calm them down and yet the practicalities of every day life, such as work, children and buying food means you have to leave them regularly.
Dog barking can cause a lot of problems, which can quickly escalate from arguments with the neighbours to letters of official complaint and legal action to force you to get rid of your dog. But at the very least, avoiding the neighbours for fear of their complaints is never a comfortable position to be in.
It’s possible that you’ve already been on the receiving end of tons of “good advice” from everyone about how to stop dogs barking, ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous, (even from people who’ve never had a dog themselves), and yet whatever you’ve tried, you can’t stop the dogs barking when left alone.
Some desperate owners have taken to using anti-barking collars on their dogs to spray or shock them into silence, yet even these will not stop some dogs. Worse still, I have heard of these collars being activated by noise coming from other things around the dog – like the neighbours dog barking on the other side of the fence. This means they’re being punished for no reason, and its not teaching the dog anything positive at all.
You’ll Never Stop Dogs Barking Completely
The good news is that you shouldn’t have to take such drastic action to stop dogs barking when left alone. Recognise first that barking is natural for a dog and can mean many things; for example, barking is a warning, a way of locating each other, it can also be an invitation to play, show excitement, and in other cases, panic. So accept that you’ll never stop your dog barking completely and neither should you be trying to. That is not natural.
Now a dog that barks non-stop while the owners are out is most likely to fall into the category of barking out of sheer panic, this is more commonly known as separation anxiety in dogs.
To understand why your dog might be panicking, imagine a parent who has lost their child, and frantically screams to try to get them back. Now, if you replace the word “parent” with “dog”, and “scream” with “bark”, you can start to understand what is happening.
So essentially your dog is frantic about where you’ve gone, if you’re going to find your way back, and whether you’re safe or not. Barking is also their way of providing you with a signal to find your way back – a sort of doggy sat nav where you simply follow the noise. They are not aware that their hearing is so much better than ours.
How To Stop Dogs Barking When Left Alone
While trying to make a dog stop barking implies the use of force, you can actually achieve the same result with some simple training designed to change your dogs mind about who leads the pack. In most cases of anxious barking and separation anxiety in dogs, it is the dog that has decided that they are leader of the pack, but then get very anxious because they don’t understand our world, hence they can bark non-stop for large stretches of time.
However, if you take on being the leader of the pack, your dog no longer has to worry where you are, and they don’t need to bark to try and bring you back home safely. They will be able to stay at home and relax knowing they can trust you to find your own way back.
Learn how to do deal with their anxiety successfully and your neighbours will thank you for restoring the peace. You can find out more about dog anxiety by reading this article or watch a video about it by clicking on this link.