Someone else’s dog barking non-stop can be very annoying and frustrating. So if you’re a dog owner, you should do all you can to stop yours from barking when you leave them alone. But just how do you that when you’re not even there? Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to help with this problem. After all, your dog isn’t barking because they’re happy; that’s usually not why dogs bark when left alone. They’re much more likely to be barking because they’re stressed and anxious. So you owe it to your dog as well as your neighbors to teach them not to bark. And with that in mind, let’s take a look at how to stop dogs barking when left alone…
How To Stop Dogs Barking When Left Alone
The first thing you need to do is to understand the real reason why your dog barks when you leave them. Like I just said, it’s not because they’re happy. And it’s not even because they’re bored. To understand the true reason, just put yourself in their position…
Dogs are pack animals and if you don’t establish yourself as the pack leader, then your dog will assume this position themselves.
And the main responsibility of the pack leader is to keep their pack safe. So when you, as a part of their pack, walk out of the door and leave them, this is obviously going to stress them.
And so they’re going to try and follow you. But you’ve shut the door and locked it, so they’ve no way out.
So what do they do? They try and call you back. And how do they do this? By barking, of course.
And then when you ignore this and disappear from sight, they’ll bark all the more – this is your dog calling for help because they’ve lost their pack.
Hopefully, it’s now obvious why your dog may become anxious and upset and start barking when you leave them.
But how to fix the problem then?
Some people think that leaving their dog bones to chew or toys to play with will stop the barking, but this almost certainly isn’t the case. That’s because as we’ve seen, the root cause of the problem isn’t boredom, it’s stress. Sure, toys and chews may work for a short time but they’re only really treating the symptoms by briefly keeping your dog occupied.
The real key to solving your dog’s barking problem is the same as the key to pretty much all dog behavior problems – you need to assert yourself as the pack leader, which you can read about here.
Some Additional Tips For Stopping Dogs Barking When Left Alone
Here are a few more specific tips to help you stop your dog barking when left alone:
- The first thing is to make sure your dog gets plenty of attention and exercise. If your dog’s tired and worn out, they’re much more likely to be relaxed than if they’re bored and frustrated. So play with your dog and make sure they get plenty of nice long walks too.
- Secondly, you should always make sure your dog is fed and has access to fresh, clean water while you’re out. Again, your dog is going to be more relaxed and easy-going if they’ve got a full tummy and are nice and warm, which leads on to the third tip…
- Give your dog a warm, safe place where they can relax and be comfortable. The best place is going to depend on your individual dog. Some dogs prefer a smaller, more enclosed space while others will prefer a larger and more open area, maybe even outside. Wherever they are, make sure they have a warm, comfortable bed with a blanket.
- Leaving the TV on when you go out, or soft music playing, can also help to relax some dogs. Again, this will depend on the individual dog.
- If you’re going to be out all day, try and arrange for a friend, relative, or even a professional dog walker to come in and give your dog a break, if possible. Getting just a bit of attention in the middle of a lonely day can really help your dog.
- When you’re leaving the house, make sure you do it in a calm and relaxed manner. It’s definitely not a good idea to get your dog all excited and worked up just before you leave.
The source of your dog barking when you leave them alone is more than likely not boredom. The key to solving the problem is to make sure your dog knows that you’re the pack leader not them.
Hopefully, now you know how to stop dogs from barking when left alone, you’re barking problems will soon be behind you, which can only be good news for you, your dog and your neighbors too.