One dog behavior that is very distressing is when you have to leave him home alone and he starts barking. It is irritating to those who have no choice but to hear and endure the barking noise. Owners should try to determine what’s causing this behavior in order to address it accordingly.
Here are some reasons why a dog would bark.
Dog Breed. Smalls dogs like the Maltese, miniature Schnauzers and Poodles are prone to this behavior. They are sensitive to their surroundings and bark at the sound of noise.
Territorial Behavior. Dogs tend to bark because they feel as if they are protecting their land from intruders.
Demanding Attention. They bark because they simply don’t want you to leave them.
Excess Energy. Some breeds like pointers, collies and retrievers are active and energetic dogs so if they don’t get enough activity or exercise to burn their energy, they will tend to bark it off.
Fear and Anxiety. A dog may bark due to these feelings. This happens commonly to dogs who are moved from one house to another.
Now onto the solution. Here’s a list of things that you can do to prevent him from barking.
- Place him in a quiet area – the most quiet part of the house.
- Provide shade by drawing your curtains down or cover your windows. It will create a calming effect to the environment of your dog. Plus, your dog will not be able to see movement from outside.
- If your TV or radio is normally on during the day, leave it on when you leave so the noise will be there to accompany your dog.
- Give him a goodbye toy. A toy that you only give to him when you’re leaving. This will distract him and will feel that something good happens every time you leave.
After trying all the above and your dog is still barking, your next step will be to make him get used to you leaving and/or being left alone. You have to set this up so you’ll have to make time for this.
Here’s what you’ll need to do.
Act like you’re leaving. Look like it – your clothes, the time of the day, the things you do or prepare when you’re leaving; all the works.
When you’re giving him his goodbye toy, look him in his eyes and talk to him. Tell him to be calm and quiet until you get back home.
So go and leave him for around a minute or two. Walk away as you normally do or take the elevator, then go back. Stand outside for 1-2 minutes and listen if your dog is barking. If he’s not barking, enter your house and praise him. If he’s barking, give your door a sharp knock until your dog stops barking. Then wait again for 1-2 minutes to see if he’s going to bark again. The goal is to hear him not barking for 1-2 minutes then go in and praise him.
You will gradually increase the time period that you have to be away from him. This will take time because you have to build the away time that he gets used to you leaving and not barking. It will be the 1 hour mark that’s the most difficult to reach so it’s very important to praise your dog when he’s not barking. Once you’ve reach the 1 hour mark, you’re well on you way to 2 hours and dogs who can stay quiet this long usually can be quiet for 8-10 hours of alone time.
Be patient and focus on the long term goal, your dog will get there only if you will it and work with him.