Having a job outside the house means having a good chunk of time that you are away from your dog. If you do not have CCTV cameras in your house, have you ever wondered what it is that your dog does when you are away?
You might be surprised to learn from a neighbor that your dog actually spends a good deal of his time barking when you are not there. When this is the case, you are faced with two concerns: a neighbor who might be bothered by all the racket that your dog is making, and a dog who is probably experiencing anxiety when it is left alone.
This is actually a common problem for many dog owners, and it can be somewhat difficult for a lot of them to address the behavior because they are not at home. Luckily, there are some great strategies that you can try to help curb dog barking when you are not at home.
Hopefully, these suggestions will at the very least limit all the barking during times when you are out of the house.
Strategy 1: Spend some quality time with your dog.
Your presence in the same room may not be enough to establish a close and assuring relationship with your dog; it is imperative that you make full use of that time to actually nurture your relationship.
When you are at home, give him lots of attention and take advantage of opportunities to exercise him. This is the first step in curbing his barking behavior: making him realize that you care for him and will not abandon him. Hopefully, he will be assured enough of this to know that you are coming home later in the day.
Strategy 2: Establish crate training at home.
Crate training is often associated with house training, but this is not all there is to it. If you need to have a personal, private space that is all yours (your bedroom, for example), your dog will also benefit by having a space that belongs to nobody else but him.
More than that, it is important for him to understand that this space is a good, safe space for him to be in – that it is not a place he goes to as a form of punishment.
When doing crate training, make sure that the crate you will get is roomy enough for your dog to stretch and turn around in. However, do not make it so spacious that there is space for him to move to when he ends up soiling it. Remember that dogs usually do not go in places where they sleep, but accidents are bound to happen especially during the early puppy years.
Another thing to remember about crate training is that you must not shock your dog when you put him inside the crate for the very first time, and then proceeding to leave the house for work. This can be a very traumatic experience for him – one that might actually contribute to prolonged barking!
Make sure you spend lots of practice time for him to get used to the crate. It will help to put a fresh sheet or a comfortable blanket inside, as well as some toys that he likes and a maybe even a bone.
Do not get overexcited about making the crate comfortable that there are too many toys inside to crowd it. You should also ensure that your dog has fresh water inside the crate, but do not make the mistake of putting food in there as well! Doing so might result in your dog having a toileting accident inside the crate, which will be a problem for you to attend to once you get home.
When you start crate training, but your dog as well as all the other things mentioned above inside the crate and allow him to stay in there for about five minutes. Stay in the same room for this time. There is a good chance that he will cry because this is a new experience for him.
Be firm and do not give in to your dog when he cries; doing so will mean more delays in getting him used to it, and this will translate into delays in working out the barking issue. Remember that you want him to learn that his new crate is a safe place which is just for him.
Practice the five-minute crate time several times a day, and as you go along gradually increase the time that he spends in the crate. You can also start leaving the room, but only do so for a few minutes before coming back.
Increase the time you spend outside the room after some time. When you are outside, pay attention to the length of time that your dog barks or cries. Over time, you will notice that it will gradually become shorter and shorter. The more frequently you practice this, the less time he will spend barking and crying.
Strategy 3: Employ a dog walker to help out.
This is a great strategy if a dog walker is within your budget. You can also look for someone you trust with keys to your house. This is especially useful for the times when you are out for extended hours. Chances are, your dog will become restless and bored.
If you have someone to come see him and take him out for a walk or some exercise, it will be very good for him to work out all the energy and temper his anxiety. The consistent presence of another person when you are not at home can also help a lot in addressing the barking behavior that your dog demonstrates while you are at work.
If your neighbor reports that your dog barks excessively when you are not at home, do not take offense. Rather, take his report seriously as it means your dog has issues that you are not aware of.
Your focus should be on addressing the behavior in the soonest possible time so your dog will not be unhappy or fretful when you are away, and so that your neighbor will have peaceful days ahead of him!
Do you want to put an end to your dog’s annoying barking problems? CLICK HERE to watch this FREE Step-by-Step Video from Doggy Dan’s Program!