Solving Barking When You Are Away From Your Dog
Using the solutions in this section, you may get your dog to stop barking when you’re not home.
Usually, if your dog barks excessively, you might be concerned.
- The amount of time you spend at work
- When you leave home to attend evening social events, make brief grocery runs, etc.
- While you are sleeping, your dog is in the garden and away from you.
This manual is essential if the municipality has taken action against your dog for barking or if your neighbours have complained about your dog barking while you are away.
As with any behaviour, three important chronological steps are necessary to stop your dog from barking excessively:
- Assess your dog’s problem first (and measure the amount of barking).
2. Put your suggestions into action to capitalize on the solutions (and opportunities) you identified throughout your assessment.
3. The next step is to assess your growth over time to ensure that you are heading in the proper direction.
Why is my dog barking?
Let’s start by determining the barking your dog is exhibiting.
The maximum amount of barking your dog is allowed to perform will, in most areas, be specified by your local authority or council. The following serves as a general guide to “acceptable barking.”
In Queensland, Australia, the limit is set by state law, but councils can choose whether or not to follow the rules.
You must pay attention to how much barking your dog does while you are away.
How would you approach that? While your friends or neighbours may be able to provide you with information, it is always preferable to keep an eye on your dog. At the same time, you are away from drawing accurate conclusions.
After a thorough evaluation, you are far more likely to find the precise solutions your dog needs. The most typical reasons for your dog barking while you are away, nevertheless, are as follows:
A young dog is very likely to experience boredom, particularly one of the working breeds or a terrier. The comprehensive text in our No Bored Dogs Pet Pick compiles several solutions to avoid boredom.
Anxiety-based behaviour is one of the most common causes of “home alone” barking.
Many dogs may bark at stimuli that “worry” them when they are not home to give them guidance and comfort. While it is usually possible to train a dog not to bark in response to certain stimuli, it may be more challenging to do so when you are not at home.
Even territorial barking is a form of anxiety because distressed dogs experience a “puff of anxiety” when they believe that noise or something else threatens their territory.
More information regarding the “emotions” that accompany pet anxiety can be found on this website. A few examples are:
- Territorial dangers include strangers loitering in front of your yard, other dogs barking, and intrusive noises.
- Self-protective aggression, which appears when a dog detects a threat nearby.
- An anxiety disorder, like generalized anxiety disorder, in which your dog overreacts to stimuli that most dogs do not respond to and is easily startled.
In our daily job as pet behaviour consultants, we deal with barking caused by separation anxiety or one of its nasti siblings.
Your dog has separation anxiety and will display anxious behaviour when you leave. At the same time, you are gone, and when you return. Screaming, howling, and barking are just a few of the actions that may suggest distress while you are away.
There are many ways to deal with separation anxiety. Still, three of the most common are relaxing activities, leaving in stages, and trial separations.
3. Repeated barking
Compulsions are one of the less common causes of barking. A compulsion is an unintentional, recurring behaviour that might persist for a long time. Obsessive barking in dogs frequently has a rhythm and is usually not brought on by a distinct stimulus. If your dog suffers from a compulsive disorder, the best way to start is by contacting us for assistance.
4. Senior dogs and their barking
Some elderly dogs will bark if they have a senile behavioural disorder like Alzheimer’s disease. In their “teens,” dogs frequently experience this. Canine cognitive dysfunction is the name given to this illness in dogs. There are many strategies to reduce the consequences of this illness.
How may barking when you’re alone at home be reduced?
There are many ways to stop a dog from barking, but the methods that deal with the underlying issue are the most effective.
You are reading this website because you are curious about the howling or barking your dog does when you are not home.
As a result, the treatments are usually very different from those you would use if the barking occurs while you are AT HOME with your dog.
Thus, the following are the significant areas of attention for therapies for “home-alone” barking:
- Determining any health conditions that might be adding to or causing the barking.
- Using low-cost surveillance to find out how often your dog barks
- If your surveillance indicates that the dog is getting too much exposure to the triggers that make him bark, limit his access to those stimuli.
- Enriching your dog’s life at home by providing comfortable accommodations (typically a den) and boredom-busting activities
- Along with treating any underlying anxiety or compulsive disorder
Identifying whether medical conditions are adding to or causing the barking
Medical conditions may be the main reason for the barking or another factor contributing to the barking.
The older the dog, the more likely it is that medical conditions will be significant.
Human behaviour resembles the same situation: unwell humans are far more likely to have difficulty managing the “stressors of daily life.”
In many ways, your pets are identical to you.
Therefore, if your dog is vocalizing excessively, you must see your veterinarian ensure that medical conditions are either confirmed or ruled out as the cause of the threatening behaviour.
How to measure the barking of your dog using low-cost surveillance
Above, this concept was discussed in passing.
Even if your friends or neighbours might be able to describe what your dog does when you’re not home, it is always preferable to monitor your dog closely yourself to accurately assess the home-alone activities.
If you keep a watch on your dog, you’ll discover:
- The amount of barking, whether it is legal, and whether or not your neighbours are aware of it.
2. How the quantity changes as your solutions are put into action.
3. The type of noise your dog makes (for example, barking, howling, crying, or screaming).
4. Additionally, they’ll greatly expedite the solutions by letting you know “what works.”
Limiting the stimuli that cause barking’s access
According to your surveillance evidence, is your dog barking through your fence, your windows, or your veranda?
If so, limiting your dog’s exposure to the triggers could be wise. This reduces the amount of barking and prevents undesirable behaviour from reinforcing itself.
Although restricting access could signify many different things, in actuality, it usually means:
- Adjusting the fence’s placement or construction to stop the dog’s view of external stimuli
- Keeping your dog from getting to higher places, like verandas and decks, from which it could see things happening outside the fence.
- Offering the dog various “stimuli” to keep it engaged and entertained. You’ll find that the No Bored Dogs exercise is particularly effective for this. (See more below.)
Increasing the independence of your dog at home
In many cases, excessive barking is caused by boredom.
Even if boredom isn’t the cause of your dog’s barking, many alternative therapies are built on the foundations of eliminating boredom and enhancing one’s existence.
If you want your dog to stop barking, you need to give it a luxurious life.
A comprehensive section on Pethealth.com.au is devoted to this vital concept, beginning with this No Bored Dogs Routine.
Giving your dog puzzle toys with the “Sudoku” effect is also essential.
Addressing the underlying causes of compulsions and anxiety disorders
This advice has been made several times of anxiety and other “emotional” conditions that impact pets.
This is because these mental disorders are a prevalent cause of the kinds of behaviour that dog owners notice in their dogs, like barking a lot more than usual.
Although anxiety is a common emotion in humans and animals, anxiety disorders are abnormal.
Please read this page on pet mood disorders if you haven’t already. You might find it interesting that animal mood disorders look much like people’s mood disorders.
If your pet suffers from a mental illness, please contact us so we can advise you.
On effective occasions, I am using calming cases effectively and therapeutically.
Examples of calming substances include pheromones and homoeopathic remedies. Some pets may benefit from the judicious use of modern pharmaceuticals (most of which have almost no side effects nowadays).
Some anxious dogs genuinely need anyone to comfort them throughout the day. A friendly dog daycare provider can be beneficial if nothing else helps such dogs.
Why can’t I use an electronic barking collar?
If you’ve read everything up to this point, you should be aware that a dog’s excessive vocalization can have a variety of causes and remedies.
Suppose you’re considering using a barking collar. In that case, you should first consider whether it will resolve any territorial issues your dog might be experiencing, as well as whether it will alleviate boredom, improve your dog’s quality of life, eliminate any medical conditions, eliminate any anxieties or compulsions, or help prevent senility.
Barking collars don’t address the root issue.
Barking collars are rarely utilized in this area. We only have extraordinary times in rare circumstances where other therapy forms have failed. In our more than 30 years of barking therapy, collars have been used less than five times, and only twice have they been effective.
Excessive vocalization may occur for various reasons when you are away from home. It is, therefore, wrong to assume that one approach will be effective in all cases. However, the solutions are much more accurate if you determine the fundamental problem.
We hope this information has helped you better understand your dog’s barking behaviour.
- Determine the source, quantity, and nature of your dog’s vocalizations.
2. Check for any underlying medical conditions.
3. Take steps to avoid boredom and improve your lifestyle.
4. Adequately treat any mood or anxiety disorders.
5. Use sedative-assisted therapies if necessary.
6. But above all, contact us for professional assistance.