Dealing with barking behaviour
11th May 2016
Some dogs will bark if they are bored, anxious or frustrated. By recognising the cause of your dog’s barking, you can reduce it by improving their environment, which will improve their overall well-being.
Barking to be let out
When a dog wants to be let into the garden to the garden to use the toilet he may bark to alert his owner to open the door. This can get tedious if it happens every day so it’s more beneficial for a dog to be able to let themselves out. Install a dog door so that your dog can come and go as he pleases and so that he doesn’t need to tell you every time he wants to go outside.
If a dog is left home alone for several hours he may start barking through boredom or because he is so attached to his owner that the loneliness gets too much for him. Dogs are sociable animals and sometimes don’t cope well when they are left alone. Whilst you are out make sure your dog has access to plenty of toys. Try activity toys that can be filled with food. Walk your dog and play with him when you are at home so that he gets plenty of stimulation from you when you are around.
Barking at other animals or moving objects
If your dog barks every time another animal or a vehicle passes the living room window, try closing the curtains and putting a radio on to distract them. During walks, ignore your dog if he starts to bark at other animals and reward him when he doesn’t bark.
Barking at the postman
Train your dog to sit on a mat on your command so that you can instruct him to go there when the postman arrives. To do this, start by training your dog to go to the mat at any time and offer him a treat when he gets there. He’ll soon associate the mat with good things. Next get your dog to go to the mat and instruct a friend to put some letters through the letterbox. Only reward your dog if he doesn’t bark. You should get to the stage where you can direct your dog to the mat when the postman arrives and he will sit there quietly.
Get a buddy
If your dog gets on well with other dogs, it might be time to get him a companion, provided you have the resources and space to do so. Another dog will give your dog a buddy to play with while you are out which should sort out his boredom barking.
If your dog continues to bark when you’ve tried everything you can think of to prevent it, it might be time to contact a pet behaviourist to get to the bottom of your dog’s barking behaviour.