home alone barking

Posted by rookeck
Oct 15, 2010
Rescued a crossbreed dog, about 2yrs old, 12 Kg with a bit of terrier in him.
When I leave him alone in house he barks incessantly (this from flat neighbours) . Had a letter from local council threatening action if barking persists!
Help please.
Posted by KOPCaroline
Oct 16, 2010
Hi rook,

Does your dog show any other destructive behaviour when you're gone, like chewing things up or ripping into things he shouldn't?

Have you tried leaving noise playing when you're gone and the dog is by himself? A TV on, a radio, anything with people's voices, so that he's a bit distracted and it sounds more like it does when you are home.

If you've got friends who live nearby and are able, see if they'd be willing to come by your house in the middle of the day while you're gone, and play with him or walk him for a bit. Letting some energy out during the day could really help him, and a social visit to break his alone time will probably make him more comfortable.

You can also look into anti-barking collars, like a citronella collar, or a buzz collar, there are many options out there that don't harm the dog at all, just give a simple unpleasant stimulus when he barks.

Similarly, you could look into a DAP pheromone plug-in, which could help with anxiety, if thats the reason for your dog's barking (which is why I asked if he's showing any other destructive behaviours).

If you think he's just bored, try the TV/radio/friends over. Also look into interactive, stimulating toys, like kongs and noisemakers. Anything to keep his mind occupied a bit more. Hide toys/treats around.

Anytime you are home, reward and praise him when he's quiet, and try to give "no" commands when he barks with you. You want to make an effort to get the idea that barking isn't good across to him.

Hope these ideas help, other members might have more. I hope this problem does get sorted, I'd hate the council to take action!
Posted by kjd
Oct 18, 2010
You might also try leaving him in a darkened room. That might encourage him to sleep rather than bark.

Have you had any luck yet?

Posted by rookeck
Oct 23, 2010
Radio with voices rather than music seems to have a calming effect.
Will try closing blinds and maybe the collar if necessary.
Obviously patience is the key.
Many thanks
Posted by kjd
Nov 4, 2010
Hey, rookeck,

How goes the barking?

Posted by Kate-Jacobz
Nov 5, 2010
Hi Rookeck,

If possible take your dog for a brisk walk of thirty minutes or more before you leave. This will help exhaust him and he might sleep for several hours if left in a darkened room. Be sure to leave toys for him to play with and a radio on.

If he barks in your presence say "no" or "quiet". You must always use the same word so as not to confuse him. When he stops give him a treat and praise him. If he doesn't stop spray him in the face with water to get his attention and say "no" or "quiet" and then give him a treat and praise him when he obeys you.

I believe that you should not expect a dog to be entirely non verbal. Imagine you not being permitted to speak at all. Teach him when it is appropriate to "speak" and when to be "quiet" through verbal commands and using treats and praise.

Have a friend visit and help you with this. Have the friend ring your door bell and knock on your door. Tell your dog to "speak" allow him to bark twice then tell him "quiet" providing a treat and praise when he follows your command. Have him sit before your friend enters your home and provide a treat and praise again. This does require patience.

You can slowly decrease the treats and perhaps eventually replace them solely with praise.

I hope these ideas provide additional assistance.