Does Your Dog Bark While You Are At Work?

Does your dog bark while you’re at work?  If he does, then you may have a lot of other problems, too. You’re probably not very popular with your neighbors, for one thing.  They could call animal control about your dog.  Plus, along with barking, your dog could be destructive at home.

Even if you’re not home to hear your dog’s barking, you need to make sure your dog learns that it’s not okay to bark when he’s alone.  However, this kind of behavior usually requires more than just giving a command to correct problem.

Reduce Your Dog’s Boredom

The first thing you need to do is make sure that your dog is getting plenty of exercise and attention.  If your dog is spending each day alone at home and he has nothing to do, then he’s probably going to bark.  After all, what else does he have to do?

You should start taking your dog for a nice long walk every morning before you head to work, and another long walk once you come home.  Even if you have a Toy or small dog, take your dog for multiple walks each day so your dog doesn’t have a lot of energy stored up while you’re at work.

You should also make sure you give your dog some fun things to keep him busy while you’re at work.  Even a few toys can make a big difference to your dog and keep him from barking over and over again during the day.

Bark Training

The next thing you need to do is to train your dog so he knows when it is all right to bark.  You can teach your dog basic “Speak” and “Quiet” commands. It is quite normal for dogs to bark so it can be hard to get them to control the impulse to bark, but once you teach this command it can cut down on a lot of the noise.

To teach your dog when to speak and be quiet, you can tie your dog’s leash to a post or have a friend hold the leash. You should stay just out of your dog’s reach and hold a treat or toy that your dog will want.  When your dog barks you should praise him and give him the treat.  Keep doing this a few times and then you should remove the treat.  As soon as your dog looks like he is about to bark you should say, “Speak!” and give your dog the treat as a reward.

Your dog will soon learn that “Speak!” means he should bark.  You can teach your dog “Quiet!” by giving your dog the treat reward when he stops barking. This can be a lot harder to teach because some dogs never stop barking.  You need to be patient so you can make sure your dog learns these lessons thoroughly.

Anxiety?

It’s also possible that your dog could be barking while you’re at work because he has some anxiety issues.  This problem is completely different from boredom or having too much energy.  If your dog is barking because of anxiety you need to teach your dog that you will be home soon and that you always return.

You should start working on your dog’s anxiety issues by changing your dog’s expectations.  Don’t pay any attention to your dog after you arrive home for the first 10 to 15 minutes. You shouldn’t give your dog any attention if he starts crying in the morning when you are leaving for work.

You can also think about crate training your dog as one way of handling your dog’s anxiety.  This can help him get used to being alone and staying in a place that feels safe to him.  Sometimes if your dog is in a smaller space and he learns that you will always come back, no matter how long you’re away, he will stop the barking.

With anxiety issues it’s important to gauge how severe the problem is and take the best steps. In some cases, if your dog has a severe case of anxiety, you may need to work with your vet and your dog may need to be treated with medication.  Before trying to modify your dog’s behavior you should talk to your vet to find out if there could be any physical problems causing your dog to bark.

In many cases, if your dog is barking when you’re not home, then it is often easy to change the behavior.  You will need to be patient while you work with your dog and it may take time, but if you use the right method you won’t have to worry about upset neighbors or complaints about noise.

 

Mark Mansfield
 

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