The neighbors have told you the dog barks all day while you’re gone. Barking dogs pose quite a problem in a crowded area if the barking is prolonged. Traffic noise, kid noise, lawnmowers and leaf blowers, and a multitude of other noises add to the mix.
So, what are you going to do about the dog?
First, try to find out why the dog barks. Dogs can bark at people walking by or something as simple as a leaf falling in the yard or a squirrel, but usually this bark doesn’t last long. They also bark at the doorbell, but if you’re not home they’ll stop when the doorbell does. Uncontrolled, persistent barking can stem from several different causes: boredom, excess energy and loneliness.
When a dog is bored, he’ll bark. It gives him something to do. Give him something to do with lots of toys, such as balls and chewy toys. The dog can chase the ball by himself or chew the toy, if he’s indoors. If he’s crated during the day, make sure there are plenty of toys for him. Chew sticks can keep a dog busy for hours.
If the dog has excess energy, take him for a long walk before you leave. This should tire the dog out enough to let him sleep, which is what happy, healthy dogs do most of the day. A retractable lead gives the dog plenty of space to feel free and run while still protected. Or, you can use a regular leash and run with the dog.
If the dog is lonely, that’s a little harder problem, which might be solved by toys. Sometimes the human companion gets another dog as a companion for the first dog. They then can play together, and the loneliness disappears.
If all else fails, there are other ways to train the dog to stop barking. First, if you’re at home when the dog goes into a frenzy, a spray bottle filled with water will do the trick over a period of time. Just a little spray will get the dog’s attention because he won’t like the spray, and he’ll stop barking. The GentleSpray Citronella anti-bark collar can be used when you’re not there. The collar spritzes the dog with citronella, which the dog will find very unpleasant.
There are also collars that give a little shock or a high-pitched sound that will train the dog to know that barking is unacceptable behavior. The dog will learn that the shock or the sound happen only when he barks, so he’ll stop barking. One of these collars is the anti-bark scentless dog bark collar and the Pet Safe Comfort Fit bark collar.
There are also stationary boxes you can put in the yard or somewhere discreet in the apartment that emit ultrasound noise that will get the dog’s attention, and he’ll stop barking. He’ll learn that if he barks, he hears the sound; if he doesn’t, life is good. A couple of these devices are the Intellipet Bark Solvers and the Ultrasonic Stationary Bark Control.
When a dog barks for hours at a time, it’s unnatural. Dogs are supposed to sleep for hours at a time. So, when the dog barks, find the reason, then find the way that works best with your dog.