How To Stop Your Dog Barking When Left Alone

The incessant volleys of yips, woofs and whines of dogs when left alone can be a big problem for any dog owner and even the neighbours, except if you live in a detached house in the countryside. All dogs bark as way to communicate with their owners but a dog that barks continuously can cause so much trouble. To get your dog to stop barking when left alone, you have to first discover what triggers the reaction so you can address the situation effectively.

Here are some common reasons dogs bark:

  • Genetics
  • Attention seeking/demand
  • Alarm
  • Territorial
  • Frustration
  • Boredom
  • Fear
  • Play barking
  • Separation distress

Now that we’ve identified the factors that could be causing your dog to be especially vocal when left alone, here are some to tips to get them to stop.

1. Mask the sounds

Generally, most dogs bark when startled as a reaction to sounds they’re hearing. The solution here is to control the environment so you can limit their exposure to things that get their attention, and a good way to do that is to mask the noise with other sounds. For example, you could use a fan, a radio, a t.v. or a white noise machine to help your canine relax and lower their stress levels.

If you live in an apartment and share walls with others, covering up the sound of what’s going on outside can help keep your dog calm which in turns prevents frequent barking.

2. Use sight barriers

Another way to solve your dog’s barking problems via environmental management is to block your pooch’s sight-line to potential barking triggers. This solution is ideal for dogs that are territorial/alarm/defence barkers as it aids to prevent visual stimulation which can trigger your dog.

For outdoors, you can cut off visual access by using private fencing or privacy hedges in the garden.     If your dog stays indoors, you can leave the curtains closed or close the blinds. Alternatively, you can use place removable plastic films which allows light in but make the windows opaque. Be sure to place the window film a few inches above your dog’s line of sight to reduce the chances of visual stimulation.

3. Use treats and toys

As you leave the house, give your dog a chew-toy that has your scent on it to keep him busy. This can help distract your pooch as you leave and also keep him calm since the toy has your scent on it. The toy could be a stuffed Kong toy or a safe chew bone stuffed with cheese spread or peanut butter (without xylitol), but what counts is that the toys will keep their mouth occupied with something aside from barking.    Interactive treat toys are also a great way of keeping their minds busy.

Similarly, give your dog treats as a way of rewarding him for not barking. If he hears a noise from outside or doesn’t bark when you’re out of sight, praise him and give him a treat. Rewarding your dog is an excellent way of getting him to associate his refusal to react with something positive.

4. Create a quiet zone

A dog that suffers from separation anxiety shouldn’t be allowed to move freely at home, so create a quiet zone for them in the house where they can be when you aren’t at home. Ideally, the spot should be the quietest part of the house like a back bedroom, utility room or space. You can include a dog crate with comfortable bedding for them, and don’t forget to leave some food and water for them too.

5. Uses exercises

Some dog breeds like retrievers, pointers, setters and collies were originally used to work all day and they tend to become restless if they’re under-exercised. They need to be kept busy or they might resort to barking due to boredom. Experiment with different dog exercises to discover the ones that come close to tiring your pooch out. A panting, utterly exhausted dog will be too tired out to waste his remaining energy barking.

6.  Hire A Dog Walker

Hire a dog walker if you are out at work all day to tire your dog out and to break up his day.

All in All

If you have applied all the tips above and still can’t seem to get your dog to stop barking, you might need extra help from a dog trainer/behaviourist.   Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Get in touch with your local Scamps and Champs Branch here to discuss your pets needs.

Top 10 Summer Safety Tips for Your Dogs

summer tips, dog safety tips, dog walking

Whilst summer provides an abundance of outdoor opportunities for our canine companions, it also comes with additional risks. Hikes, swimming, holidays, picnics and exercising offer ample opportunities for us to take our beloved dogs out with us to enjoy the sunshine. At Scamps and Champs we definitely don’t want to suggest for one moment that this isn’t a fabulous idea! However, there are risks you can come upon in the summer months that as a responsible dog owner, it is good to be aware of so that preventative measures can be put in place and your dog’s safety ensured. Keep reading for our top 10 safety tips for your dog this summer:

  1. NEVER Leave Your Dog in a Hot Car

It goes without saying that you should never leave your dog in a hot car during the summer. Temperatures can reach over 90 degrees in a car during hot days and so the fairest thing to do is leave your dog at home in the cool, however beautiful the day is and how tempting it is to take your dog out to enjoy it with you.

  • Protect Your Dog from Parasites

If you chose not to protect your dog then your dog can be at serious risk of; heart worm, Lyme disease and a lot of other serious diseases associated with the heat and parasites. So always protect your dog as prevention is far better than trying to treat a serious illness.

  • Keep Paws Cool

Pavements, stones and footpaths can become exceedingly hot when the sun is out and can very easily cause your dog’s paw pads to become burnt. This can be extremely painful for your dog and therefore keeping your dog inside whilst the heat of the day is at its peak, or opting for woodland walks can be necessary alternatives. If your dog appears to be over heating then put their paws in some cold water to cool their body temperature down.

  • Fresh Drinking Water at ALL Times

Dogs can sweat but only a small amount so they therefore need to pant to cool down, this means they need to drink a lot of water when the weather is warm. To avoid your dog getting heat stroke ensure cold, fresh water and shade are available at all times.

  • Pup Pool to Keep them Cool

Your garden can get very hot in the summer so why not provide your dogs with their very own kiddy pool to keep them cool! Who doesn’t love a cool dip in the summer!

  • Swimming Dangers

Whilst a quick dip in the river, ocean or a lake may seem like a great idea to cool your dog down, do not assume they can swim! Make sure your dog can’t jump into deep water when they are unattended, as if they can’t swim well they could drown. Make sure you are always there to supervise your dog in deep water.

  • Doggy Sunburn

Did you know that dogs can get sunburn too? Dogs can still get sunburn and it can be very painful, so keep them in the shade or ask your vet about pet sunscreen as it does exist. Do not assume sunscreen for humans will do the job, as this is not the case.

  • Keep the Lead On

When you go out for the day or on holiday, the temptation is there to let your dog off the lead to explore. However once in an unfamiliar environment this can be extremely disorientating for dogs and they can easily wonder off and get lost. If you are unsure at all about your dog’s recall then keep them on the lead or on a long line, where they can explore safely.

  • Watch their Weight

If your dog is overweight then this can cause them to struggle in the heat and make exercise and breathing more difficult. So after those winter months make sure your dog is the correct weight ready for the summer heat. If you are in any doubt ensure you visit your vet.

  1. Don’t Forget to Shut Windows

It’s tempting to keep all of your house windows open at night particularly when it is really hot outside. However, don’t leave them open too wide and don’t forget to close windows when you go out of the house. As your dogs may get curious and escape, putting them at risk of coming to harm or running away.

We hope you have enjoyed our preventative summer top ten tips for your dogs! We hope you all enjoy the fabulous summer months with your precious pooches in the great outdoors!

Scamps and Champs are one of the country’s leading Pet Care Service companies, we offer caring and reliable animal care for when you can’t be there. Check out our services and availability in your area. If we can assist you in anyway please do contact us.