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How To Stop Your Dog From Barking

We all know that feeling of dread when you’re on the way out the door to go somewhere, and your dog starts barking. Barking is one of the most common issues that dog owners face. Dogs bark for many reasons, but it can be frustrating when your dog barks every time you leave the house. In this article, you’ll learn a few easy ways to stop your dog from barking when you leave the house.

Why Dogs Bark?

Alarm/Fear Barking

This is the most common type of barking. These barks are expressions of fear or anxiety and often occur when someone knocks at your door, rings the doorbell, or passes by outside while walking a dog.  Alarm barking is a natural response to an unfamiliar noise or presence. Fear barking can also be from anxiety or stress. If your dog is barking because of fear, the problem may worsen if you try to punish them for barking at people at the door.

Barking For Attention

If you’re gone all day at work every day and don’t give them any attention, your dog may learn to bark when you leave the house for you to come back and interact with them. Barking for attention is a way for dogs to maintain a social bond with their owner and feel safe. Your dog will typically stop barking after you’ve given them some attention.

Barking Due To Separation Anxiety

Dogs with separation anxiety may bark when you leave the house because they are afraid that something terrible will happen to you while you’re gone. Separation anxiety is a serious issue, and it’s essential to train your dog not to bark for this reason. This one can be particularly frustrating because if your dog is barking due to separation anxiety, they may bark even when you’re only gone for a few minutes.

Boredom/Loneliness

If you leave your dog home alone every day, they may get used to it and not bark when you leave. But if this is the case, they need more stimulation than what’s provided by being at home alone for long periods. Loneliness barking is not as familiar as other barking reasons, but it can be a problem if your dog barks when you leave the house.

Greeting/Play Barking

If you have a dog who’s very excited to see people and other dogs, then they may bark as soon as the door opens. These barks are often accompanied by jumping up on you or running around in circles. Greeting barking can be cute at first, but it’s essential to train your dog not to jump on people or bark excessively because this behavior can become problematic. 

Play barking is different from greeting barking because this type of bark occurs when your dog is playing with you or another person. This behavior can also be cute at first, but if your dog thinks that everyone who comes to the door wants to play, they may become possessive over toys and food.

Territorial/Protective Barking

Some dogs bark when someone comes to the door because they are trying to protect their territory; if this is the case, then you’ll need to train your dog not to do this. Territorial barking comes with defensive behaviors, such as growling or teeth flashing. It also tends to occur when the dog is off-leash, so it’s important not to allow your dog around people who frighten them while they’re unsupervised.

How to Treat Excessive Barking

Ask Them To Sit Or Lay Down

When your dog barks, ask them to sit or lay down and reward them with a treat every time they comply. This will teach your dog that complying with what you say is much more rewarding than barking is. Telling them to sit or lay down and then walking away is a great way to teach them that when they stop barking, you’ll come back.

Leave The TV Or Radio On

Leave the TV or radio on when you leave so that it seems like there’s someone at home. The sound of a person talking is often enough to stop your dog from barking, and won’t reward them with treats every time they bark like giving attention would do. Leaving the  TV or radio on will also keep your dog entertained while you’re gone and will stop them from getting bored.

Leave For Short Periods Of Time At First

If they’re barking because you’ve been gone too long, leave for shorter periods at first. Eventually, they’ll get used to you leaving and will stop barking when you leave. This method is often effective for dogs with separation anxiety. Lastly, leaving for shorter periods will allow you to reward your dog with treats every time they stop barking.

Ultrasonic Collar

Try using an ultrasonic collar if none of these other methods work. An ultrasonic collar is a device around your dog’s neck and emits an ultra high-pitched sound every time the barking sensor detects barking. This will distract your dog from barking because it scares them but won’t hurt them as other methods might. 

Getting Professional Help

If your dog is still barking when you leave the house even after trying all of these things, then it may be time to get professional help. This has become a severe problem for your dog, and they need more than just some basic training to fix this issue. 

What Not To Do

Shout Or Hit Them

Don’t shout at your dog or hit them. This will only make things worse and won’t solve the problem. It’ll just stress your dog out even more if you’re using negative reinforcement to try to stop something natural for them (barking) and will only cause them to become more anxious when you leave. Not only that, but it can also make matters much worse if they develop aggression problems in the future. Since dogs learn by association, your dog might associate hitting or shouting with things like doorbells or people entering our property (not just leaving).

Giving Them Attention When They Bark

Don’t reinforce their behavior by giving them attention whenever they bark, even if it’s just telling them “no.” This will only teach them that barking is an effective way of getting what they want. Instead, ignore all barks except for when you’re leaving the house.

Waiting Until They Bark A lot

Don’t wait until they bark a lot before trying anything. If you wait until they’ve barked for a long time before trying to stop them, then it’ll be more challenging because their barking has already become an established habit. You’ll have to break the routine, and this can be difficult. If you wait until they’ve barked a lot, then it’s best to take them to the vet and make sure there isn’t an underlying medical problem that could be causing their anxiety. 

Leaving Your Dog Alone For Longer Than They Can Handle

Don’t leave your dog alone for longer than they can handle. If you’re gone all day at work every day and don’t give them any attention, this may lead to excessive barking when you leave the house. They’ll get used to it and start barking because they’re lonely. You can also call someone before you leave to give your dog some extra attention, such as taking them for a walk beforehand, so they don’t bark while you’re gone.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are a few things that you shouldn’t do if you want to stop your dog from barking when you leave the house. You should also never use negative reinforcement as this will only make them more anxious and stressed out, which isn’t good for their health in the long term. However, with enough patience and dedication on your part, they can be trained not to bark when you leave the house. Always make sure to love and give them attention when you get home to make up for the time they spent alone, and be patient with them!