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  • Writer's pictureJan

Why does my dog bark and how to stop it.

Our dog can quite easily turn our neighbours against us just by their relentless barking day and night. We all know how frustrating it can be when we have guests around for a BBQ but the dog next door will not stop barking. There are several reasons for our dogs exhibiting this frustrating behaviour so let’s have a look at some of the reasons why:-

Many small dogs such as maltese terriers, miniature schnauzers and poodles have the natural instinct to respond to movement and noise. They will usually bark when someone walks past your property or when they hear your neighbours outside or as soon as the doorbell rings.

Some dogs, particularly unneutered males believe they are protecting your property from other dogs or people in the neighbourhood. One answer is to have your male dog desexed. Obedience training is also an ideal solution to this problem.

It could be that your dog simply doesn’t want to be left alone at home. They are bored without you. This could be more apparent if you happen to have a herding breed such as a collie or retriever. These dogs are meant to be physically active. The solution is to take your dog for a walk before work (if possible), so they are tired by the time you bid farewell. Leave them with some interactive toys to keep them entertained during the day.

Rescue dogs might be fearful and anxious. Their insecurity will cause them to bark. Obedience training with lots of rewards will make your dog more confident. You could also look at confining your dog to a quiet area in your home with their favourite toys and their bed.

Here are some tips from experts for eliminating your dog’s barking:-

  1. Keep your rooms darkened with blinds or curtains so that they cannot see any movement outside.

  2. Confine your dog to the quietest room in the house.

  3. Leave the TV or radio on as this will cover up any sounds coming from outside.

  4. On your way out the door give your dog a bone or a chew toy, it will act as a good distraction.

Some experts recommend “barking set-ups”. You will need a weekend or a holiday to undertake this training. In a nutshell you mimic leaving the house to go to work. You go out for 1-2 minutes and if your dog hasn’t barked you reward them with lots of praise. Continue with this exercise and if your dog starts barking, knock on the door with a metal object and start timing again. The barking may continue for some time but once your dog has stopped barking for 1-2 minutes, go and praise them again. Gradually build up the time you are away up until 15- 20 minutes. Putting the effort in will pay in dividends.

According to, “most dogs who can remain silent for two hours can usually stay quiet for an 8 to 10 hour work day”.

It is certainly worth trying everything possible to train your dog to stop barking. It will also make for a stress free environment. It would be great if anyone has any great tips which have worked for your pet.

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