Leaving a dog behind when you go out is never easy, and you may be trying to figure out how to stop your dog from barking when they are left alone. Excessive barking can disturb your neighbors or lead to destructive behaviors that will cause you more headaches. Your dog might get anxious or nervous without anyone around, so it is crucial to find ways to calm them down.
No matter how well-trained a dog may be, they are all prone to spells of separation anxiety. Fortunately, this article will go over all the reasons why your dog may be barking and how you can curb these behaviors!
Why Do Dogs Bark?
Dogs are brilliant animals and use barking to communicate many things. They may be barking to communicate their mood, letting you know when they’re in pain, alarmed, or simply want to play. These are some of the main reasons dogs bark:
- Attention-seeking – One of the most common reasons dogs bark is that they want or need something. They may be hungry, want treats, need to go outside, or want to play with you. Be careful not to give them too many treats when they bark, or else they may associate barking with rewards!
- Boredom – Some dog breeds need constant stimulation, both physically and mentally. If they become bored, they may be barking to get your attention. Boredom can often lead to restlessness, which can mean trouble or mischief brewing around the corner.
- Stress/anxiety – A dog experiencing separation anxiety might bark compulsively out of stress. This may cause your dog to lash out and cause trouble. Other symptoms include excessive pacing, defecating, howling, or destructiveness.
- Fear – Barking out of fear, also known as defensive barking, can cause a dog to growl at strangers or other dogs. Unfamiliar situations can cause them to bark at the perceived threat to scare the other side away. You may notice pinned back ears, tails between legs, or defensive postures.
- Pain – Dogs in pain may bark excessively to communicate that they need help. A high-pitched whine may follow the barking if they’re hurting and need medical attention. Take your dog to the vet immediately to get them checked out.
- Territorial – More aggressive dog breeds will bark to defend their territory if it has been invaded. Your dog may be more alert and combative if a stranger stays in your pet’s territory for too long. Remove your dog from the situation or remove the other dog.
Related: Why Does My Dog Bark At Nothing? [Why They Are Barking & How to Prevent It]
Why Do Dogs Bark When Left Alone?
One of the main reasons dogs bark when they are left alone, even for short periods, is that they are experiencing separation anxiety. Our pets can become anxious and scared when we leave them home alone, which explains their excitement when we return! Some dogs will start barking or even howling within minutes after their owners leave.
Do Dogs Get Tired of Barking?
Dogs might not get tired of barking if it soothes their nerves. Some animals with anxious tendencies bark to calm themselves down. This turns barking into a “self-reinforcing” behavior. A behavior is self-reinforcing if it makes your pet feel better without resulting in an actual reward.
Why Is It Important to Stop Your Dog From Barking When Left Alone?
There are a few reasons why you should stop your dog barking when it’s left alone. Dogs with separation anxiety are incredibly stressed and struggle with communicating that, so they continue to bark excessively. The stress can lead to destructive behaviors such as knocking over the trash, chewing on furniture, or urinating and defecating inside the house.
Depending on where you live, the constant barking may be disturbing your neighbors. It’s always nice to keep the peace with our neighbors, and keeping your dog calm is a great way to do this.
Some breeds may be more inclined to bark than others, but you can easily teach your dog to avoid this behavior. There are various ways to keep your dog occupied or teach them how to resist the urge to bark. The entire training experience can be an excellent bonding opportunity for you and your dog!
How to Stop Dog Barking When Left Alone
With proper guidance, training, and patience, you can teach any dog to stop barking when they are left alone. It may seem like a tall order, but they will stop barking excessively in no time with enough love and care. There are many great ways to encourage dogs to stop barking and help them relax when you leave them home alone!
Can I Give My Dog CBD?
Yes, giving CBD to your dog can be a great way to calm them down! CBD is an incredible cannabinoid derived from hemp. It has many therapeutic benefits for both humans and animals. It is a naturally occurring compound that can support your dog’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is responsible for regulating many of the body’s functions like sleep, mood, appetite, and digestion.
CBD dog treats are great for soothing and relaxing your pooch. Many owners use CBD dog treats to help their dogs cope with unfamiliar surroundings or loud noises. Giving them these treats can calm them down, making it easier to cope with separation anxiety.
At HolistaPet, we offer CBD Dog Treats for Stress and Anxiety Relief that may help alleviate nervous behavior when your pet is left alone. These treats are made with 100% all-natural, organic ingredients that are excellent for your dog’s health!
We also carry tasty CBD Calming Soft Dog Chews that can help relax an anxious and hyperactive mind. Made with tryptophan – a natural amino acid that can aid in the production of serotonin (aka the happy chemical) – our brand new soft dog chews can help improve your dog’s mood and provide tranquil effects!
Provide Them with Training
Training dogs is most effective when they are puppies, but they can be taught at any age with the right amount of patience and care. You can train them by yourself at home or hire a dog trainer to examine and improve their behavior.
Remember to stay firm and composed during training. Shouting at your dog will only cause it to bark louder and more intensely because it thinks you’re barking back at it. Use positive reinforcement to encourage good behaviors instead of punishing your dog.
You can give your dog treats or praise when they are quiet or well-behaved. You can also desensitize them to you being gone by continually going in and out of the house. By leaving and coming back, they will eventually get used to the idea that you will always return no matter what.
A dog might not get tired of barking, but they could be too tired to bark. Daily exercise and play can tire them out, and they will go right to sleep when you get home. Especially for the more active breeds who have boundless amounts of energy, constant exercise is not only better for their health, but it can also curb anxious behaviors.
Exercise is almost like a natural mood booster for animals because it releases dopamine and serotonin, natural chemicals produced by our bodies that boost brain function and happiness. A natural release of these chemicals can help reduce anxiety in our dogs and help prevent constant barking.
Dog Toys & Puzzles
Keeping your dog occupied with toys and puzzles can help prevent boredom and loneliness. These toys and puzzles can also help increase mental stimulation and occasionally some physical exercise. Wear your dog out mentally and physically to increase the chance it will stay mellow and calm for the rest of the day.
Canine toys and puzzles are also excellent at improving brain function for your dog. There are many fun dog toys that you can fill with treats to keep them occupied for hours. Dogs love challenges, and they love to please their owners even more!
Certain triggers can cause a dog to bark, regardless of whether you are with them inside the house or away from home. Some of these triggers can include:
- Loud outside noises
- Cars or people passing by
- Squirrels passing by
You can try to close the blinds to limit their view outside or place your dog in a sectioned-off area, reducing exposure to loud noises. Many owners use the method of placing their dogs inside a kennel or crate to create a safe space for them to chill out.
Mix Up Your Routine
Dogs are very routine animals that can sense when you are about to leave. They can get excited that you might take them with you, or anxious that you’ll leave forever. Try to mix up your routine a little by spending an extra 5-10 minutes to calm and reassure them.
Don’t Rush Things!
The most important thing to remember is patience! Bad habits and anxiety don’t disappear overnight, and you should always stay positive and encourage your dog so that it will be more receptive to the training. We also don’t recommend using a shock or bark collar since they can be painful for your dog.
A more humane alternative is citronella collars that spray citrus scents to discourage the dog from barking. Another popular option is using anti-barking devices that play a sound only your dog can hear to distract them.
If your dog’s barking has disturbed or bothered the neighbors, they will be more understanding if you let them know that you are taking steps to train your dog to stop continually barking.
When is My Dog’s Barking a Problem?
The first step in dealing with an overly vocal pet is to figure out why your dog is barking nonstop. If they are barking right as you leave the house, separation anxiety and stress are the most likely culprits. It’s possible your dog is in pain if the barking persists, so take them to a vet if no other methods work.
An ordinance passed in 2010 states a dog is allowed to bark for 20 minutes before someone can file a complaint. Consider taking your dog with you if you’re leaving the house for more than 20 minutes and know they like to bark. Also, if your neighbors are seniors or have small children, it may be useful to find a dog sitter or use CBD dog treats to calm their anxiety.
Final Thoughts – How to Stop Dog Barking When Left Alone
Pets that experience separation anxiety love their owners, and they want you back home as soon as possible. Luckily, there are many ways you can train your dog to keep it from continually barking and cope with separation anxiety. Hopefully, you’ll be able to prevent a few headaches for you and your neighbors in the future!
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