I just read an article by Adrienne Farricelli on The Nest about how to stop your dog from barking when you leave home.
She suggests recording your dog when you are away to find out when he barks. Does he bark nonstop? Does he pace back and forth? Does he bark only when there is something outside the window? This information would help you find solutions.
Some of those solutions may be:
- Exercise your dog before you leave. Go the the park for a walk or a run. A tired dog is busy napping.
- Give him a safe toy that keeps him busy such as a Kong filled with goodies
- Practice departure by pretending you are leaving. (See excerpt below)
- Adjust the blinds to reduce outside stimuli
Here’s an excerpt:
Practice departures by imitating your departure routine. Tie your shoes, put your jacket on and grab your keys — basically, act like you’re leaving but then just sit down. Repeat several times until your dog no longer becomes anxious. Next, open the door, exit the door and immediately come back inside within a second or two before your dog has an opportunity to bark. Praise and reward him for not barking. Repeat several times. Gradually increase the length and distance of your outings. For example, go to the next floor and come down within one minute. If your dog is not barking, go back inside and calmly praise. If your dog is barking, leave again but stay close enough to hear the barking so you can go back inside only once he is quiet. The goal of this exercise is to reward silence and train your dog to get used to longer and longer periods of time without you.
You can read the entire article here.
Article source: The Nest
Image source: The Going Green Boutique on Flickr.com