“The first thing I recommend is make your exits as low-key as possible,” Dr. Medders says. “Put your shoes on in your room, don't let your keys jingle and don't tell your pet over and over you're leaving. This is where my Furbo comes in."
If you’re wondering how to stop your dog from barking when left alone, there are many possible solutions to consider:
- Leave a radio or other white noise on to make your fur baby feel someone is home
- Use Furbo Dog Camera, the two-way communication system to help you notice and address barking
- Take away distractions by drawing the curtains and confining your furriest family member to a quiet part of the house, where there won’t be anything too exciting to rile him or her up
- Give your fur baby a special treat he or she gets only when you’re gone
- Leave something with your scent on it to soothe your furry family member
- Work with a dog trainer to take care of barking issues
How Can I Stop My Dog From Barking When Left Alone?
Trying to convince your dog to not bark when you’re not there can feel like a pretty big task, and you’re more likely to succeed if you know the reason for all the fuss in the first place. Of course, your fur baby misses you as much as you miss them, but there are also other reasons why a dog or puppy will start barking when left alone:
Just like you may have inherited your mom’s great sense of style or your father’s flair for public speaking, your smallest family member has inherited some characteristics, too. Many small breeds and terriers are natural barkers. Many were bred to bark to alert their owners of potential danger, and so they happily bark to alert you to mail coming in, unusual noise or anything else. The problem is they might keep barking, even when you’re not around, because it’s what they’ve been bred for. Good training can help address this issue, so your dog can bark when you say it’s OK, but stay quiet the rest of the time.
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Nobody does well with boredom, but while you can alleviate it by heading out or trying something new, your fur baby just doesn’t have those options when you’re gone. Boredom can lead to barking as well as pacing, howling, chewing up furniture and other challenging behaviors. Some very intelligent breeds, such as border collies and retrievers, are naturally higher-energy and may be more prone to boredom.
You may need to make sure your furry family member gets the exercise they need to keep them from getting too bored. A device like Furbo can help you keep your fur baby stimulated by checking in with them during the day and playing with them, even when you’re not home.
Ordering You Around
Have you ever wondered, “Why does my dog bark at me when I leave the house?” If you’re noticing your dog barking at you before you even leave, your sweet, furry family member may be trying to tell you he or she doesn’t want you to go. Instead, playing seems like a better idea! The problem is that even after you leave, he or she may keep barking.
Does your fur baby want you all to him- or herself? Does he or she bark at anyone or anything trying to encroach on “his” or “her” space, including squirrels and the mailman? If so, your furry buddy could be territorial, and that behavior likely continues as barking when you’re gone.
Neutering and good training can help keep territorial behaviors in check. Keeping your dog in a quiet part of the house and keeping curtains closed can also help. If your fur baby can’t see what’s happening outside the house, he or she may be less likely to get upset by it.
Every dog gets scared by something, whether it’s a big thunderstorm or a visit to the vet. Some dogs are more anxious than others, possibly because they have been moved often or because they are rescues and have had a tough time of it in the past. Smaller dogs and fur babies who haven’t gotten socialized can also suffer from anxiety, which only gets worse when they’re alone.
If your dog is fearful and nervous and tends to bark, he or she is likely barking when you’re not around. Getting training and socialization for your dog can help in these situations. When your fur baby is feeling more confident about the world around them, the barking will likely taper off.
Why It's Important to Stop Your Dog From Barking When They're Alone
There are several reasons you’ll want to make sure your dog doesn’t bark unnecessarily:
- It’s stressful for your dog to be trying to communicate with you for hours and to get no results.
- Your neighbors may be annoyed with you if you allow barking.
- Fixing barking means working to resolve a problem with your dog, which can bring you closer together.
- You can prevent further problems, such as your dog moving to chewing behaviors to get your attention.
- Once your dog learns to not bark, they can spend their time alone more pleasantly, napping or playing.
What Can I Do If My Dog Barks When I Leave My Apartment or Home?
The biggest battle when you’re trying to figure out how to stop your dog barking when you're out is to determine whether your dog is indeed barking and how big the problem really is. Remember: Your fur baby is not barking to make problems or noise. This is his or her way to communicate with you. The problem is you aren’t home to hear and respond.
Even a dog who doesn’t bark much when you’re not around may be trying to get your attention when you’re gone. The first order of business is to determine whether your dog is barking when you’re not around and to get clues as to why your fur baby is trying to get your attention.
The trouble is, many dog parents don’t really know what happens when they’re not home, meaning they’re just playing guessing games when it comes to figuring out when the dog barks and why. Furbo is a two-way communication system with your fur baby which takes care of this problem.
Furbo lets you check in with your dog, so you can see what they are up to. The HD night vision camera lets you see at any time of day or night, and the dog bark alert system is perfect for getting your dog to stop barking. By receiving alerts when your dog starts barking, you can see for yourself how often your dog is trying to communicate. The sensor filters out other sounds, reducing the risk of false alerts, so you’re only informed when you need to be.
Once you get an alert from Furbo, you can tune in to see exactly why your furry family member is barking. This gives you important clues about your dog’s behavior when you’re not home, so you can take steps to stop the dog from barking when alone.
For example, are they barking at a window? Are they running around, chewing on items in your home and barking from time to time? The video lets you see and understand the circumstances associated with your dog’s behavior, helping you respond appropriately. After all, a dog barking out of anxiety will mean a different approach than a fur baby barking out of territoriality.
Once you know why your dog is barking, Furbo even lets you do something about it. It’s a two-way communication system, so you can soothe your dog, and you can even dispense treats to train your dog not to bark. If you’re working with a trainer, you can get video footage of your dog barking to review the specific behaviors you’re trying to change!
How to Stop a Dog from Barking When You Leave
Once you know how often your dog barks and what he or she seems to be barking at, there are several steps you can take to get your fur baby to stop barking:
Give Your Dog an Activity
Leave puzzles and toys out when you leave. The type of treats which have food in them and require the dog to lick into the treat or to slowly work out how to get the treat can keep your fur baby busy for hours, which means no barking. Once they’re done, they may be so tuckered out they’ll need a nap!
Give Your Fur Baby Lots of Attention and Exercise When You're Home
Tire him or her out with lots of playtime, exercise, running and jumping. Not only is exercise great for your dog’s health, it can really burn off excess energy. Try to exercise with your dog early in the morning and then give your furry friend some attention. By the time you have to leave for work, your fur baby will be about ready for a nap, and your leaving will be a little less upsetting!
Use Furbo to Track and Address Barking
Furbo sends you alerts when your dog barks, so you can see exactly how much of a problem it is. Since there’s a camera, you can immediately tune in to see exactly what’s going on. What is your furry friend trying to tell you? Furbo has a two-way communication system, so you can use your voice to soothe away anxiety and talk to your dog, which immediately cuts off the barking. Since Furbo can let you dispense treats when you’re not there and makes a clicking sound before dispensing treats, you can use the treat system as part of clicker training and training methods you’re using to put a stop to barking.
Give Your Dog Some Sounds to Make the House Less Lonely
Have you ever noticed how loud the silence is when you’re somewhere all alone without your fur baby? Well, that’s how your dog feels when you’re gone. Leaving the TV or radio on approximates the sounds when you’re home, like the sound of human voices. Just remember, this technique works best on dogs with separation anxiety. This can work with puppies, for example, but might not work so well with dogs who bark due to stimulation and territorial feelings. In those cases, any noise can be a reason to bark!
Take Your Dog to the Vet
If your dog is barking a lot, get your furry family member checked out to make sure there isn’t anything medically wrong. This is especially the case if your dog has always been quiet and suddenly starts to bark a lot. If your dog has any pain or discomfort, they may not have any other way to communicate that with you, so treat any new behaviors seriously.
Take Your Fur Baby to a Trainer
Sometimes, you just need to bring in the experts. When barking is a problem because of genetics or other issues you just can’t control, work with a trainer who can help with these sorts of issues. You can use Furbo to reinforce your training together. Training can not only help your fur baby be the good dog you know they are, but working together can also be a good bonding experience for you and your dog.
Take Care of Any Stimuli
If your dog is barking because of stimuli or because they get a little grumpy that someone might be trying to get on “their” territory, create a quieter environment for your furry buddy. Put them in a quiet part of the house, turn off the lights and close the curtains to muffle outdoor sounds. Consider investing in thicker shades or curtains to block out more noise from the street.
Give Your Dog a Special Treat
Instead of just giving your furry family member a puzzle or treat, try giving them the ultimate treat. Give him or her some toy or item they love and can only get when you’re not around. This can help your furry family member see being left alone is not all that bad and create a positive association with “me” dog time. Giving your dog this special treat can also be distracting, so you leaving hurts a little less!
Learn to Leave Quietly
Of course, you want to shower your fur baby with kisses and love before you leave. After all, it can be hard for you to leave, too. Creating a more emotional scene, however, can drag out your leaving and can get your dog worked up. Get out the door quietly, and you are less likely to set your fur baby off.
Take Care of Your Own Feelings
You may not want to leave your furry family member, but if you feel anxiety, worry and other strong emotions, your fur baby may pick up on it. Dogs are extremely perceptive and are especially attuned to the emotions of their human parents. When you’re on edge, it can make your dog more anxious, which can start up the barking. It can be hard to rein in your emotions, but try. Remind yourself you’ll be back and use Furbo to stay in touch throughout the day and to bring you peace of mind, so you can slip out quietly.
Train Your Furry Buddy Not to Bark by Practicing Together
You can train together to be quiet when you leave the house. Start by figuring out what your dog reacts to when you leave. Is it you grabbing your keys or actually heading out the door? Do that activity and order your dog to be quiet, then leave. Walk out the door and about five minutes away. Use Furbo and the Furbo app so you can use your phone to see if your furry family member is barking.
If your dog does not bark, come back and heap praise on them. Give them lots of attention and tell them they’re a good boy or girl. If they do bark, tap on the door or use Furbo to give a reprimand. Start the timer and try again. Wait a few hours between training sessions, and repeat training sessions over a period of days and weeks. It takes a little patience, but the results are well worth it!
Slowly stretch out the time you’re away, so you come back after five minutes, then after 20 and then after an hour or so. Furbo lets you keep an eye on your dog, no matter how long you’re away. With time and practice, your dog will learn to stay quiet for longer periods of time, until not barking becomes the norm. Your dog wants to make you proud, and with the possibility of treats and love on the table, your dog is more likely to stay quiet and avoid barking to make those things happen!
Get Your Doggy to Dog Parks and Doggy Day Care
Spending time with other dogs helps your dog learn to socialize, which can help you get a handle on barking. If your dog has not had a chance to make furry friends, consider taking your baby to the dog park to run and play with other dogs.
Dog sitters and day care can also be a way to socialize your dog and to make sure they are taken care of when you’re not around. If you have to be away for extended periods of time, especially, these solutions can be a good option for those moments.
Related Post: How to Find a Good Dog Sitter?
Give Your Dog a Chance to Speak
For some breeds, barking comes naturally. If your fur baby loves to talk, don’t stifle all conversation. Teach your dog the “Speak!” command, as well as the “Quiet!” command. That way, you give your furry a friend a chance to express themselves when appropriate, and you can heap love on them when they obey you and stay quiet!
What Not to Do
While there are lots of things you can do to keep your fur baby from barking, there are also things you don’t want to do. Avoid shouting back when your dog barks. This makes your fur baby think you’re talking right back and joining in the fun, which just makes the barking more attractive! Keep your voice calm and firm and use the same “Quiet!” command each time to stop barking.
By the same token, avoid lavishing your dog with attention or treats when he or she barks. This can inadvertently encourage the very behavior you’re trying to halt!
Another thing you don’t want to do is to let your dog keep barking. Your fur baby may get a kick out of barking, so it’s just not a problem likely to resolve itself. In fact, if you keep ignoring your friend, he or she may decide barking’s not getting the job done and may move on to other aggressive behaviors.
In addition, the more ingrained the barking behaviors get, the more work you may have on your hands to undo the habit. Furbo lets you spot any barking behaviors at once so you can address them immediately.
First Steps in Preventing Barking
If you’re wondering how to stop your dog from dog barking while you’re away from home, this resource guide should be a good place to start. The main thing to remember is to determine the source of the problem as much as you are able and to try to stay consistent and persistent when solving the problem. Your fur baby wants to make you proud, and if you’re willing to put in the effort, you can help address barking so your home is quiet when you’re away.
Buy a Furbo today to get notifications when your dog is barking and to be able to check in on your furry friend when you leave. Furbo is a unique two-way communication system for your dog, allowing you to peek in at home, be alerted to barking and communicate with your furry buddy via treats and your voice. It’s the closest thing to actually being at home with your fur baby! You may not be able to be there every second of the day, but you can ensure your fur baby is safe and cared for!