Is your Dog Barking Mad!
Dogs bark! Its how they communicate, but for some dogs barking can become habitual and excessive and a nuisance to you and your neighbours and could result in a complaint being made to the Council. especially if you don;t know how to stop a dog barking at night.
Dogs bark for a reason and you need to find out what that is before making attempt to stop it. Some dogs, depending on the breed and individual temperament will bark more than others. Dogs bred for guarding will do just that and also some of the more reactive breeds such as herding and terriers also tend to be more vocal.
There are different types of barking :
* Watchdog barking – guarding the home and reaction to people walking past, postman and delivery people.
* Frightened and anxious barking
* Excitement barking
* Boredom barking
* Separation related barking
* Aggression barking
How to stop a dog barking at night
All dogs will usually become protective of their ‘den’, but watchdog barking is often a problem borne from dogs who do not have enough mental stimulation as protecting the house can become their main focus. To help manage this type of barking, avoid letting your dog have access to windows or glass doors so he cannot see people walking past or movement outside. Leave the radio on when you leave him alone to try and keep him from focusing on strange sounds and give a bit of ‘company’.
Increase the exercise and include interactive play to tire him and provide more interest and stimulation. Another tip is to leave a food stuffed toy when you go out so he has something to occupy his brain and mouth! A similar situation can occur when a dog is left outside for long periods without proper exercise. The most interesting thing he can find to do is to bark at passing cars and if he is able, to chase them. Dogs need more stimulation than being outside in the garden or yard all the time. They need to be able to experience new ‘smells’ and have play time.
A lot will depend on the breed as to the kind of interaction and amount of exercise needed, but most dogs love to play with balls or a frisbee which will give them a good workout. Alternatively, consider taking up agility or flyball to create more interest in your dog’s life.
Having a dog is a big commitment and unlike cats, dogs are pack animals and do not enjoy being left alone. If it is unavoidable to leave your dog alone for long periods, enlist the help of a dog walker to take him out for exercise and socialisation with other dogs. An experienced dog walker may walk more than one dog at a time, but will know who best to pair your dog with to make the walk fun and enjoyable.
Separation anxiety barking is very common and companion breeds may suffer more from this. Getting your dog used to being alone should start from day one. Create an area for his bed or crate which will be his own space. Give him boundaries and slowly build up the time he is left alone. Start by leaving him in a room downstairs whilst you go upstairs to do jobs. The use of baby gates really helps to keep your dog away from no go areas. They do eventually understand there are places they are not allowed to go. Creating boundaries is one way to show you are making decisions as ‘leader’ and helps to alleviate the stress put on the dog of looking after all of the ‘den’ which can lead into a different behaviour trait of resource guarding which will be covered another time.
Nervous dogs will worry bark as they think they will appear fierce and the problem will go away! This is harder to deal with and may need the help of a dog behaviourist who can observe and assess the dog to find out what is causing the fear and offer a plan of help.
There is no law against a dog barking and if it does cause a problem, usually it can be sorted amicably. However, people have the right to live in peace in their homes and constant incessant barking from a neighbour’s dog could constitute a noise nuisance, especially if it is happening during the evening or at night. If it is not dealt with it could be reported under Section 79 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and may involve a hefty fine. So folks, please ‘go in peace’! For more information.
If you have a problem with your own dog barking please don’t hesitate to contact us we are happy to help and advise on a training tips.