Often this problem occurs when the owner is out of the house and does not realise there is a problem.
In law, a barking dog can be a "statutory noise nuisance" under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. An owner could be taken to court if nothing is done to stop the nuisance.
Why Do Dogs Bark?
Dogs are not by nature solitary animals, they need the security of a family group. Pet dogs regard their owners as a substitute family and can soon become distressed when left alone for long lengths of time.
Some of the reasons why a dog may bark:
- Boredom or frustration
- Attention seeking
- Defending his territory
- Medical problems
Training is important so that your dog does not bark at anything that moves. A well-trained dog should be able to distinguish between visitors allowed into the house and people who are intruders. Good training is essential at an early age. This combined with affection and companionship should mean that your dog will not develop these bad habits. Always start as you mean to go on.
Some Simple Things to Try
Some dogs just don't want you to go out. Get your dog used to the idea using some of the following ideas:
- Leave at differing times during the day. That way he may not be so concerned each time you leave. Don't make a fuss of your dog when you leave him.
- Try putting the dog on his own in another room for a few minutes, then gradually build up the time you leave your dog until he is quiet for a period. When you return praise him.
- Some dogs bark because they want to join in with what's going on outside. If this is the problem, try leaving you dog where he cannot see outside.
- Some dogs will settle only if they can hear a human voice. Leaving the radio or television on at a low volume may help.
- Try not to leave your dog for long periods, but if you have to, see if there is someone who can look in during that time. Maybe that person could take the dog for a walk or let him out into the garden, if you have one. A dog door is very useful to allow the dog access to the garden when you are not there.
If you do have to leave your dog for long periods
Feed and exercise him before you go out and leave him fresh water to drink.
- Make sure his bed or basket is comfortable and not in a draught or direct sunlight.
- Leave him a large marrowbone to chew and some of his favourite toys to play with.
- Make sure that the room is not hot or too cold and that there is adequate ventilation.
- If you are not returning until after dark, either leave a light on or use a night light that comes on automatically when it gets dark.
If you leave your dog outside all day
- Try not to put his kennel near a neighbour's fence where the dog may be tempted to bark.
- Ensure the garden is completely secure, to prevent your dog from straying locally and causing problems to neighbours.
- Don't blame the dog and think that you will solve the problem by replacing him with another. All dogs bark and unless you change your lifestyle at the same time, the problem will still be there.
- Considering a second dog for company may help. But think about this carefully. Do you have the space and can you afford it? A second dog could result in more, not fewer problems.