Of all the annoying dog behavior I’ve worked with, back yard barkers can create serious complaints and issues with your neighbors. Almost rivaling family feuds like the infamous Hatfields & McCoys!
Is this sounding all too familiar?
When neighbors complain about your barking dog it’s usually the barking that happens when you are not home.
Now you’ve got two noises bothering you: your barking dog and your barking (complaining) neighbor. To resolve your dog behavior problem and fix your back yard barker, you’ve got to figure out why he’s barking. You need a plan of action.
The short list plan
Here’s the short list of what to do to start your plan of action:
- Curtail your dog’s barking in the short run
- Get rid of the cause of the barking
- Fix any other issue with your dog that needs corrected
Curtail your dog’s barking
Sometimes putting the yard dog barker inside your home can be the easy fix. Done deal.
Problem solved. “But wait!” you say. You leave your dog outside for a reason.
You have probably left your dog outside because of one of two reasons:
- Your dog is not housetrained or
- Your dog is destructive in your house.
In order to fix a back yard barking problem you always start by keeping your dog from doing exactly what it is you are trying to fix i.e. the barking. For the time being you’ll have to crate him, gate him or contain him in some fashion until the issue is resolved.
This may mean hiring a pet sitter to walk your dog.
Get rid of the cause of the barking
Here’s where the work begins.
If your dog is outside because your adult dog is house soiling and there is no medical issue like a UTI, then you must address the reasons for your dog’s house soiling. He’s soiling to relieve stress.
Find the cause of the stress and anxiety and eliminate it. Keep him on a re-house training program for 4-6 weeks.
If your dog is outside because your dog is destructive, he’s being destructive to relieve some stress and tension created by his environment or relationship with you. Maybe too much time is being spent with you evenings and weekends and he misses you when you’re gone.
Assuming no extreme separation anxiety issues, find the cause and eliminate the cause of his stress. Once that’s eliminated, his destructive behavior usually goes away.
No matter whether it is house-soiling or destructive chewing there are usually other things lacking in your dog’s life. This would fall under our last item on the short list.
Fix any other issue with your dog that needs corrected
Think about your dog’s life and things that might be missing. I’ll give you a hint where to look and what to look for. Here’s another check list of things that may need correcting:
- Structure: Immediately implement a program of sits and downs to earn everything your dog could want: food, access to your space on the couch, toys and affection.
- Training: Get back on a training regimen of 3 dog obedience training sessions 3 times daily for only 2 minutes. This is only a 6 minute daily commitment.
- Exercise: Start an exercise program with your dog of 2 brisk 30-45 minute walks each day.
- Day Trips: Take your dog on weekend field trips. Go to the beach or park for the day so that he can experience different environments and look at you in a totally different way.
- Environmental enrichment: Boredom can wreak havoc on your dog. Google search doggie food dispensing toys as busy toys in your absence.
I have found that in nearly all dog behavior problem cases one or all of the above are missing from the dog’s life. Fixing your barking dog problem could change your relationship with your dog forever for the better!
I’m always curious about your input – it’s important to me. Do you deal with this situation in your house?
Thanks for letting me share my dog training knowledge with you. Don’t be a stranger. I’d love to hear what you think.
Remember: “Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog”
Jim Burwell, Houston dog trainer for 25+ years, serving over 9000 clients, has a profound understanding of dog behavior and the many things, we as humans, do that influence that behavior – good or bad. Jim has the ability to not only steer dogs and puppies down the right path but to also train the owners to understand their part in having a great dog.
His Ground Rules for Great Dogs is your must have, easy step-by-step process to helping your dog. Be the dog owner your dog needs to be a great dog. Ground Rules gets you there. Grab them now.