Dogs left alone all day get bored and restless, and many find relief in barking. Some respond noisily to any and all activity. But, nothing is as annoying as incessant barking—even for dog lovers. If your dog is a yapper or a yowler, please consider some of these bark-abatement ideas to keep the noise down in your area. Your neighbors will thank you!
- Training. Always the first recommendation for any behavioral problem! Help is as close as the Yellow Pages. Training not only helps your dog, you’ll be surprised how much it helps you, too. You may get some insight into why your dog barks so much, or what it is trying to communicate.
- Citronella collars. A humane alternative to the electric-shock, anti-barking collar and costs about the same. Available on the web and in pet stores.
- Confinement. Sometimes simply bringing an outspoken dog indoors or confining it to a crate can cut down on the disturbance to neighbors.
- Reduce stimulus. Close drapes to help muffle street noise, or leave a radio on to mask it. Disconnect telephones and doorbells before leaving your home if they upset your dog or make it bark.
- Companionship. Dogs are pack animals; they need companionship—a cat, bird, or another dog. Consider a mid-day visit from a pet-sitting service, or drop your pooch off at a friend’s place or a day-care facility once or twice a week.