There are many reasons why dogs bark, and in some situations, it is fine, especially if they are playing or alerting you to danger. But if you are trying to work from home or watch a movie and your dog is barking at every noise they hear or movement they see, it can be frustrating. There are a variety of ways that you can redirect their attention and modify their behavior for a more peaceful environment. Avoid yelling at your dog as this can encourage them to keep barking; instead, speak in a firm but calm voice.
- Limit Distractions
If your dog gets riled up at every person, car, or animal they see passing by through the window, change their location. Put them in a room that is windowless, or that looks out in a different direction where they can’t see the street or sidewalk.
Softly playing music or leaving the television on can distract them from barking at unknown noises. A silent house means they hear everything, whereas some familiar background noise keeps their ears and mind more occupied.
- Keep Them Busy
If you want your dog to play quietly and independently for a while, set them up with a food-dispensing toy where they must work to figure out how to get the treat. Change up the toys they have available, slipping in some new ones or reintroducing old ones after being put away for a while. You can also give them a bone to gnaw on that they can’t finish in just a few minutes.
- Tire Them Out
Before you sit down to work, take your dog on a brisk walk, or toss a ball in the backyard for a few minutes. Burning off excess energy means they’re more likely to come inside and sleep or relax because they’re tired out. They’ve had a burst of stimulation, and now they’re ready for some downtime.
- Train Them
You can take your dog to a formal training class, or work on some training activities at home. Teach them to respond to the command “quiet” by using positive reinforcement with small treats. If they get excited by the doorbell, train them to go lay down on their bed, in their crate, or in another designated spot when someone is at the door instead. Remember that training can take time, and you’ll probably need to start slowly and work up to the desired behavior or action.
Don’t respond to your dog when they are barking at you for something. Ignore them and wait until they are quiet, then reward their behavior. You want to use positive reinforcement.
- Send Them to Doggie Daycare
If your dog is distracting you from getting work done because they are always barking or seeking your attention, give them a change of scenery by taking them to doggie daycare a few days a week. They can run, play, and socialize with other dogs while also having quiet time to rest. By the time they get home, they’ll be worn out and ready for a relaxing evening. This can be especially beneficial if your dog is high-energy or very playful.
- Board Them While You are Away
When you are out of town, your house is quiet, and there is no socialization or stimulation for your pet. Having a pet sitter drop by a few times a day can provide short-term distraction, but your dog may still bark when they are not there. Rather than disturbing the neighborhood and stressing your dog out, board them at Lake Wylie Pet Resort. They will get the care, attention, and exercise they need while you are away. Contact us today to schedule your dog’s stay!