All dogs love hanging out with their humans, but if you need to leave Fluffy home alone once in a while, how do you make sure he doesn't bring the house down with his bark? Besides good training (always a good idea), try these tips to keep him happy (and quiet) while you're away.
Don't push his stay-home-alone limits
Dogs can hang out alone, but don't close him up all day without company, a meal or a walk. If you need to be away from home for more than four hours, you'll need to make arrangements for Fido. Barking is a sign that something is wrong so make sure it's not the usual suspects of hunger or needing to pee! Those things are easy to fix.
Let him hang out in an enclosed area
You dog could be barking because he feels nervous being alone in the big, empty house. The solution? His own little house to cozy up. Dogs may no longer be wild animals, but they still have the instinct to protect their backs so it makes them uncomfortable to feel exposed. A crate or a bed with a cover he can nestle into will help him feel like he's protected and safe.
Give him something to do
Distractions can work wonders in getting your pouch to focus on an object or activity rather than the fact you just walked out the door. A treat like a bone or chew toy can buy you some valuable time. Some people report that music or the TV soothes their pets by providing some background noise so it seems like they're still home. There's even a TV station — DOGTV — made specifically for dog viewers!
Close the curtains
If he's not hungry, scared or bored, chances are you dog is barking AT something. Probably another dog or person he sees through your window. So close your blinds and don't let him get riled up by passing foot traffic.
Dog owners, time to let us know how you keep the barking under control?