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Dog Behavior | PetsWeekly

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A barking dog is an annoyance to neighbors as well as owners. Often it’s difficult to get a dog to stop barking, particularly if they are bored and just “nuisance” barking. In most states, barking dogs fall under "nuisance" laws or "noise" laws. That means you can be rightfully cited by police, and maybe even have your dogs impounded, if they are barking continuously. The good news is that there are many ways to train your dog to stop barking even when you’re not at home. 

Most people never even know their dogs are being a nuisance while they are away at work. If you're the neighbor of a barking dog, there are certain steps to take to stop the behavior.

To begin with, it's important to let your neighbor know and give them a chance to resolve the problem before calling authorities. If you're the owner of a barking dog, you need to understand that some people have napping children or work from their home, and so this can be a big problem.

But, let's focus on how to stop the problem once you've established there is one.

First off, you will need to determine why your dog is barking... 

Remote Monitoring Systems

Inexpensive video cameras are available and they are simple to set up using your home computer or cell phone. Not only will these cameras give you added security for your home, it will help you determine why your dog may be barking. There are plenty of high-tech (and inexpensive) wi-fi cameras that sends you notifications when it detects your barking dog. (We like the Motorola Scout 66 Wi-fi Pet MonitorSamsung SmartCam HD Proor the KODAK Video Monitor CFH-V10 Pet Cam). These cameras have notifications down to a science - they are very affordable and easy to set up, and you can receive notifications on your phone.

If barking only happens at certain times of the day, your dog may be triggered by children walking to school or other routine events. Knowing what triggers your pet into barking will help you identify ways to break the cycle by limiting access to windows, limiting access to your fence line, or offering your dog a needed distraction during that time of day (such as a dog walker coming by at a certain time).


Natural Calmants

Natural calmants, such as a calming shirt (Thundershirt) or pheromone-based sprays (like Adaptil) can be invaluable in keeping your dog from barking. Calming essential oils, like Lavender or Roman Chamomile, are also safe when diluting (ask your veterinary professional or behaviorist for their dilution suggestions).


Using technological advances, such as the PetAcoustics or DogTV, can help keep your pet calm while you’re away for the day. Pet Acoustics is scientifically designed to help keep your pet relaxed through music developed by behaviorists. Pet Acoustics music comes preloaded in an 8-hour track on a bluetooth speaker, so all you need to do is plug and play while you’re away. 

Chew Toys and Interactive Puzzles

Smart dog toys and interactive toys should only be used while you’re at home, particularly if you have a young or very destructive pet. However, keeping your pets mentally and physically stimulated will help stop your dog from barking.

There are thousands of interactive dog toys designed specifically to keep your pets active and engaged while you’re away from home. Be sure to choose a tougher, safer toy, like Kong  (frozen or filled with your favorite low-calorie filling) or BusyBuddy toys. Simply fill with a low-calorie treat or filling and your pets will be too busy to chew! 

Smart toys (such as the Nina Ottosson line of pet puzzles) are wonderful ways to keep your pets busy during the day. 

Hire a Dog Walker

Most dogs are barking because they are bored or triggered by an event. Hiring a dog walker or pet-sitter to come over during the times of day that routine barking happens can help resolve the problem. Most sitters are happy to offer deep discounts for long-term walking and it's an excellent idea to have a person you can have on call in case of emergency (such as sudden illness or in case you need to work late).

Read about How to Choose A Boarding Facility or Pet Sitter.

Doggy Daycare

Doggy daycare may seem a little unusual, but it’s a valid way to help your high-energy pet, especially if you’ve been too busy to keep them active. There are Many Advantages of Doggy Daycare. Not only will daycare help keep your pets mentally and physically stimulated, which will decrease or eliminate their need to bark, they will help your dog become more socialized, which can also help eliminate territorial barking and fear barking. Look for a daycare in your area that is licensed and reputable - be sure to read reviews!


It’s best if you can stay with positive training methods. But occasionally, you may need to use what is known as “deterrent”. There are many safe ones on the market, but they should be used only after all positive methods have been exhausted. 

The Ultrasonic Birdhouse is one that operates on ultrasonic frequencies. Simply hang the device in the path of where your dog (or a neighbor’s dog) goes to bark and it will emit a high-frequency sound when it detects barking.

Another method of controlling barking is with a bark collar (although you should only use a citronella based collar). The collar emits a series of warnings before finally releasing citronella when it detects your dog barking. If you do choose this option, choose it as a last resort... 


Remember, plenty of exercise is the most valuable thing you can do to stop barking. It helps them stay socialized and provides new ways for them to pick up sensory data that will make them less apt to bark. 

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Author: stacymantle
About the Author

Stacy Mantle is a freelance writer who currently resides in the southwestern deserts of Arizona with a few dogs, several cats, and a very understanding husband. She is a regular contributor to Pet Age Magazine, Catster, Animal Behavior College, and of course, PetsWeekly. Many of her stories and articles have been translated into several languages, and now reach an international audience. She is also the author of a bestselling urban fantasy/thriller, Shepherd's Moon; a humor book entitled, Conquering the Food Chain: Living Amongst Animals (Without Becoming One), and a line of Educational Activity Books for children.

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