How Do I? Online Services
Social Isolation/Frustration/Attention-Seeking
  • Barking
  • Fears and Phobias
  • Territorial/Protective Behavior
  • Separation Anxiety
  • Your dog may be barking out of boredom and loneliness if:

    • He's left alone for long periods of time without opportunities to interact with you.
    • His environment is relatively barren, without companions or toys.
    • He's a puppy or adolescent (under three years old) and doesn't have other outlets for his energy.
    • He's a particularly active type of dog (like the herding or sporting breeds) who needs to be occupied to be happy.

    Recommendations:

    Expand your dog's world and increase his "people time" in the following ways:

    • Walk your dog at least twice daily—it's good exercise, both mental and physical. Walks should not only be considered "potty breaks."
    • Teach your dog to fetch a ball or Frisbee® and practice with him as often as possible.
    • Teach your dog a few commands and/or tricks and practice them every day for five to ten minutes.
    • Take a dog-training class with your dog. This allows you and your dog to work together toward a common goal.
    • To help fill the hours that you're not home, provide safe, interesting toys to keep your dog busy, such as Kong®-type toys filled with treats or busy-box toys. Rotating the toys will make them seem new and interesting.
    • If your dog is barking to get your attention, make sure he has sufficient time with you on a daily basis (petting, grooming, playing, exercising).
    • Keep your dog inside when you're unable to supervise him.
    • Let your neighbors know that you are actively working on the problem.
    • If your dog is well socialized and you have your employer's permission, take your dog to work with you every now and then.
    • When you have to leave your dog for extended periods of time, take him to a "doggie day care center," hire a pet sitter or dog walker, or have a trusted friend or neighbor walk and play with him.