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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.


    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.