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Barking problems

Dogs are sociable creatures who enjoy the companionship of people or other animals, some find being left ‘home alone’ very difficult to cope with. One sign that a dog is unhappy about being left is barking.

Dogs bark when they are left at home on their own for numerous reasons:

  • Boredom
  • Anxiety
  • Frustration
  • External Stimulus


Being left ‘home alone’ for long periods of time with nothing to do would make the best of us look for some sort of entertainment, dogs are no different. Barking can be a way to relieve boredom.


Some dogs become so attached to their owners that when they are left ‘home alone’ they start to panic. Barking and howling is the dogs’ way of trying to call its owner back.


Some dogs find that being able to see other dogs or even people through glass doors or windows very frustrating, this in turn leads to barking type behaviour.

External Stimulus

Being able to see and hear things that go on in everyday life can make dogs bark, especially guarding breeds or very sound sensitive breeds such as terriers or collies.


Giving a dog something to do whilst it is left ‘home alone’ is very important:

  • Pacifier toys such a Kongs, Activity Balls and Buster Cubes that can be filled with food, go a long way to solving this particular problem.
  • Some dogs enjoy ripping things up so giving them an old cardboard box to shred in an owners absence is also a good idea. 

For those dogs that bark at things that they can see and hear it is recommended that the owner pulls the curtains shut and leaves the TV or radio on to drown out any external sounds that may cause their dog to bark.

terriersIn some cases the owner may want to ‘borrow’ a friend’s dog to see if canine companionship helps to keep their dog quiet.

Do not be tempted to punish your dog for barking, this will only make matters worse. Some people have tried special muzzles on their dogs to help keep them quiet, this is also not recommended as a dog could either overheat or choke to death on its own vomit if left unattended whilst wearing a muzzle.