Many dog owners are surprised to find out that their dogs have been barking while away from home for the day or even just out shopping.

Many only find this out when a neighbour gently complains about the noise.  You may be surprised by this and swear it just can’t be your pooch as she is very well behaved.

If you have a dog that is perfect in every way but not so great when you leave her alone, then here are a few tips that might help.

Human Voice – Most pooches are used to hearing voices in the house, whether it is yours or the kids or just any speaking activity, so one way to help your scared and nervous barking dog is to leave the TV or radio on low.  Pick a talking station, 

Dog BarkingCredit:

Leave him in the room with the radio along with his favourite toys and then quietly slip away.  Practice this on the weekend to see which tip works best for your pet.this way there are lots of voices going on and this will help to keep them settled.

If you normally have a pretty loud household with kids, and people talking all the time, many pets find the quiet almost “scary” so this tip might be all you need.

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Dog Interactive ToyCredit: Amazon.comInteractive Toy – These are really cool.  One thing that works on a barking nervous or bored dog is to give him or her something to do.  These toys are really cool, you simply fill them with treats and your pooch will spend hours trying to figure out how to get the treats out.

Every so often a treat will come out and this will keep them inspired to work at it longer for the others.  If you get this toy as well as leave the radio or TV on low then you may find you have solved your barking problem with these two tips.  My sister uses the TV tip and it really helps to keep her dog calm.

You can get some of these toys that will talk, so they will be inspired to play with it to get a treat and hear a voice.

Walks Break – If you are away from home for many hours, it may be worth having someone come over mid-day just to give them a quick walk around the block, or to play with them in the fenced backyard.

Some pooches just can’t go that long without a pee break or a way to burn off excess energy.  Having someone come over and take them for a quick walk around the block or play ball with them in the backyard will burn off that nervous energy. 

This is especially true of younger dogs or puppies, they need to burn off energy.  This way they may spend part of the afternoon having a nap and feeling less stressed. 

Keep the Curtains or Blinds Closed – We had big windows at our other house that my dog Sasha could see out of no problem.  She would bark at a fly if it landed on the window, seriously!  This really bothered her to see a fly on the window, or a spider crawling outside, or the best one was when a large bumble bee had landed on the front porch railing and she went berserk with the barking.  She is a big dog, so this was very loud.

Now luckily for us we were out in the countryside, but if you have a pet that will bark at any intruder including insects, then you will want to close the blinds or curtains so he or she cannot see outside.

This may seem mean but it actually makes them nervous to see all this movement.  If they don’t see it they won’t bark and may feel more calm.  You want them to be there for an actual intruder that tries to get through the windows or doors but you don’t need him or her barking at flies or bees.

I was working in my basement office, when my dog Sasha went nuts with the barking, I thought we were being attacked!  She is a big dog with a loud voice too.  I bolted up the stairs ready to take on an intruder or something, only to see her staring intently at this bumble bee sitting on the railing outside a foot away. 

So, this could be going on while you are at work.  If you dog loves to watch and respond loudly to insects and any movement outside including cars going by, then look into keeping those windows covered.Citronella Dog Barking CollarCredit:

Citronella Bark Collar – If none of the above tips work, and you dog still insists on letting the neighbours know he is in there, then consider one of these collars.  This is a bark collar that has a citronella spray.

When your dog barks he or she will be sprayed with this.  It is not dangerous and will not hurt them, but they do not like the smell.  The bonus is your house has a fresh lemon scent!  They soon learn that the barking is simply unacceptable while away.

You can get these for all sizes of pooches.  I like the idea of the citronella instead of a shock that many collars will carry.

So, before you head to work you may need to allow some time for the above tips.  You may find that one or two of the tips are all that is needed to stop the noise.  Practice on the weekends and then tell your neighbours what you are doing, maybe they can report back to you as to which worked the best.

Remember most dogs don’t like to be left alone for hours and hours, so you need to keep them busy and happy and then give them some time when you get home.

If they get a nice walk or play time as soon as you get home, it will make their long day of waiting easier to take.  So, even if all you feel like doing is flopping on the couch take Fido out and play, he has been waiting for you all day!