Wednesday, June 25, 2014

From the Mail Bag - Dog Barks When Left Alone

From the Mail Bag:  Hi, we have a 1yr old Bologco male who is an absolute sweet heart and very well behaved. The problem starts when we leave for work. He is roughly left for two to three hours maximum. He is put in the kitchen with food, water, stuffed Kong and his bed. But he barks and barks on and off and is driving the neighbours mad, which I totally understand. He has no access to a Window so is not being disturbed or scared by anything. There is no drool, scratching or any signs of distress when we get home, he is quiet on our arrival so I know he has ceased barking at some point. He is happy to be alone in the house when we are maybe upstairs. He sleeps all night long in the kitchen without as much as a peep. Any strategies you could suggest would be very well received. Thank you.

You are smart to watch for the signs of separation anxiety and to make sure he doesn't have access to windows. If I were you, I'd set up a video camera so you can have a better idea of what might be happening.  Maybe your dog is upset or maybe he barking at a noise or maybe the neighbors have your dog mistaken for another.

Author, Malena De Martini-Price  writes about different levels of separation anxiety. So while you might not see the classic symptoms (like drooling), it's possible you dog might still be in a bit of distress.  Or there could be confinement issues.

So until you find out what you dealing with, here is what I think I'd do

- Bake a cake or get your neighbors a fruit basket or something. Apologize for the barking and let them know you are working on it

- Brainstorm some ways to make things a bit quieter for the neighbors. Maybe the dog needs to stay in a more internal room in the residence so that it will be harder for the neighbors to hear. Maybe speak with a contractor about sound blocking paneling or foam. Maybe a reputable pet sitter, etc..

- Consider some separation anxiety protocols just in case: http://www.stubbypuddin.com/2014/02/separation-anxiety.html

- Consider the Whole Dog and work on stress reduction and relaxation

- Make sure your pup is getting enough mental and physical stimulation. But not too much strenuous exercise

Reward calm behaviors

- Work on reducing outside noise

 If there are questions about the info above, please tells us in the comments section below.

Email general questions to education@stubbypuddin.com

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