Of all the questions we get asked here at Bark Control Australia about dogs; "How to stop dog barking when left alone?" is right up there.
Unfortunately, bark control is one of the areas that tend to cost people a lot of money along the way, especially if they are employing expensive dog trainers or animal behaviourists to stop the dog barking.
Don’t get me wrong here, dog trainers do earn their place, I was one after all for many years! But for successful bark control training to take place, the dog needs to be there in presence of the trainer, and presumably the owner as well.
Let’s quickly examine the required circumstances to set up the desired scenario to train for this unwanted barking behaviour:
- A dog
- The dog left alone
See the problem yet? That’s right, the dog is not alone anymore as soon as we add the trainer, the owner, or both. The whole point of the exercise is wasted as the training environment is not the same as the environment where the dog starts barking - when it is left alone, of course.
You might ask, how do you stop a dog from barking if even professionals can't do it? Rest assured, one device that can stop dog barking is a bark collar.
Bark control collars have a bark detection mechanism, and when activated, the collar gives a correction. No person is required to be nearby when the dog barking starts. We have in effect now created the perfect scenario that is required when training a dog to stop barking.
There are a lot of changes to circumstances that you can try to stop your dog from barking when you are not home, but as many soon find out, these may not always work for many dogs. Even if there is a short-term fix, the dog barking problem eventually comes back.
You can certainly try:
- Removing visual cues that make your dog bark by screening yards
- Leaving food toys to stimulate your dog
- Exercising your dog before leaving them alone
- Changing the patterns in which you leave the house in an attempt to fool your dog (most aren't silly enough to fall for this!)
There are lots of ideas available online that may stop dog barking and by all means, give them a try. However, when it doesn’t work where do you turn?
If you still want to try a trainer first, before going down the path of a bark collar, I would suggest asking yourself one quick question before signing on the dotted line:
"Can I get a money-back guarantee, if my dog continues to bark when left alone, once the bark control training is complete?"
I doubt you will get too many trainers or animal behaviourists to agree to it. Dog behaviour that only occurs when you are not home or when the dog is left alone is the hardest to fix...we just need to be honest about it.