Barking Dogs–Not One, But Two

If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound?

two barking dogsIf two little dogs are barking all day in a house when their owner is at work and no one is close enough to hear them, is it a problem?

I don’t know about the tree, but the two little dogs who barked all day did become a problem as soon as their owner moved to a condo. The owner of the dogs is a friend of mine, and she and her dogs now have neighbors. Unhappy neighbors.

She didn’t know the dogs were barking because no one had ever heard them and reported them. But now, she needs a solution if she’s going to keep the condo of her dreams.

Dealing with one barking dog is one thing, but two barking dogs, or multiple barking dogs make the problem a little tricky to deal with.

The first recommendation from trainers is usually “give the dogs something to do.” Trainers often suggest Kong™ toys or canine puzzles that involve the dog working to find a treat.

Another common suggestion is to leave the television or radio on so the dog has “company.”

And finally, some trainers suggest citronella collars that emit a burst of citronella when the dog barks.

On Wednesday, I’ll write about solutions for handling nuisance barking.

Citizen Canine readers, do any of you have experience dealing with dogs who bark while the owners are at work?

** When it comes to handling behavior problems, it is unethical to give advice without seeing the dog. The purpose for presenting the information here is to educate trainers and CGC evaluators.

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About Canine Good Citizen

AKC Canine Good Citizen Director, Author of the AKC's official CGC book, "CITIZEN CANINE"
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4 Responses to Barking Dogs–Not One, But Two

  1. I have had a lot of clients with this problem. Obviously, exercise before you leave them alone is tantamount! Tired dogs do not bark all day. They are busy sleeping. Also, not making any fuss when you leave helps. When you make a big fuss about leaving and then make a big fuss about getting home, you have “marked” both events, which leave the dogs anxious in the interim. If your dogs are crate trained, hire a dog walker or ask a friend or family member to come let them out for exercise and play mid-day. Leaving them things to do is helpful but only for so long.

  2. Mary Burch says:

    Thanks, Charlotte! YES, exercise is at the top of the list of solutions.

  3. Jody Chaplin says:

    With smaller dogs I often suggest blocking the windows where they can see outside. If they cannot see people, dogs, etc to bark at, they won’t be barking so much.

  4. Joan Smith says:

    First: get the dogs to the vet to check for any changes or issues, including a complete thyroid panel.
    Next: video the dogs, fixed or streaming live-feed, to identify what and when. Neighbors may help with identifying when it is the worst.

    While we do not know the dogs or the owner, a common situation is to push the responsibility on others: There have been some very good suggestions posted here so I won’t repeat them. If the owner is serious about keeping her dogs, she needs to make the solution a high priority. I’ve seen many people ask for a solution from experts only to tell others that they have done everything they could because the *trainer* did not “fix” the problem.

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