Let's Stop Dog Boredom Barking Here
We'll call it boredom barking but many dog behavior experts are on the fence that a dog can actually get bored. As it goes the word bored itself relates to human emotion. What's really going on here is there's a deficit or lack of stimulation within a dog's environment. For purposes of simplicity we'll refer to this as boredom however as the word just seems to fit and is something that you or I can relate to.
Funny thing is, one dog may act out due to boredom while another in the exact same situation will simply sleep the day away. Guess this is where the term "lazy dog" was coined:) Although being fair to all our four-legged companions, certain breeds have working instinct bred in to them. Should you own a dog thought to be of working, herding, sporting or hunting origin, the chances of doggy boredom have increased exponentially, especially if they're not exercised regularly.
Signs of a Bored Dog
A bored dog may react in a variety of was and exhibit behavior that can be quirky, annoying, or even destructive. Such behaviors are typically self stimulating and can include gnawing at walls or furniture, digging, scratching, pacing, boredom barking and more.
As with many troubling bad habits, to work this issue we must first get an idea of why, how and when barking begins. The sound of boredom barking, if you're around to hear it, is typically a monotone bark or woof that is repetitive with short breaks in between long noisy sessions. Boredom barking can go on endlessly for hours.
Determining when and how your dog barks will not be easy however, especially if you're away when it occurs. You may need to enlist the help of your friends or neighbors to do some spying on your dog in these situations. By keeping ears and eyes open, they can fill you in on the shenanigans when you're not around to witness them and give you a better idea of what you're dealing with.
Facts like the time barking begins, the length of barking episodes and that of quiet breaks in between. These small pieces of information will help put together the puzzle that allows you to create a plan of action and battle boredom barking.
Some actually set up a recorder or camera prior to departure to get a real idea of what they're faced with. Try leaving and circling back to listen or peek through a window. By being a little sneaky, you'll soon have a clearer picture of events and activities surrounding this phenomenon.
TIP: We've written specific articles that deal with different types of barking and you'll links to these pieces on out dog behavior and training page.
Tips to dealing with boredom barking include..
- Get a Cat! (Ha-ha just kidding, the actual most important tip is the next bullet).
- Exercise your dog prior to leaving! A tired dog is typically quiet when left alone.
- Keep your dog tired both mentally and physically. Refer to above, especially if you have an energetic and driven dog of a breed or mix we discussed above.
TIP: Structured exercise will help you immensely with dog boredom. Remember that the amount of exercise required will vary depending on breed, health, age and other factors. With some dogs a short game of tug with a rope toy works, for others, a mile walk or half hour game of fetch and retrieve is a must.
- Leave your home with an interactive environment when you step out. A marrow bone or Kong Toy stuffed with peanut butter and frozen will keep your dog occupied for hours!
- For dogs that aren't crated, hide some small pieces of bacon or a handful of favorite treats in different rooms and let your dog waste tame sniffing them out. Hide them in the yard if there's a dog door or you have an outdoor dog.
- Turn on the television, streaming music or a radio to offer distractions and break the boring silence.
- Get a second dog, they will entertain each other!
- Start with these tips and leave your dog alone for short periods. Increase the duration you're away gradually and over time.
To Summarize a Dog Boredom Barking
Is typically self stimulating and usually results from a lack of stimulation in a dog's environment. It can be a really difficult issue to work through as the barking happens when you're away.
Boredom more often affects breeds that are driven and bred to work, such as herding, sporting and hunting dogs. Keeping a dog exercised and tired will often help resolve the problem with no other training needed.
The problem more affects single dogs than a pair of dogs since two dogs left alone will entertain one another. Tips and techniques in this article and across our website should provide all the ammo you need to stop boredom barking.
Unfortunately, with boredom barking nothing is guaranteed. Since we're not around to distract and redirect our dogs when away from home, it's a trial and error process. Keep the faith and be creative, in time you will find a solution and put an end to the noise one and for all. And don't miss additional training tips & techniques to stop dog barking following links at out dog behavior and training page.