by Jackie Coogan
Hi my name is Jackie. I have a 2 and half year old jack Russell cross Yorkshire terrier and I’ve got neighbours complaining she is constantly barking when I’m not in the house. She is quite a yappy dog, she barks at the slightest thing. She’s worse when she hears people outside the house talking on the street or walking past the house talking. How can I get her to stop barking like this? Jackie
What a beautiful dog! Even if she can be a little loud at times. Dogs bark for different reasons, and depending on the reason there are different solutions. For example, dogs may bark because they are bored or because they are anxious.
From what you tell me, it seems that your dog may bark because she is bored. Even though she also barks to alert. She probably learned to bark to alert and then kept on doing it even when alone because it is a fun way to spend the day.
I see that she has a toy in the picture. Toys are a great way to keep a dog entertained when you are not home. I always suggest you leave 1 toy per hour you are away. Half of those toys must be interactive. Interactive toys let you put food inside them, then the dog has to work out a way to get it out. It is very important to teach her how to use the toys. Just leaving toys around won’t make her play with them.
If you have a high energy dog, I also recommend lots of exercise and training to burn some energy. Training can burn mental energy and walks can burn physical energy.
Another thing you can do is teach her an incompatible behavior. While you are at home you can train her to bark once then do something different. As soon as someone walks outside, acknowledged her barking “Yes! That’s the neighbor walking, it’s OK”. Then ask her to go fetch a toy for you and play with her and the toy. Do this every single time you hear a noise outside that sets her off. Eventually, she will start bringing you a toy after barking once on her own. Without you asking for it. Hopefully, she will keep the routine even when you are not home.
Finally, you can teach her to stop barking at different sounds. This article explains how to teach a dog to stop barking at the door bell, you can follow the say steps but instead of the door bell, use sounds outside that set her off.
Hope these tips help out!