Dealing With Loud Barking

Catherine Forman

A member of the ThriftyFun community asked for help on a barking problem:

Any tips on a loud barking Yorkie? Oso is so adorable, loving, and sweet but late nights he goes out to pee and then barks at the top of his lungs. I am afraid he will wake next door neighbors as it is pretty late when we go to bed. Also if he is alone in a room, my husband in bed and me in our office room, he will go sleep in the living room then wake to bark loudly, scaring me. He just got 'fixed', he did not spend the night at the vets. He loves to board with his Cookie/Jack Russell, so what's up with the bark?
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There are a few things to consider here: Why is Oso (or any dog with a barking problem) barking? Is it something he sees, like a stray cat? Is it something he hears, like another dog?

Our neighbors across the street have a dog named Skittles. Skittles used to bark nonstop whenever he was outside. Day or night, it didn't matter. Skittles barked all the time. Our neighbors got a new fence, they switched from chain link to a wooden privacy fence, and all of a sudden Skittles stopped barking! He must have been barking at things he could see. When there was nothing to see, there was nothing to bark at.

My dogs will go nuts at certain things they hear. For some reason, the sound of motorcycles drives them bonkers, and they both race to the nearest window to bark. During the summer, when the air conditioners are humming and the sounds from outside are muffled, they bark a lot less.

I'm going to suggest two things for you to try:

  • When you let Oso out at night, try keeping him on a leash instead of letting him run around in the yard. Being on the leash may signal to him that it's time for business and not time for investigating the yard and barking his head off. Being on the leash will hopefully make him move quickly, and not have time to find things to bark at. And having you or your husband at his side may make him feel like he doesn't need to bark. He could, after all, be warning you of some dirty rotten cats in the bushes.

  • When Oso is snoozing in the living room, try turning on the television or radio softly. The noise may just be enough to block out any strange noises from outside that would cause him to wake up and start barking.

Barking is often caused by boredom or attention seeking (and the two go hand in hand). If Oso feels like he has been left outside too long, he may start barking to get your attention. It sure does get your attention, right? If you go out with him and try to hurry that last piddle break along, you may be able to get him back inside before the barking ever begins.

Comments

May 19, 20120 found this helpful

This is not a solution; this is a huge problem. One neighbor behind us have three barking dogs. I have talked with man of the house to no avail.

The barking goes on even if the family is outside and there is no correction.

It's disturbing trying to enjoy the outside and having to listen to this. The man even said to me *we don't hear them when we are inside.* Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated and thanks in advance for the input.

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