Continual barking can be for many reasons:
- Noise Sensitive
- Behavioral Dysfunction
BoredomDogs are pack animals, your family is their pack. Dogs that are kept indoors and then placed outside for an extended amount of time change their behavior. A dog that is normally kept inside, and then expected to stay outside for a weekend or all night, will bark for attention to come back inside.
Place your pet in a kennel. (Most veterinarian offices offer this service.) Hire a pet sitter to come over and stay at night so your pet can sleep indoors. If you plans can accommodate, take your pet with you on your trip. If your pet is a high energy dog, increase the activity level to burn excess energy.
Hungry/ThirstyYour pet requires access to fresh water at all times. Free feeding is not required, however you must feed you pet at least once a day. If your pet's diet has recently changed they may bark, attempting to gain your attention for additional feeding.
Make sure that your pet has a clean water source. In hot weather check the water twice daily to make sure there is sufficient water, to ward off dehydration. Feeding should take place at the same time each day. If free feeding is your preference, check the food bowl daily.
Cold/HotYour pet is affected by the same elements that we are. If the weather is cold/wet, your pet can be just as miserable as you would be. When hot, your dog can suffer heat exhaustion, and dehydration.
Provide adequate shelter. Your dog must be able to get out of the rain, heat or cold. If your pet does not choose to go into the shelter is irrelevant. Shelter must be available for use. If harsh weather conditions are imminent, bring the dog inside. Provide shade, or water misters in the summer to help reduce the possibility of heat exhaustion.
Noise SensitiveMost dogs will howl when the hear sirens, alarms and most high pitch disturbances. This noise hurts their ears and the dog usually will howl only when the noise is still audible.
Unfortunately there is no way to stop the discomfort your dog experiences when they hear the high pitch noise. However, if your pet barks non-stop at these noises, they should be reprimanded.
TerritoryYour pet regards your yard as their territory. Intrusion of cats, other pets, or persons can cause the dog to bark. This in it's self can cause a problem in the City, due to the close proximity that we live. Some dogs can't understand that the neighbors next door are not in his territory. Your neighbor has the right to enjoy his property without the constant sound of your pet barking.
Your pet needs to be trained on appropriate behavior. If cats/ or other pets are not welcome in your yard, this barking can alert you that there is a cat/pet, so you can remove the disturbance. However, you must train your dog that the neighbors are not on your property and the dog must learn to keep quiet. This will take a continual effort to quiet the dog, so your pet will learn that this is inappropriate behavior.
IntruderIf you have a pet to alert for potential intruders, it is imperative that your dog does not bark at every distraction. If your pet is a habitual barker you, as well as your neighbors will not find it uncommon to hear the sound of your pet barking. The sound of your dog's bark should be an alert not an intrusive everyday occurrence.
Train your pet to only bark for the purpose of security. Do not allow your pet to bark at every disturbance. You can role play with your pet and reward him for barking during an intruder drill. Have an unknown friend attempt to enter your yard, therefore creating a disturbance that you would like for your pet to alert you.
Behavioral DysfunctionUnfortunately there are those dogs that like to hear themselves bark. They will bark at the wind, shadows, leaves falling from trees, etc. These dogs are the most difficult to break. In a few isolated instances, nothing has helped, besides removing the dog from the area.
Bark Collars are the best deterrent for this dog. Although there is no guarantee, they can be very effective. This collar is designed to spray or shock the dog when the dog barks more than once. These collars can be purchased from local pet shops. Continual discipline is very helpful, however this requires someone to be home a great deal, as this behavior has no known time frame. You can also muzzle your pet, remembering that this can only be done for short periods of time. When muzzled your dog can't eat, so they can't be left unattended for long periods.
What to do
Communicate with your NeighborNeighbors need to talk to each other. Your neighbor may not be aware of his pet's behavior. If you have notified your neighbor of the disturbance of their pet, and has not complied there will be no other recourse than legal action.
Disturbing the PeaceIn the event that a pet owner refuses or can't keep their dog quiet, the matter of disturbing the peace will be forwarded to the city attorney. This action requires the signature of two (2) persons that do not reside in the same home that are willing to sign a formal complaint with the city of attorney. At this time a court action will ensue. (See TMC Section 6-1-213 and Section 9-2-309(e))
Reporting parties are encouraged to keep a journal of the disturbances, this will help to inform the judge of the days and times that the problem occurs.
Dog owners are encouraged to exhaust every possible method to keep their pet quiet.
If a pet owner can't keep their dog quiet they may be instructed to remove the dog from City limits.
If you have any questions please contact the Turlock Animal Shelter for additional information.
Barking Dog Complaint Form