Papillons are not typically a barking breed, but when they are left home alone, they can bark and whine for hours. While you may think your pup is doing this because she's mad at your for leaving, she's actually barking because she's extremely anxious and fearful while you are away. The only way to ease your dog's barking due to separation anxiety is to help her cope with her anxiety while you are gone.
Take your papillon out for a long walk or exercise to wear her out before you leave the house. Leave her with a bowl of food and water, so she can relax or even sleep for some of the time you are gone.
Give your pup a bone or Kong toy with a treat inside every time you leave the house. Bones and toys with treats inside take a while for your dog to eat and will help her associate you leaving with something she really enjoys. Once she sees you leaving as a positive thing, she will stop her excessive barking.
Leave for a few minutes at first, then come back inside. Leave for a few minutes longer next time and gradually increase the amount of time you are gone until you can leave for hours without your dog barking. Papillons are a highly trainable breed, so by leaving for small increments of time at first, your pup will learn that you always come back.
Act like you leaving is no big deal. Don't give your pup a big goodbye before you leave the house. Just walk out the door. When you return home, don't touch or greet her for the first few minutes. This will show her that you coming back home is no big deal either.
- Don't yell at your dog for barking when you get home. Punishing your dog will make her more anxious next time you leave.
- If your pet's barking and anxiety don't improve after a few weeks of working with her, you should take her to a veterinarian for therapy options.
Courtney McCaffrey graduated from the College of Charleston in 2008 with a B.A. in media studies. She has served as an editor for Blooming Twig Books and the MADA Writing Services publishing company. She is now a writer on various outdoor sports such as snowboarding, skiing, surfing and bodysurfing.