Your mental powers are telling you that Fido is barking non-stop when you're not around. OK, it's probably the neighbors who are complaining about it, but the results are the same: Fido goes into barking mode every time you leave the house. The good news? It's a fixable problem.
Figure out what's causing the barking. This can take some detective work on your part. A nanny cam installed in the main room -- or whatever room the dog spends the most time in -- could help. Try to get one that records sounds, so you can identify any noises that might be triggering the barking. If you can spare the time, pretend that you're leaving, but instead hang around nearby, in a place where your dog cannot see, hear or smell you. Take note how soon the barking starts and how often it occurs. This will give you a clue as to what triggers the barking.
Give Doggie something to do when you're not around. Freeze a bone or a treat inside a container full of water. This will keep him busy for a while, licking away to get to the treasure. Chew toys might also do the trick. Or leave the TV on and tune it to an animal channel. Not only will the images entertain him, but the sounds might block some of the outside noise that's triggering the barking.
Consider a bark collar. No, not the kind that shocks the poor dog every time he barks. Instead, get a collar that emits an annoyingly high pitch or one that sends a blast of air into the dog's face and neck every time he barks. These collars work best if you have only one dog, as they can be triggered if another dog barks near it. You don't want Fido to suffer when it's Rufus making the noise.
- Some breeds are born barkers. Cocker spaniels, Maltese and some terriers will bark at everything that moves -- and sometimes things they think should be moving but aren't. These breeds are harder to train, so patience is a must.
- Some dogs bark when left alone because of separation anxiety. This can be aggravated by lack of exercise or boredom. Always make sure Doggie gets at least two walks a day. If you have a working breed, such as a collie or a retriever, make sure he gets plenty of outdoor time, where he can spend his energy more productively than just barking away.
Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.