How to stop your dog from barking in an Apartment or Home.
When a neighborhood dog barks continuously, it’s frustrating. However, when an apartment dog barks incessantly, it can actually lead to eviction.
If you have a barking dog in an apartment complex, it’s extremely important that you take steps to rectify the situation. The good news is that with effort, dedication, and consistency, stopping apartment dog barking is possible.
Why is Your Dog Barking?
In order to stop your dog from barking in your apartment, you need to first identify what is causing the dog barking in the first place.
Dogs bark for a variety of reasons:
- They are protective. If your dog sees a person, dog, or other animal get too close to its territory, he may bark to alert you to ward off any outsiders. This may be especially true for door barking, i.e., when your dog hears or sees someone at the door.
- They are bored. Dogs generally don’t bark just for the sake of barking, but it can happen, especially if they are left alone and have nothing better to do. If you have more than one dog, they will sometimes feed off each other’s barking or whining, making the situation worse.
- Separation anxiety. One of the leading reasons that dogs are surrendered to animal shelters is that they act out in negative ways when left alone. Examples include tearing up items, urinating indoors even though they are potty trained, and making loud noises like barking and whining. These actions don’t mean that you own a bad dog. They are signs that your dog is stressed when you are not home.
So, what can I do with my Dog if they’re Suffering from Separation Anxiety?
- Crate train your dog. (More on this in the next section.)
- Make your coming and going times as calm as possible.
- Provide your dog with a special puzzle toy or treat that he only gets when you are away.
- Leave a t-shirt or blanket for your dog that has your scent on it.
- Practice your leaving routine without actually leaving. Put on your shoes and jacket. Jingle your keys. Walk to your door, touch the doorknob, then return to the couch. The more often you do this, the more it can help help reduce the anxiety that comes with you leaving. You can even step outside for a few seconds and listen for your dog’s response, working your way up to longer periods of time.
- Use the TrainAway Dog Training App to simulate leaving noises like jingling keys and unlocking and opening doors when you are home so your dog become desensitized to the sound. This can help reduce anxiety and stop dog barking.
- Talk to your vet. There are prescription and natural supplements available for dogs dealing with separation anxiety. Also, CBD oil has had anecdotal success in reducing separation anxiety in dogs.
How to Stop Dog Barking in Apartments
- Wear your dog out. Dogs have a lot of pent-up energy that they need to get out one way or the other. If you do not help your dog rid its energy in productive ways – like going for walks, playing fetch, or going to a dog park – your dog will get the energy out in destructive ways, which can stop dog barking.
- Redirect. A popular dog-training method involves redirecting your dog’s attention from something negative to something positive. If your dog barks when someone comes to your door, for example, you can stop door barking by retraining your dog’s reaction. When your dog barks at the door, teach your dog “quiet.” Start by holding your dog’s muzzle when you say “quiet,” then giving a treat. With time, your dogshould be able to respond to the term “quiet” without holding the muzzle.
- Discourage your dog. While the above example of redirection uses positive reinforcement, there are some negative reinforcement methods to redirect your dog when barking as well. First, know that it’s never ok to hit your dog. Second, yelling at your dog doesn’t work; to the dog, it sounds like you are barking too. However, you can do things like shaking a can full of pennies next to your dog when it barks, or spraying your dog with water from a spray bottle. After shaking a can or spraying your dog, tell your dog to sit, and reward with a treat if he obeys.
- Keep your dog entertained. Make sure your dog has toys and treats to keep him stimulated, especially when you are gone. However, only give safe chewing options. Bones that can splinter or toys that pull apart can cause both choking hazards and intestinal blockages.
- Block your dog’s view. While some dogs bark just to bark, it’s more likely for a dog to bark because it feels protective, threatened, or stimulated by something going on outside. If your dog can’t see outside, then it will be less likely to bark. Keep curtains and doors closed when you’re home. When you’re gone, keep your dog contained in an area where he can’t see outside. This can often stop dog barking.
- Crate train. In the wild, dogs search for a small, safe den to rest and recuperate in. Crates are often recommended by veterinarians and breeders because they simulate the dens of the wild, providing your dog with a safe, personal, protective space. In addition to helping with potty training, crate training reduces anxiety, as a smaller space helps give your dog more control. Crate training takes times and patience, and is only effective if the crate is seen as a positive place, not a method of punishment.
- Leave lights and music on. You can also reduce anxiety by keeping a light on and playing soft music. This also helps drown outside noises and distractions.
Desensitize your dog to noises, like door knocking, using the TrainAway app.
The TrainAway Dog Training App allows you to play and desensitize your dog to sounds like door knocking, doors opening and closing, keys jingling, dogs barking, etc., which can help stop dog barking. TrainAway is easy to use, customize-able, and effective for helping stop apartment dog barking.