When we were at the shelter waiting for our dog to get her Heartworm treatment, we saw someone who was returning a dog that they’ve adopted the day before. We were shocked! The person was complaining that the dog was barking too much and was scared that they might hear complaints from the neighbors. It’s just a shame that they returned a dog when you can surely help a new rescue dog stop barking once he arrives to his new home.
If a dog goes into a shelter, they can stay for weeks, months or even years. With not enough exercise or human interaction, some might develop anxiety after being in a shelter for that long. Once they are adopted, some dogs might get really attached to their new owners and will feel really lonely and anxious when they are not there. So, they might bark and whine a lot. Here there are some tips that will help your rescue dog to stop barking when it is left alone.
Leave your home for short periods of time
Your new dog doesn’t know your routine and does not know if you are going to come back. When a dog is anxious and barks a lot after you leave, you can try leaving your home for short periods of time. You can start staying outside several seconds and return to the house before he starts barking, increase the time gradually if he does not bark.
Keep you dog active
In order to help your dog to stop barking when left alone, you can help him by providing activities that will keep his mind busy. Long walks or jogs are really helpful. Sometimes you might feel like you don’t have the time to give your dog a 30 min walk, but they really need this.
While working full time, it can be hard to have any extra time. We set up a schedule and now we really enjoy our long daily walks together with our dog. Play with your dog at home, give him fun toys or let him play with other dogs. Make sure you are sure he is dog friendly first here. If you just got your dog from a rescue, it’s better to wait a while before taking him to a dog park, some dogs are dog reactive and you should consider finding a well behaved dog to have play dates with instead. Here are tips that will help your dog transition to a new home.
Find a safe place
A safe place can be a dog’s bed, kennel, sofa, etc. It’s a place where they like to hang out and where they feel comfortable. Our dog likes her dog bed as a safe place and already learned to go there when we asked her. Make sure your dog is in this place before you leave the house. Try to be calm and quietly leave your home every time and then come back your home. Don’t over greet your dog when you get home, only pet him once he is calm and relaxed.
Give him food before you leave the house
If you give him food before you leave the house, it will help for your dog to associate his time alone something with positive. There are toys that you can fill with food and will help your dog to entertain themselves for a while. We like to use the classic Kong that you can fill up with Peanut Butter. We bought two so we can keep one in the freezer ready to go at all times. You can also find online or in pet stores puzzle food toys where you can fit treats inside and your dog will have to spend some time trying to figure out how to get the treat out. Eventually, your dog will associate being alone with positive things like food. Take the toy or food away as soon as you get home.
Leave the TV on
Have you ever seen a dog watching TV? Nowadays flatscreen TVs have more frames per second which allow dogs to see a smoother sequence. Even if your dog doesn’t look interested in the Television. It helps to hear people talking and other noises so he does not to feel so alone.
Give your dog time. They go through an adjustment phase when they first get into a new home. They need to get used to the new surroundings and routines. Sometimes they just need a few days to settle in.