Keep It Down, Fido!

retrochick.JPGIvy says:

As I was laying down to go to sleep last night, the dog in the house behind me decided to start barking. And he barked. And he barked. And he barked some more, for good measure. This happens just about every night, but with the cooler weather, it is worse for everyone that lives close to the barky dog, because we all would like to have our windows open.

I’m not one of those types of people that will condemn you for having an outside dog. I, personally, wouldn’t have an outside dog because I get so busy, it would be easy to forget about an outside dog and I might not spend enough time playing with them, socializing them, all those things dogs need.

I do know some people who are disciplined enough, and have dogs that actually prefer to live outside, so if you can do that, awesome. But if your dog is a nighttime barker, here are some tips for keeping them from barking all the time:

  • Make sure there is stuff to play with out there with them. Ropes, soft stuffed animals, plastic chewies, all these things will entertain a dog. Make sure they have plenty to play with.
  • Make sure they have a den. Dogs need a place to curl up and get away from the world. This is important for both outside and inside dogs. My own dog has a place in my closet that he uses as his den.  Outside dogs need a doghouse that’s small enough to be cozy, and big enough for them to stretch out in, a bit.
  • Make sure you are spending enough time during the day with them. Dogs are pack animals. When they only see a member of their pack for feedings, they get to feeling bad and lonely and start barking to let their people know they’re sad and lonely. Play with your dog every day. Take him for a walk. Dogs need time and attention. Don’t get a dog if you don’t have time to deal with it.
  • Consider a companion dog. This should not replace time spent with your dog. But because of the “dogs are pack animals” thing, most dogs enjoy having a buddy to live with. Make sure before you get a second dog, that you have time and money to take care of both dogs. Let the two dogs meet, preferably on neutral ground, before you commit to getting the new dog.
  • If all else fails and you’re annoying your neighbors with your dog (especially if that neighbor happens to be me) take your dog inside. Really, it’s the polite thing to do. And no dog is too big to live inside- I have friends with Great Danes that insist they are inside dogs. You can teach any dog to have good manners inside.

Like I said, personally, I prefer my animals to be inside animals. But if your animals are outside animals, make sure they have good manners and aren’t waking up the neighborhood night after night.



8 Comments

  1. Aaron on February 9, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Good on ya! I hope more people will read this post.

    "Make sure you are spending enough time during the day with them. Dogs are pack animals. When they only see a member of their pack for feedings, they get to feeling bad and lonely and start barking to let their people know they’re sad and lonely. Play with your dog every day. Take him for a walk. Dogs need time and attention. Don’t get a dog if you don’t have time to deal with it."

    This one is so important.
    My recent post The best dogs training package you can get!



  2. google on December 1, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    I live next door to a dog that barks at all hours, day and night. He's outdoors most of the time. The houses are very close together. I just moved here and don't know the neighbor, so I am reluctant to start complaining right off the bat about his dog. Does anyone know if those sonic dog repellant machines work? Is there anything else that would work? I am getting desperate.



  3. MyStarbucks on October 17, 2007 at 5:45 pm

    I’m with Linda! The very same thing happened to me last night. I had my window open for a fresh breeze and sure enough, fido was barking up a storm. I was about ready to get a gun.



  4. JRae on October 17, 2007 at 4:44 pm

    Also, you can just TRAIN your dogs not to bark. Get all Cesar Milan on their ass and let them know barking is not allowed!

    My parent’s dog has a small barking problem, she barks at cats and people walking by the house. However, she shuts up as soon as we yell at her (and if she doesn’t we go downstairs and make her stop- not meanly, just by making her sit down or whatever). She got the message eventually and barks much less now.

    I hate when people act like dogs are some alien being that they can’t control and for whose behavior they are not responsible. Every owner is directly responsible for their dog’s behavior!



  5. Jay on October 17, 2007 at 4:13 pm

    Our new pup, while an inside dog, spends a lot of time outside since we have an invisible fence. But when he started barking his fool head off at every passerby, squirrel, cat,airplane, butterfly, ant, stick, shadow etc we borrowed a remote shock collar from some friends of ours. You can set it to 10 different levels. If you only press the button for a second, it’ll only beep to warn the dog. If he doesn’t get the message, hold the button down longer and he’ll get a mild shock, like static electricity. It is a great training aid.
    (that being the key, you have to put the effort in to make it work)



  6. Linda on October 17, 2007 at 1:41 pm

    I wish my neighbor would read these tips!



  7. Kat Coble on October 17, 2007 at 1:22 pm

    I would also suggest that you consider allowing the dog to sleep in the garage if for some reason you can’t have it in the actual house.

    This gives the dog a sense of being “indoors” with his pack, while keeping his hair off the furniture, etc.



  8. Music City Bloggers » Blog Archive » News From The Puppy Liberation Front on October 17, 2007 at 12:55 pm

    […] because I’m all about the self-linking*, here’s a post I wrote just this morning about keeping your outside dog quiet so I can get some […]