Dog barking is perfectly normal and is just one of the ways that dogs communicate, to both humans and other animals.
Occasional barking should be tolerated and not punished but excessive barking can be a sign the dog is distressed and steps should be taken to resolve the situation.
Did you know that dog barking is the most common form of neighbour dispute in the UK?
Practical Ideas, Suggestions and Products
Below you’ll find ideas and suggestions on how to prevent a dog from barking excessively when you’re away from the home and your pet is left alone. This is the most likely time that your dog will bark uncontrollably.
The products and suggestions listed below have been proven to reduce excessive dog barking. We know because Dixie, our Miniature Schnauzer has a strong instinct to protect her home and warn off anyone that comes near the property.
#1 – Get Alerts When Your Dog Barks
Most dog owners have no idea how often their dog barks when they are away from home.
In fact, many are surprised at the frequency and duration of the barking.
Dogs are often calm and relaxed when their owners are with them but can become upset, distressed and territorial when left alone for long periods of time.
Fortunately, there are several pet cameras that can alert you via an app whenever your dog barks.
This is a great way to understand when and why your pet is barking.
Perhaps it’s the postman that disturbs your dog?
Or junk mail being posted through the letterbox throughout the day?
Maybe your dog is quiet at certain times, perhaps after a long walk?
You can try different things (many listed below) to stop the barking and then use a camera with an alert system to check if the frequency and duration of the barking has reduced.
- a good quality barking sensor is built into this device.
- adjust the sensitivity of the sensor so it isn’t triggered by other noises.
- an alert system so you’ll get a message via an app on your phone whenever your dog barks.
- 2-way audio – speak to your dog (works with some animals, others may ignore your voice).
- treat launcher – Furbo can dispense small items of food. Do this via the app.
- HD camera with storage so you can review footage and see what is triggering the barking.
#2 – Postal Deliveries
We know from experience that postal delivery workers often disturb dogs, in fact, we think they’re the number one cause of dog barking.
Our Miniature Schnauzer would always bark whenever the postman came anywhere near the property, the barking was so bad that it would often last 10 minutes or so.
No wonder our neighbours complained to us about the level of barking!
Here are some simple steps you can take to prevent your dog from barking whenever letters and parcels are being delivered;
- Remove or seal your letterbox.
- Install a postal box away from the front door.
- Fit a storage box (aka a safe place) for larger deliveries away from the front door.
- Update your delivery preferences so all the delivery firms place large items in your safe place.
#3 – Sound Insulation
Dogs are often disturbed by noises outside, which they may see as a threat:
- Car engines starting and doors slamming shut.
- Talking and shouting.
- Other dogs barking.
- The wind howling and tree branches moving in the wind.
There are several ways to reduce the amount of noise entering the home and disturbing the dog.
The good news is, some are cheap and easy to install. As a bonus; with good quality sound insulation, your dog is less likely to disturb neighbours when it does bark.
Cavity Wall Insulation – This is the cheapest form of insulation and it only takes a pro a few hours to complete the work on an average semi-detached home. Expect to pay £300 – £400 for cavity wall insulation to an average-sized property. We know from experience that this type of insulation doesn’t just make your home warmer in the winter, it also keeps out external noise.
Double or Triple Glazing – Many manufacturers publish details about how well their products block sounds from passing through the glass and frame. If you’re planning on upgrading your windows, double check the sound blocking levels from each manufacturer. Triple glazing can significantly reduce noise penetration compared to single glazed units.
Soundproof Front Doors – A well constructed front door will not only act as an acoustic barrier but will improve your home’s security and boost the thermal efficiency of the home too. According to Silent Windows, with a top-quality product, you can expect a reduction of up to 51db.
Wall Soundproofing – In addition to cavity wall insulation, you can also block noise passing through a wall by fitting an extra panel of plasterboard over the existing wall. Soundproof plasterboard panels are specifically designed for keeping noise out. They’re also perfect for dog owners whose neighbours have previously made dog complaints.
#4 – A Tired Dog is Less Likely to Bark
If you find your dog is barking incessantly, one simple trick you can try is to take it for an energetic walk just before you leave the home for work in the morning.
Dixie, our Miniature Schnauzer, has so much energy in the morning that without a good 45-minute walk she would be extremely restless. An alert, restless dog is far more likely to bark and disturb the neighbours.
An energetic 45-minutes morning walk is usually enough to tire our Dixie for at least 4 hours.
We’ve also hired the services of a local dog walker, who for only a few pounds each day, will take Dixie out for a 30-minute lunchtime walk. This usually tires her out until we come home from work late in the evening.
Bottom line – if your dog is restless and full of energy, it will be more alert to noises and disturbances. A sleepy dog will just snooze away.
A good place to find local dog walkers is on Facebook, specifically local Facebook groups where neighbours discuss local matters. You’ll probably find dozens of dog walkers in your area and some may consider walking your dog for a small fee. If not, you’re sure to find recommendations for local businesses.
#5 – Try Borrow My Doggy
Borrow My Doggy is a website created to connect dog owners with dog lovers who can’t own a dog 24/7.
There are plenty of dog lovers who don’t have the time to keep a dog full time but would love to take a four-legged friend out for walks or just as company for a weekend.
Young families with children also use this service to see what type of dog might be suitable for their family.
Check out Borrow My Doggy here and connect with other dog-friendly people today.
#6 Try the #1 Dog Training Book (Kindle)
The Dog Guardian by Nigel Reed, is in our opinion, the best guide to understanding your dog’s unruly behaviour.
This book will help you get to grips with:
- Excessive barking.
- Separation anxiety.
- Lead pulling.
- Food issues.
- + much more
Nigel Reed reveals the secrets to a well behaved and happy dog both in and outside of the home.
Read reviews of Nigel Reed’s Dog Guardian here.
What are the Penalties For Failure to Control a Barking Dog?
Dog barking in the UK may be treated as a “statutory noise nuisance” if it’s disturbing others.
It doesn’t matter if the dog is indoors or outside, if the noise is frequent, loud or at night, the owner can be issued an abatement notice if it disturbs the neighbours.
Failure to comply with an abatement notice can lead to fins of up to £5000 and daily fines of up to £500.
In reality, only the worst cases reach the courts but the threat of such hefty fines often work as a deterrent.
Thanks For Reading Our Guide
This guide was created by the team here at Gifted Geek, we hope you found it helpful.