What is Nuisance Dog Barking?
Nuisance dog barking is barking that interferes with the comfort, peace, and convenience of other people. How much barking constitutes nuisance barking is largely open to interpretation. If your neighbors are complaining to animal control, you'll likely need to look into ways to minimize the barking. Even if your pet's barking doesn't meet the legal definition of nuisance barking, you'll want to keep the peace with your neighbors.
How to Stop Your Dog from Barking
Some dogs bark more than others no matter the stimulus. If yours is prone to excessive barking, there are some things you can try to curb the behavior such as:
- Keeping A Daily Routine - Many dogs will find a daily routine reassuring, which can reduce anxiety-driven barking. Keep their feeding, walking, training, playtime, and your arrivals and departures at or near the same times every day.
- Changing Your Dog's Environment - If you normally leave him outside (which is not a safe solution,) try crating him. If he's normally crated, try securing him in a single room instead. If you know what triggers the barking, such as the mailman, confine your dog to a part of the house where he won't be able to see the mailman coming.
- Making Sure Your Pet Gets Plenty of Exercise - Some excessive barking is just about boredom. Give your dog plenty of exercise, long walks, and playtime. If possible, have a dog walker come by mid-day to break up the time your dog is alone. Don't forget mental exercise as well - it is just as important as physical exercise. Obedience, agility training, or playing with puzzle toys are great intellectual exercises that can be practiced daily.
- Talking To Your Vet About Anxiety - If nothing helps, your dog may have anxiety. In that case, your vet may be able to suggest calming products or, in severe cases, medication that will help.
What is considered nuisance barking varies by location as does how strictly such laws are enforced. If your neighbors are reasonable, let them know you're sorry and that you're working on curbing the excessive barking. If you can't talk to your neighbor and they call animal control on you, tell the officer the same thing.
Don't panic and try to rehome your pet. In most cases, you'll be able to find a solution for your dog's barking. You may need the help of a vet or animal behaviorist, but it will be well worth it in order to be able to keep your dog in your home and maintain a good relationship with your neighbors.
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