No matter what breed, if your dog doesn’t get the attention or exercise he craves, he’ll try to entertain himself — often by digging or barking. If your dog is left out in the yard alone and becomes bored, he may bark, dig or be, otherwise, destructive. Digging is usually for fun, not to get out. If your dog is digging up your yard, this is a sign that your dog needs more stimulation and exercise. Consider food puzzle toys, such as filled frozen kongs or wobble kongs, to give your dog something to do.
- Recreational barking
- happens when the owner isn’t directly present and the dog sees people through a fence. Changing your dog’s environment so he can’t see things to bark at and providing toys to eliminate boredom will greatly reduce barking.
- Territorial barking
- is a dog’s way of warning others that this is her domain. If you have a working breed, it may be especially territorial. As annoying as this may be to you and your neighbors, it is natural canine behavior. Contact our Training & Behavior Dept for ideas to handle this behavior.
- Separation-distress barking
- is the most difficult type to manage, and may be accompanied by destructive behaviors. This needs to be treated on an individual basis. Contact our Training & Behavior Dept for assistance with this behavior.
To help with barking and boredom, professional training for dog and owner is generally helpful. From companionship to command performance, the Longmont Humane Society offers dog and puppy training classes. Puppy classes are for dogs 8 to 16 weeks of age, while dog classes are for dogs 4 months and older. Classes are geared toward novice dogs and owners to advanced obedience work with experienced dogs and owners. The main goal of the classes is to teach you how to communicate with your dog and create a well-mannered family member through positive motivation and proven techniques.
Topics include control positions (sit, stand and down), walking on a loose leash, stay, come, and several other commands. Common behavior problems will also be discussed with suitable solutions being provided. Also, private lessons with Rhea Moriarity, LHS Training and Behavior Modifcation Manager, are also available for those acute issues or those who need a little extra attention. See the dog training page for more information.