Does your dog have a lot to say about all the extra activity of a busy summer? Is his barking making it hard to enjoy the season?
Kids and their friends are out of school, traipsing in and out of the house; more people are walking outside with their dogs, enjoying the weather. You have houseguests, and neighbors have get-togethers in their backyards. It’s easy to get too busy to spend time with the dog.
Unusual activity can be stressful for a dog. While her barking may annoy you, she is telling you that she’s not sure about everything that’s going on. Guests may not know how to act around a dog. Unusual noises may be frightening. Running children are invitations to chase. And those neighbors are making way too much noise!
Make the time to ensure that your dog is getting plenty of attention. Play with him every day. It may seem easier to let the dog entertain himself in the yard since the weather is nice, but it’s not a substitute for one-on-one time with you.
Before you can stop excessive barking, you’ve got to figure out why it is happening. Is your dog lonely and frustrated because everyone is having a good time inside, while he’s alone in the backyard? Then make sure he gets his share of attention before the party starts. If it isn’t an option for him to interact with guests, let him be indoors in a crate, chewing on a special treat. Since you’ve made the time to exercise and play with him earlier, you don’t need to feel guilty about this. He will be happier — and quieter — in his private area.
Understand that your children’s friends and other houseguests may not be your dog’s friends. If they are afraid of him or act in ways that are strange to him, he will probably bark. He might bark every time these people move. Since this isn’t a permanent situation, plan to manage it. After a nice walk or other exercise that he likes, set your dog up in a cozy part of the house away from the chaos. He can chew a nice treat in peace, feel secure, and won’t need to bark.
Another good possibility is a doggy daycare. They are available in many areas, and if you have some hectic days planned, they are a great way for your dog to enjoy the summer just as much as the rest of the family. When your dog comes home, he will be tired and ready for a nap.