Stop Your Dog From Barking When You’re Away With A Little Treat Training

Stop Your Dog From Barking When You’re Away With A Little Treat Training
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There’s a lot that goes into finding the right dog for you, but there’s even more that goes into training it. If your dog likes to bark and annoy the neighbours while you’re gone, this little training trick might help them deal with things better.

Photo by Angelia Sims.

There are a lot of things that can cause a dog to bark: seeing things out the window (if it’s inside), strange noises, and just the idea of being away from you. When you leave, your dog wants to know everything is ok. That’s why commenter HannaBear51 at Apartment Therapy recommends a simple method of letting them everything is all good:

Give the dog something positive right before you leave the house. The key here is immediacy – give the good thing, and then walk out the door immediately. For my dogs, this is a treat, and I walk out while they’re distracted with chewing. After a week or so, they were in the habit of associating the treat with my departure, and they actually started looking forward to it (hurrying me along at the appointed time, etc.).

As HannaBear51 points out, it might feel a little insulting when your dog gets excited for you to leave, but it’s better than the alternative of them barking up a storm. So the next time you’re headed out, give your dog some positive reinforcement and make your way out. Other things like chew toys and turning the TV on for background noise might help as well. Obviously your mileage may vary depending on the dog, but if you can keep up the habit, it might make things easier for both of you.

Neighbour Favours: Tips to Help Keep Your Dog from Barking When You Are Out [Apartment Therapy]


  • I did this with my dog. It didn’t work. She just associated the treat with me leaving, instead of the other way around. She would just leave the treat where it fell and not eat it until I got back home.

    • My two do the same thing… I have added a third, he’s a thief and will eat all three treats. If dog three gets in the garbage while I am gone, one and two will wait until I am home to try and get anything!

  • So what about when my dog is quiet all day long when i’m at work. its when i come home, after i’ve taken him for a decent walk he barks for an hour after eating his dinner. for no reason what-so-ever. I show him no-one is at the front door. tell him no one is in the yard. and yet he still runs around barking at nothing. only to stop and fall asleep for the night. its been driving me nuts for weeks and his only just turned 1.

    • sounds like your dog doesn’t realise that you want him to stop barking. He might understand it better if you try this;
      AS SOON as he 1st barks, say ‘QUIET’ put him in a room alone and shut the door. Wait until he falls silent, open the door give him a treat and lots of praise, but the second he barks say ‘QUIET’ and put him back in the room. You might need to do this a few times, but if you keep doing it he will eventually realise you want him to be quiet. Eventually when he does give a bark you should just be able to say ‘QUIET’ and he should stop without you putting him into a room. Hope this helps, Stephanie

      • I am so going to try this! as locking him outside isn’t punishment enough for the bad behaviour. Thank you 🙂

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