If your canine friend barks excessively every time a member of the family exits the house, you’re probably thinking, “Why does my dog bark when I leave?”
Barking is how they communicate. Since you don’t speak “caninese” and your dog likely doesn’t speak whatever language you speak, there is a bit of a communication barrier.
And though you can’t talk directly to your dog, it’s important to understand what their barking and body language might really mean. Let’s take a look at some potential reasons for excessive barking.
Potential Reasons Your Dog Barks When You Leave
There might not be one single explanation as to why your dog has overactive barking tendencies. It could be brought on from a past event, lack of mental stimulation, or something completely different. But here are a few of the common causes.
Dogs that suffer from separation anxiety tend to become upset when their owner gets ready to leave the house. This behavior could range from a depressed mood to physical attempts to use their body in an effort to prevent you from leaving out the door.
If the excessive barking seemingly came out of nowhere, consider any abrupt changes to your schedule. Did you recently start going back into the office after an extended period of time working from home? If that’s the case, they could be simply dealing with an adjustment period.
Another reason could be a larger change to their environment or surroundings, such as moving into a new residence. An unfamiliar location takes time for acclimation and your pet might require a little extra attention during that period.
Any major change to members of the household can also play a role in separation anxiety. If a family member recently moved out or passed away, your dog might be missing their presence.
Just like humans with nothing to do, dogs can get bored too. The reason could be they’re not getting outside enough, don’t have the opportunity to solve some puzzles, or haven’t seen their friends in a while.
Look for a pattern of excessive barking when you leave. Does it seem to happen more on days when your dog hasn’t been as active as usual? Their boredom could be caused by a lack of exercise.
Does your dog seem to bark when they have nothing to do? A key aspect of preventing boredom is keeping your dog mentally stimulated. This means providing toys that require them to use their brain, such as puzzles games that you can hide dog treats inside of.
Many dogs are social creatures and want to be around other dogs on a relatively consistent basis. A lack of canine socialization can lead to general disinterest in other activities. Try to get out for playdates with other pups on a regular schedule.
Similar to dealing with a form of anxiety, dogs can have different fears that they suffer from. This could be caused by loud noises, being around unfamiliar people or even a past traumatic event.
If you suspect a specific incident as the root of their fear, it can be easier to deal with. It’s always best to check with your vet if any situation seems severe. That’s why looking for common symptoms is important to their health and best understanding what your dog is suffering from.
So what do you do exactly? How can you help a dog that is afraid of something specific or even just overly fearful? It’s not necessarily the most straightforward process.
Don’t reinforce the fear, this includes rewarding or comforting them. This may seem counterintuitive but it’s crucial that you don’t encourage the behavior to become normal.
How to Stop Barking and Whining When Left Alone
There are a variety of ways that you can help your dog relax and stop barking when left alone. Once you know their symptoms and have a general idea of the root of their barking, you can focus on treating the cause. Here are some ways to help treat the common reasons for your dog barking when you leave.