Dogs bark more in the backyard due to increased stimuli: they encounter unfamiliar scents, sounds, and sights, such as passing animals, cars, or pedestrians, which can trigger their territorial or protective instincts. Additionally, isolation or boredom could make them bark more when alone.
How to Desensitize My Dog to the Backyard?
Regular Backyard Visits
Firstly, spend more time with your dog in the backyard. Regular exposure can help desensitize them to new or perceived threats. Use this time for positive activities like play or training sessions. For instance, playing fetch or teaching new commands can help your dog associate the backyard with positive experiences.
Introduction to New Stimuli
Slowly introduce your dog to the stimuli that cause them to bark. Start from a distance where your dog is comfortable and doesn’t react. For example, if your dog barks at squirrels, start by watching squirrels from a distance where your dog is calm, rewarding them for calm behavior.
Gradually decrease the distance between your dog and the stimuli. Continue to reward calm behavior. If your dog begins to bark or shows signs of Fear, back away and decrease the stimuli. For example, gradually get closer to the squirrel area while maintaining your dog’s calmness.
Use of Distractions
Use treats, toys, or games to distract your dog from the stimuli in the backyard. These distractions divert their attention and create positive associations with the backyard. For instance, if a loud truck passes by, immediately start a game of tug-of-war or treat your dog.
Lastly, be patient and consistent. Desensitization can take time, and dogs will progress at their own pace. If a particular step seems too challenging, it’s okay to go back and work on previous steps before moving forward. For example, if your dog starts barking closer to the squirrel area, return to a comfortable distance and reinforce calm behavior before trying to approach again.
Instant Remedies to Stop a Dog Barking in Backyard
Use a Firm Command
A firm, not angry, command like “quiet” or “enough” can help curb their barking. Ensure your dog understands these commands by using them consistently and rewarding them when they comply.
Immediately divert your dog’s attention towards something else when they start barking. This could be a toy, a treat, or a different activity they enjoy.
Bring them Inside
If your dog continues to bark excessively in the backyard, consider bringing them inside. This is an immediate way to stop the barking and can help you regain control of the situation.
Use a Pet Corrector
A pet corrector emits a hiss of air that instantly grabs a dog’s attention and stops its barking. Always follow up with positive reinforcement when your dog stops barking.
Try a No-Bark Collar
For persistent barkers, a no-bark collar can be an immediate solution. When they detect barking, these devices emit a harmless sound, vibration, or scent.
Can I leave my Dog in my Backyard Overnight?
Leaving your dog in the backyard overnight is not generally recommended. Weather conditions, local wildlife, and potential thieves pose risks to a dog left outside. Moreover, dogs are social animals and may feel isolated or scared if left alone outside for extended periods.
Can a Loose Dog be Dangerous in Backyard?
Yes, a loose dog can potentially be dangerous in the backyard. They could escape if the yard isn’t fully secured, endangering themselves and potentially others. Also, without supervision, they might ingest harmful substances, encounter hazardous objects, or get into fights with other animals. Supervision and secure fencing are key to backyard safety.