Thursday, September 29, 2016

"Comfy and tired equals quiet" - Eliminate excessive barking when you leave your dog alone.

We take our dogs everywhere! That is why we love traveling with our dogs. We plan our vacations around them and for them. Still, there are times when we go out without them. They stay behind when  we visit a museum or to have dinner at a nice restaurant that does not allow dogs. Our dogs need to be comfortable by themselves in our hotel room or vacation rental and be good dogs.

We have stayed in many hotels and heard dogs barking and howling. Same in RV parks, where we walked past someone's site and the dogs inside were barking loudly and excessively. We hear from vacation rental owners that guest dogs are not to be left alone, because they have had so many bad experiences with dogs disturbing other guests with their excessive barking.

There are a lot of reasons why dogs may be barking excessively when left alone. Most commonly the dog will be anxious or bored. Whatever the reasons here is a simple formula that has proven successful to eliminate excessive barking and destructive behavior in most cases.
The formula is: “Comfy and tired equals quiet.”

Consider these two areas: exercise and comfort. When dogs are given a comfortable familiar place to stay and properly exercised, they will likely be tired, quiet dogs who will want to rest and sleep while left behind when their owners are gone.

"A tired dog is a good dog"

Many dog owners do not realize the benefit of regular exercise for their dogs. Especially when traveling, a lot of dogs simply get walked to relieve themselves. Regular exercise is very important to drain energy and help the dog be balanced.

 Even if you are walking your dog on a regular basis, are you making sure you are exercising him just before you leave him by himself? This will only require a little preparation and time before you have to go out. Allow yourself enough time to take your dog for a good 30-minute walk, or  play fetch with him in a fenced area, or take the dog for a swim and run on the beach. The average adult dog spends between 14 and 16 hours a day sleeping. However, if your dog is not getting enough exercise, he will expel pinned up energy by barking and even destroying things around the house.

The beauty of the need for exercise is that it also makes you get out more!

Jaeger and Heidi play at the beach

"A comfortable dog will rest quietly" 

Now that your dog is properly exercised, give her an area that is both familiar and comfortable. Put down her bedding, or prepare her crate. I know you are tempted to buy all new dog beds for the special vacation so that everything is nice and fresh and clean. But honestly, that is the worst thing you can do for her. She wants to have the bed she uses at home, the one that smells like her and like you. The one that has all her dog hair all over it. Using her regular bed or blanket will transform the strange hotel room or vacation rental into a familiar place for her.

 Provide some of her favorite toys, and if need be, add one of your old t-shirts - unwashed- for added comfort.

Nico is comfy in his bed

I recommend you have a special treat for her. This would be a chew toy or chew food that she can keep busy with for some time. I personally use soup bones, which I purchase at the local grocery store for my dogs. These special treats are reserved for this purpose, meaning only give them when the dog is left by herself for some time.

Find a good boring talk show on the TV, or tune the radio to a talk channel. You are looking for some talking, not a high action shoot-them-up movie.  Adjust the volume so that the sound will drown out any outside noises, but not so loud as to disturb the neighbors.

If possible make sure the dog cannot look out of the windows. Especially smaller dogs tend to get on top of sofas to peek outside.  You can draw the shades or block access to the window areas. All this will make the dog less likely to bark when someone walks past.

If your dog has been used to barking excessively for some time, practice for shorter sessions with this setup. Gradually increase the length of the sessions. Providing your pet with a familiar, comfortable surrounding and plenty of exercise before you leave him alone, will balance your dog and make sure he is calm and quiet while you are away from home.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you found the information useful. I value your comments and appreciate your feedback.

If you feel others may benefit from the information provided, please "like" and "share"!

Until next time, keep your paws on the road!



  1. Great post and pictures. Looking forward to your next post.

  2. Hi, Bee. Your comments about providing your dog’s familiar bed and blanket for traveling is spot on! A little over a year ago, we were planning a 10-day out of state RV trip, and taking our 1 year old Labrador Retriever with us. While we had traveled many times with our previous Labs, we had never taken our new pup on a trip. So, we planned a weekend “test” trip with her. We let our pup check out the RV while we packed up so that she was familiar with it. Then I placed her favorite dog bed, along with her puppy blanket and some toys, behind the passenger seat in our RV. We booked an RV site with a nice enclosed dog run and hit the road. I told our pup to lay down in her bed and she snuggled in for the ride. She got up a few times while we were driving to look out the window, but always returned to her bed and either slept or played with her toys. She has been a perfect traveler in our RV or car ever since!

    Your blog articles are interesting and contain very helpful information. I will be returning often for more tips!