I frequently go to dogs that spend a lot of the long day barking, and often this results in neighbours complaining as is the case with the two little dogs I went to yesterday. Even though it’s probably only in fits and starts, it can seem continuous if you live next door.
Parsons Jack Russell Freda on the left is now eight years old, and Jack Russell Chester two. Although Chester is the more nervous of the two, Freda is the bigger barker, and suffers more when left.
When left all alone it is most likely that the two dogs eventually settle, but they will be vulnerable to all the sounds from outside which will keep starting them off again. Whenever they hear the neighbours feet crunch on her gravel path or a car slowing down outside, the dogs bark. They go quite frantic when someone comes up the path to put something through the letterbox and they can see out through a front window.
Giving the dogs access to the garden will be making things a lot worse in my opinion. It’s no wonder they feel insecure, left all alone all day with run of the house and garden, having to deal with such a lot of guard duty. Instead of settling the will be alert to every sound, charging in and out of the dog flap barking and getting themselves into a state, with no owners about to reassure them that all is well.
Shutting the dogs comfortably in the large kitchen should be a lot easier on them, although to start with they may be frustrated – barking to get outside through the dog flap because this is what they have been accustomed to. The people can rig up a camera and have a word with the neighbour.
When family members come home it is to give the dogs a huge fuss. I’m sure if they tone down their their greetings to make their coming and goings less of a major event, and if the lady can pop home at lunch time for half an hour, these little dogs will soon quieten down when left alone.
The second issue is about both dogs, Freda in particular, ignoring their humans when called out on walks. There are five family members and the dogs get everything they want upon demand by way of attention. While this is the case and while food isn’t used for rewards but given for doing nothing, the humans don’t have much leverage! They need to be more relevant in terms of getting and holding their dogs’ attention and work on this at home before expecting the dogs to give them attention out on walks – particularly ‘coming when called’ when there is something far more exciting to do like chasing a rabbit!