Is your dog whining all day while you are at work? If he does, your neighbors will probably let you know. Not only does constant whining and crying signal that a dog is emotionally distressed, it can also bother your neighbors. There are several ways you can keep your dog happy and quiet while he’s home alone.
Designate a Safe Place
Provide a safe and cozy place for your dog. When you are not around to comfort him and provide companionship, your dog will find comfort in a familiar place. This will also help prevent the dog from destroying the house while you are gone. A common reaction to stress and fear is for the dog to chew or scratch things. Keeping him corralled in the kitchen with some toys and soft blankets can keep destruction to a minimum. He will also come to think of it as his own safe haven. Crates can also be a miracle worker for puppies and some dogs. It may seem cruel to keep a dog confined like this, but a lot of dogs prefer their crate because it feels safe to them. If you don’t agree with keeping your dog locked up, you can still benefit from a crate. Just pile up some soft blankets or a bed inside the crate and leave the door open. Then your dog can come and go as he chooses.
A little bit of dog training will go a long way. Do you notice your dog starting to get nervous when you do certain things, like grab your keys or put on your shoes? Your dog is smarter than you might think. He has learned the little things that we do to prepare to leave. Ease his nervousness by desensitizing him to these things. Every once in a while, pick up your keys and jangle them, but don’t go anywhere. Or put on your shoes, but take him for a walk instead. Your dog will learn not to get panicky at these actions. Another way that you can desensitize him to your leaving is to practice leaving the house in small increments of time. For the first couple of times, just go right outside the door for a few minutes. Reward him with a treat every time you leave the house and he doesn’t wine. Eventually he will understand that he gets rewarded for good behavior and that you always come back.
A whining dog may be a bored dog. Make sure you supply plenty of stimulation for him during the day. Supply him with chew toys to play with. You can even try hiding some of them, so that it is a game for him to try to find them. Another great trick is to buy a toy that you can stuff with treats. A dog can happily spend hours trying to get the treat out of the toy. Most of the time, the dog will be the most upset right when you leave but will calm down after you have been gone for a while. If he is distracted while you’re leaving, by the time he realizes you’re gone he will be calm.