Tips for Dog Owners

If the noise is only made in your absence, a complaint about dog noise may come as a surprise. Stay positive and thank the complainant for letting you know so you can work on a solution. Barking is one of the most common reasons for dog-related complaints to councils. Dogs tend to bark because of boredom, territory guarding and reactivity to noise, separation anxiety or fearfulness. A recent survey of medium to high-density dwelling pet owners revealed that the key strategies to reduce noise were training (34%) followed by providing more company for the pet (19%) providing more toys (14%), seeking advice from a professional such as an animal behaviourist (4%) using a citronella collar (3%) or “other” (5%). The most common “other” strategy was simply to keep the dog indoors. Try to work out why your dog barks. If you can identify the trigger, you may be able to remove it e.g. fence or boundary guarding may be resolved by simply keeping your dog inside. Increased exercise can solve many dog problems. If you don’t have time for extra walks, hire a dog walker or ask a neighbour to help out. Make separation less of a “big deal” for your dog. Don’t make a fuss of your dog when you come and go. Provide distractions such as treat toys, a radio or television. Pet stores and vet clinics often stock a wide range of engaging toys. If you think your dog has a serious case of separation anxiety, you should speak to a veterinary behaviourist about intensive desensitisation and medication. Ref: Strata Community Aust

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