An incessantly barking dog, particularly a yappy dog with a high-pitched voice, can lead to bad relationships with neighbors if left unchecked. Desperate neighbors even may call animal control to complain, particularly if your dog is left unattended when the excessive barking occurs. While obedience training and establishing dominance can help curb unwanted barking, there are some other practical steps you can take as well.
Find the Barking Source
Dogs bark for many reasons, but sustained yappy barking often is caused by boredom or by outside stimuli. Figure out what your dog is barking about and look for ways to address the problem. For example, if you have squirrels in your backyard and your dog sits by the window and barks nonstop, a solution is to cover your windows so the dog never sees the squirrels.
Many dogs bark because they're bored. The barking is a way to get attention or to express their discontent. It's your responsibility as a dog owner to ensure that your dog is adequately socialized and entertained. Give your dog something to occupy his attention, like a toy filled with kibble that dribbles out as he chews or rolls it, or leave the television set on to make him feel he’s not alone.
Bring Your Dog Inside
Inside yappy dogs are easier to tolerate than outside yappy dogs. If your dog primarily barks when he's left outside, try to contain him and see if the problem diminishes. Crate training can be helpful to teach your dog good behavior when you’re gone. You can leave your dog crated if he barks while you're away, placing his crate in a well-insulated or central room in your home to help dampen the sound of his yaps.
You may find it beneficial to have a dog sitter or dog walker visit your house when you're not at home to give your dog some exercise and let him release some pent-up energy. You also might consider taking your pup to a doggy day care center during the day. These centers focus on providing entertainment and stimulation as well as quality care for dogs. This will ensure your dog is occupied and not annoying the neighbors when you aren't there to intervene and halt the barking.
Talk to Your Vet
Your dog might be barking because he suffers from separation anxiety when you're gone. If this is the case, your vet might be able to offer suggestions on behavioral training or even anti-anxiety medications to help curb his loud behavior. A citronella spray collar that activates on barking can be another deterrent. Let your neighbors know you’re working to address the problem -- this can help preserve friendly relationships.
Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.