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Thread: Barking when not home

  1. #1

    Default Barking when not home

    Hi all,

    I have two dogs- an 8-year-old female border collie and 2-year-old male kelpie x border collie. Our neighbor has complained a couple of times that the younger one is barking incessantly all day and the older dog joining in on occasions. They hardly ever bark when we are home. My partner thought perhaps she was exaggerating however I have confirmed with another neighbour that there is some noise happening though apparently not constant. Of course the first thought would be boredom with working dogs however they do get a fair amount of exercise- 20 minute free run in the morning and 45 minute walk in the evening. We have a slatted fence at the side of house which gives the dogs a view of the street and I'm thinking of putting a solid fence to reduce stimuli from outside. Thoughts? I'm not sure if it's territorial barking, boredom barking or separation anxiety barking which makes it a little difficult to know what to do particularly as by its very nature you can't catch him doing it! He's not overly interested in playing with toys alone, we try leaving bones and other treats but the older dog is very dominant and tends to steal them all. Our neighbor is a dog owner too and keeps suggesting a citronella collar. I really don't believe in them as you're punishing natural behavior and not differentiating between causes however I'm thinking of getting one if only to appease our neighbour and demonstrate we are trying! Thoughts would be appreciated.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011


    I have a friend who uses a citronella collar on her dogs and swears by it. Personally I find them a bit cruel, though can't even explain why. But I suppose sometimes you just have to do what you have to do to keep the peace with your neighbours.

    I guess the only way to find out more about why he is barking would be to set up a camera outside. Might be worth a try?

  3. #3


    Can they be in the garage during the day?

  4. #4


    I have thought abt the garage idea but obviously not okay for hot days. Also my partner would HATE to do that and think it cruel to keep them locked up. Think I'll start with a tape recorder as a cheaper option just to get a true idea of pattern and frequency then might try camera. I honestly don't think the collar will work but planning to get one just to keep the peace.

  5. #5


    Its not cruel to keep 2 dogs in a garage during the day if you have plenty of water and they have access to the yard. I would put a couch or other bedding in there and treats and water and I bet they sleep most of the day away.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Southern NSW


    I think the 2 year old will need more to do.It is a very energetic breed and 20min free run with a 45 minute walk is not much. I do more with my newfies and they are a sedate Breed. We do a lot of Obedience type training with our dogs and agility to expend energy. Especially our BC X Golden. She would go insane if we did not give her lots of exercise. her brain is on the go constantly. We play a lot of hide and seek with her, which she loves and is a good exercise for her tracking. We do it outside and inside the house. And a special treat is mouse hunting in the barn, lots of energy is spent there. Obedience is also very tiring for dogs, because they have to think more. Tired dogs are quiet dogs.
    I walk mine for an hour before I go to work and they have free run of our garden (2acre) whilst I get ready for work, so when they come in they mostly sleep......
    In the evening we do training and swimming. And often they get to follow us around the arena or paddock, whilst we train horses. The BC cross loves this part, mostly the newf's lie in one spot and watch or go for a swim in one of the dams.
    So I just think your 2 year old is a bit bored and has a lot of energy to spend. Problem is once barking has become a habit, like all dog problems it becomes ingrained and is often self-satisfying for the dog, just like digging. So you may have to invest in a collar, though they are not 100% guarenteed.
    Entertainment, tiredness I think is what you will have to provide....Most likely if you lock up a Kelpie cross in a smaller area, it will become destructive to property or itself (chewing, licking)
    Pets are forever

  7. #7


    Newfsie- you may be right re not enough exercise, particularly in the morning. It's near impossible to tire him out. I do think two working dogs would go stir-crazy being confined to the garage all day, but others might disagree. They do have lots of different activities- swimming, oval-running, ball-chasing etc but perhaps they need more. Mornings are harder as we both leave early. Might start trying different tactics and monitoring results with neighbour.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2010


    if being in the garage shuts them up....I would do it. I think itd be fine. My guys spend the day in the washhouse when I am at work with water and toys and they are fine.

    Perhaps try the collar...I have never heard any stories about them though so dont have a real opinion.

    What about some brain toys with treats in them to keep them a little mentally stimulated?

    All I can say is try your hardest to stop it. Our neighbours dog barks constantly while they are not home, and being a dog owner I was patient at first and grateful because it makes our dogs look absolutely angelic. However, 3 months later it is starting to really piss me off. I still have to go round and put a note in their letter box (they live behind us) but the OH doesnt want me to, he wants to complain to council so soemthing gets done properly because we know, they know he barks all the time. Id rather give them the chance to fix it myself as I owuld hope for the same courtesy. While they know he barks, they might not think anyone else is annoyed by it if one of us doesnt say anything.

    What a good neighbour though to come and tell you its becoming a problem...not all neighbours would (as you can see by my OHs reaction lol).

    Good luck though....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Logan, Brisbane QLD


    We have a cattledog & he has boundless amounts of energy so in the morning we take him for a 30min bike ride, with the constant running he has to do to keep up this tires him out compared to when we walk him and in a smaller amount of time as i also have early morning starts. Both our dogs are kept in the garage, which is attatched to our pool area whilst i am at work, they both like to sit on the pool steps when they get too hot, then they generally lay in the garage area. I also place a board across the gate so they cannot see any activity going on in the street as that usually sets them off into barking mode

  10. #10


    Just a quick update on this. We have filled in the gaps in the palings of the fence so the dogs don't have a view of the street. This has apparently virtually eliminated barking. Neighbour has informed me that the only time he now barks is if another local dog starts him off. Thank goodness!

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