More of us are working from home than ever before. As of January 2021, over half of American workers were “always” or “sometimes” working from home. While the convenience of working remotely may have seemed enjoyable at first—if you’re working from home with a dog, you probably noticed some challenges cropping up.
If you’re on work calls for a chunk of the day or you need quiet in order to concentrate at work, dog barking throughout the day has likely become an annoyance in your household. They always seem to bark at the most inopportune times—like when you’re speaking on a group video call, or when something important comes up during a chat that you need to hear.
And while you may have an understanding dog owner on the call with you, these loud dog barking interruptions can be annoying and stressful to deal with.
While we can’t guarantee that these tips on how to get a dog to stop barking while you’re working from home will work every time—we are dealing with animals, here!—it’s worth a shot to apply these tactics.
How to Get Dog Barking to Stop When Working from Home
Try these dog behavior tips in order for your dog to behave better and end dog barking while on work calls.
1. Get them moving.
If it’s possible, take your pooch on a morning walk before the workday begins. Tiring them out will help them be more likely to sleep during the day (yay!) and the mental and physical stimulation can help them be better behaved. If you can’t find the time to take a work break to get your dog out during the day, hiring a dog walker can help. (Maybe even schedule their walk during an important call time.)
2. Play with them.
Chances are, they’re stoked that you’ve been working from home and have more availability to give them love and affection. Giving your dog attention before and after work in addition to going on the walk will help them get that recognition they desire so they don’t start barking for your attention while you’re working. You might want to give them a special (quiet) dog toy when you have calls scheduled or put a delicious dog treat inside a dog puzzle that will keep them engaged when you need silence and concentration. Taking a few breaks throughout the day to praise, pet and hug them will go a long way—for both of you! (And isn’t one of the best perks of working from home being able to cuddle with your pet throughout the day?)
3. Change their surroundings.
If your dog tends to bark when they can see out the front window at trucks and neighbors passing by, consider crating them or closing them off in a comfortable area where they can’t see or hear what’s going on. It’s also wise to keep the doors closed and curtains or blinds drawn so they can’t see the neighbor’s dog on his walk from where they are lounging. If your dog tends to bark for your attention while in the room where you work, either move them into another room and/or turn away and ignore them.
4. Have them do something else.
Train your dog to do another behavior when they start barking. Consider having them lay down in their dog bed and be quiet. It’ll take consistent training and plenty of dog treats but training your dog to be quiet on your command and doing a different task will help you end dog barking that happens while working from home.