Become a digitalPLUS subscriber. $12 for 12 weeks.
Lifestyle Pets

Ask the Pet Expert | Dog barks at neighbors

I adopted a 2-year-old shepherd mix from the shelter a few months ago. He's a great dog and very smart, and has never made a mess in the house. When I came home from work today, my neighbor said he's barking at her every time she walks by with her dogs. I know what she means because he does that sometimes when I'm home, too. I don't want my neighbors complaining or calling animal control about the noise. How can I make him stop doing this?

Even if your neighbor wasn't complaining, it's best to nip this behavior in the bud. It can lead to other issues. Dogs that bark in windows also often start barking and even lunging on leash walks. We think it's a combination of boredom and frustration.

Make sure you are giving your dog plenty of exercise and mental stimulation on a daily basis. If you're not already doing so, take your dog for a walk each morning before you leave for work. Give him a Kong or Nylabone to chew on while you're at work. Leave the television or radio on a relaxing station to drown out the street noise. 

I'm a big believer in setting a dog up for success by not giving him the opportunity to fail. You can do this by crating him. The purpose of the crate is to create a safe, cozy environment where the dog can relax while you're at work. If for whatever reason you can't use a crate and the dog is house-trained, baby gates are a good alternative. Set it up in the kitchen or a spare room away from the front door. For some dogs a simple visual barrier is enough to deter the barking, so close the blinds or install vinyl film that obscures his vision but still lets light in.

This week's expert is Pauline Houliaras, certified professional trainer and behavior consultant and president of B-More Dog. Send your questions to

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Adoptable pets at Baltimore-area shelters
    Adoptable pets at Baltimore-area shelters

    Here's a collection of a few of the dogs, cats and other critters in the Baltimore area who need homes. Be sure to check with the shelter before you go to verify that the animal you want is still there.

  • Acupuncture for pets
    Acupuncture for pets

    A growing number of dogs, cats and other pets are receiving alternative healing treatments

  • Collared: Readers' pets
    Collared: Readers' pets

    Read about local pets, or share your own story. We're interested in cats and dogs, but also hamsters, hedgehogs, turtles, horses, chickens -- the whole pet gamut. For more information, email and be sure to put "Collared" in the subject line.

  • Four new dog breeds added to American Kennel Club
    Four new dog breeds added to American Kennel Club

    The American Kennel Club has recognized four more dog breeds, including a Spanish fishing dog and a South African guard dog, in a move allowing them to compete in prestigious canine competitions nationwide.

  • Baltimore Humane Society opening pet-food bank
    Baltimore Humane Society opening pet-food bank

    The Baltimore Humane Society is opening a new food bank for people who need assistance with the cost of feeding their pets.

  • Meet Bay Bay
    Meet Bay Bay

    Meet Bay Bay, the Pet of the Week at the SPCA of Anne Arundel County. She's been waiting for a forever home for a whole year. Visit for more information.