Pet Education & Training Services
Q: I think my dog is lonely. My neighbor says she cries and barks
all day while I'm at work. Should I get her another dog or a cat
as a companion?
©2011 Julie Bond | Pet Education & Training Services
A: Hmmm. This may not solve the problem you actually have.
First, we have to determine why your dog is barking and crying, how long the barking/crying persists (all day, on and off throughout the day, just after you leave, etc.) and when it’s happening (only when you leave for work, for example, or any time you leave the house).
You’ll also want to find out whether or not the dog barks/cries if you leave the house and someone else is home with him. These factors are all important because they help to determine whether incessant barking is a sign of simple boredom or a symptom of underlying anxiety.
Separation anxiety does occur in dogs, and owners who try to treat it solely with the addition of a companion pet find that their problems only multiply. In fact, additional animals may actually increase the first pet's anxiety and can intensify other behavior problems.
My best advice here is to seek out the help of a local professional behaviorist who can help you get to the root of the real problem (why the barking is going on in the first place) and put you on the path to an effective solution.