Reggie is about a year old and never barks when we are around, except to be let in (which we taught her). Last fall we fixed up the kennel in our backyard so we could let her hang out there during the day while we are at work. We thought everything was going great until our neighbor told us she was barking the entire day. I know she would love it out there, but we can't have her barking... How do we teach her not to bark when she doesn't do it when we are around? I am thinking of trying a citronella collar... Any other ideas?
I'd get more info from the neighbors first. Does 'barking all day' mean LITERALLY all day long. Is she hoarse when you get home? Exhausted?? Somehow, I don't think it's for an 8-hr period.
IF you can time it, maybe you can track it to when the mailman comes. Or a neighbor walks her Shih Tzu right by the kennel.
A bark collar may be your answer, but so too may be just finding out more information and addressing the issues that are present. If it is the mailman, can Reggie go into her outside kennel after the mailman leaves (by a neighbor or petsitter for example??). If it's boredom, you can always try getting a second dog! ;D
whether the barking is actually non-stop for the entire time or not, this neighbor has almost all of the power/rights in this situation in their hands, so please don't minimize the trouble they can potentially cause you & your dog. rest assured they are ALREADY fed up...it is not easy for most people to approach any neighbor with any complaint!
[and incidentally, i have experienced non-stop barking for 8+ hours, a day when i was home very sick....it is H*ll on Earth, believe me! furthermore, the dog appeared fresh & ready for more at the end of this time.]
dogs bark for a variety of reasons--stranger alert, joie de vive, boredom....it is incredibly self-rewarding to them, and a very natural behavior.
incidentally, i would not get another dog to distract/entertain the first--IMO a barker always 'converts' another dog into becoming a barker also.
your best, quickest, most reliable solution is a true 'bark collar' [NOT 'e-collar!!!!]which uses mild electrical stimulation, and works completely independently of you or your presense.
it is activated entirely by sensing vibration in the vocal cords, and dogs learn VERY quickly that 'bark = mosquito bite sensation''. [usually in less than 5 barks!] some even have warning tones which give the dog a 'heads up' & time to make a decision.
then they CHOOSE to refrain from barking.
some people have had results from citronella-spray collars, others have found them a dud, or not entirely successful. if you get one, be sure it is returnable! note the price difference is not much compared to the 'bark' collar, either.
i would personally not care for the idea of a stinging foreign substance [citronella] being sprayed into my dog's face/eye area.