Behavior Tip of the Month
MY PUP BARKS AT ME CONSTANTLY, EVEN INSIDE OUR HOUSE. HELP!
"Woof, woof, woof! Pay attention to me!" A common reason dogs bark in the house is to get their owner's attention. Like a needy child, they crave constant interaction with their owner. Since barking is loud and irritating, we tend to punish the dog. However, getting punished is better than being ignored so this actually rewards your pup for barking.
A good rule in changing behavior is to "ignore bad behavior and reward the good."
For example, let's say that you have returned home and are coming into the house. Your puppy starts barking at you. He wants your to let him out of his kitchen pen. What can you do? Walk into the house with a book and some treats. As long as your pup is barking, turn your back on him. When he's quiet, turn towards him. When he barks again, turn your back to him again. If he keeps barking, read your book with your back towards him. Remember to face your pet and take a step toward him as soon as he is quiet.
Yes, you may be reading for an hour the first time. Eventually he will hush and you can praise him and give him a treat, but be patient. Your waiting time the next days will be shorter and shorter. He will learn he only gets what he wants by "hushing".
If your dog is constantly barking to get your attention, try these suggestions:
Set the timer for 2 minutes. Ignore your dog. If he barks, walk out of the room. When he's quiet, return. When the timer goes off, pet and treat him if he's quiet. Each day, increase the minutes on the timer.
Attention seeking dogs need strong human leaders they can respect. Otherwise, why should they obey you when you say "hush"? To be that strong leader, follow the NILF program. This stands for "Nothing In Life is Free". Simply put, it means your pup must sit for every good event in his life. He sits before eating, walking, petting, playing, etc.
Follow NILF and you will have a happier, more contented K9. Couple this with "Hush" and the "cold shoulder" when he barks. I believe you will hear the "sounds of silence" gradually increase at your house.
Best Friend Behavior Counseling and Training
San Diego, Ca.
"Positively teaching pets and their people since 1977"
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The information contained on this site is in no way intended to replace that of proper veterinary advice, diagnosis or treatment.
It is meant to provide resource, so that we can better understand canine health related issues.