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View Full Version : Barking to get my attention



Smac11231
31st July 2007, 03:09 PM
I have a problem that I know if mostly of my own making. My eight month-old Penny barks to get my attention, whether I'm sitting on the couch watching television or at the computer trying to get work done. She sits very specifically staring at me and then starts barking if I don't pay attention to her.

I know I'm not supposed to reward barking and am supposed to distract her with something (a toy, etc.) but isn't that giving her attention for a behavior I don't want? If I do give her a toy she grabs it, plays for a second and then starts barking again to get me to give up what I'm doing and come play. Because we live in an apartment building with lots of neighbors who enjoy their peace and quiet, I end up giving in to hush her up.

Suggestions?

loveisokay
31st July 2007, 03:19 PM
My dog does something similar to this & I also live in an apartment.

Have you taught her the quiet command? Usually, I can pick up the signs of when she's about to bark at me so I quickly ask her to do something (sit or lie) & she does this but if she barks I sternly say no & walk off or face the other way. Teach her that behaving gets your attention & barking doesn't.

You might have to go through a bad strain of her desperately getting your attention to teach her it doesn't work. Matter of short or long term results, I'm afraid.

Caraline
1st August 2007, 03:15 AM
I know I'm not supposed to reward barking and am supposed to distract her with something (a toy, etc.) but isn't that giving her attention for a behavior I don't want?

You are right on there. "Distracting" her with a toy is giving her attention and this is not what you want to be doing.

You need to ignore her completely. I know this is difficult when you have a dog barking at you but it needs to be done. Do not respond to her in any way. Do not scold her, do not look at her. Totally behave as though she does not exist. As soon as you give in, she has won & you have reinforced her behaviour, so you must be consistent & persistent with this.

If she persists to the point that you can no longer ignore her, then quietly take her to a different room, place her in her crate & put a cover over it. Walk out & close the door. Then ignore her and do not let her out until she is quiet.

Good luck. I know this is difficult, but it is a case of pay the price now & reap the benefits in the future. :flwr: