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Barking For Attention

Stop giving your dog attention, and it will stop!

Important points:

Attention barking is exactly that; your dog is barking at you for your attention!

If you do any of the following when your dog barks…

  • Speak to your dog (This includes saying thank you!)
  • make eye contact with your dog
  • touch your dog
  • give your dog what he wants
  • take your dog for his walk
  • give him his dinner

……..then you reinforce the barking, make it worse, and it will continue. You must not do any of the above!

It may stop it short-term but not long-term. You are making the problem worse.

Not all barking is bad!

There are a few occasions when the bark is a good thing, and this is fine. For example:

  1. Your dog needs to get outside to go to the toilet!
  2. Something is up, and you should go and investigate (this is very rare!).

There are not that much more. Apparently, dogs will bark if they see or hear something strange and alert you, but as you can see from the list, your dog should not be barking out orders at you.

The solution

  1. Make sure that nothing is up and that your dog does not need to go toilet!
  2. Ignore – No touching, eye contact or speaking. Continue to do this for as long as you can remain calm.
  3. Isolate your dog calmly without a word.
  4. Let your dog out only when he is silent and has been for 30 seconds or more.
  5. Repeat this.
  6. If your dog continues to bark then Increase the length of time out if necessary.

While your dog may take a little while to get the message; then your dog will get it.


Dan’s Q&A

Q: Why does my dog bark at me but stop as soon as I pat him?

A: Think about Rule No.4 ‘Everything on your terms.’ Your dog understands this rule and is only reinforcing his position as the pack leader. If your dog could speak he would be saying “Hey you, pat me now……!” Some dogs just want to be talked to, and that is why unless there is the danger you shouldn’t say a word!


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