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Old 05-11-2007, 07:17 PM   #1
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Default Barking for attention

When we are watching TV in the evening, Eppie always seems to bark at us for attention. I assume actually giving her attention when she barks is a bad thing, so we usually shut her out of the room for a bit. When we let her back in, she just barks again. So we shut her out again. It seems like a vicious circle - she barks for attention, so we don't give her attention, so she barks for attention, so we give her even less attention....Is there any way out of the vicious circle?

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Old 05-11-2007, 09:08 PM   #2
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I definitely would not give her attention when she's barking. When she's barking, go to her, grab her collar & firmly say, NO BARK & take her to her leash, put it on her & start some sort of training exercises until she's calm. Praise when she's calm. Redirect her mind & give her something else to think about.
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Old 05-11-2007, 09:25 PM   #3
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I don't think I would use collar-grabbing as a correction, because she could grow up fearing having her collar grabbed, which would be a bad thing if you needed to do it in an emergency.
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Old 05-12-2007, 12:06 AM   #4
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only one way... IGNORE her, dont even push her out of the room.
First weeks will be a pain then you wont have to worry again....
you must be more stubborn than the dog.
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Old 05-12-2007, 12:11 AM   #5
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Although I can see your point about grabbing the collar, I'm going to have to disagree. I'm quite confident that any dog who lived in my house for more than a week would be quite comfortable and confident about my putting my hand on its collar to lead him to another location (i.e., to head toward that leash). If we were talking about a rescue dog with suspicious history, I might feel differently.
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Old 05-12-2007, 12:54 AM   #6
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I'm still for ignoring the dog. Not even putting it out of the room. Just act like the dog doesn't even exist. It's just like crate training. Barking should get the dog nowhere, whether it's positive or negative.
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Old 05-12-2007, 12:59 AM   #7
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Cheetah, lots of people swear by the ignore method. I'll bet more people will agree with you than with me on this one. I just haven't ever had any success with it & found myself in the same never ending cycle.
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Old 05-12-2007, 02:11 AM   #8
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Oh hey guys I can fix you right up. In the last couple of weeks I've become the ultimate expert on barking dogs. JK

If you've never heard the high pitched, screaming bark of a mini Schnauzer as he slams into the screen door when he spies a cat racing across the front porch; you've missed a real bone chiller. If I'd have ignored Nikki's barking, he'd have continued until his voice was gone and he'd fallen over from exhaustion. Or I'd have killed him.

He's been an apartment dweller his whole life and they kept their front door closed so he wasn't used to seeing any kind of foot traffic much less cats. When he moved in with me it was a whole other story. My front door is open all day and there is a steady stream of pedestrians, kids playing, ice cream trucks, package deliveries and lots of cats!

I've got him down now to just one yip when he spots someone new and a slight forward jump and one yip when the cats run past. It's taken very little physical effort but a tremendous amount of consistency. When the cats come in to feed now, he'll actually lay in front of the door and try to stare them down. But at least he does that quietly...

First of all I came up with a word he wasn't already famiiar with. "stop"!
The first couple of days I'd walk up behind him, take hold of his collar, set him firmly back a foot or so and tell him "stop" all at the same time. Now, if he forgets himself and begins to bark, all I have to do is clap my hands and say "stop".

We're still working on the back yard barking due to people barking back at him through the fence--but we're making progress there too--just a little slower.
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Old 05-13-2007, 05:13 PM   #9
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Nobody has said the obvious - in my opinion this is just a puppy trying to get your attention, which is not an evil or unusual behaviour. I totally agree with Cheetah in that I would ignore the pup whilst she is barking since you have to be very careful not to reinforce the barking. This includes eye contact (which is often where people go wrong - dog barks, you look at dog).

BUT, and this is the really important bit which will speed up the process and break the cycle, as soon as the dog is quiet again call her over, perhaps ask her to sit, and reward her lavishly with your attention. If there is no difference between being quiet and barking then she will become frustrated and more inclined to bark. Make the consequences really clear for her.

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