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  • April Schrader, CPDT-KA

Attention Barking: 5 Tips to Stop It Now

As a dog owner, you've probably experienced demand barking. It's when your dog barks at you repeatedly, demanding your attention or something they want, such as food, a toy, or to go outside. This type of barking can be annoying and frustrating, but it's a common behavior problem that can be addressed with proper training.

There are several reasons why dogs demand bark. It could be due to boredom, anxiety, or simply because they have learned that barking gets them what they want. Regardless of the reason, the key to stopping demand barking is to teach your dog that this behavior is not acceptable and that there are better ways to communicate their needs.

Here are 5 tips to help you stop attention seeking barking:

  1. Ignore the barking: One effective method to put an end to attention seeking barking is to simply ignore the barking. This means not giving in to your dog's demands, whether it's attention, food, or a toy. Responding to the attention seeking barking by giving in to their demands will only reinforce the behavior and make it more difficult to stop. When your dog begins to demand bark, the best thing to do is to simply walk away or go into another room until they stop barking. Once your dog stops barking, it's important to also reward them for being quiet. By doing so, you are reinforcing the quiet behavior and teaching your dog that being quiet is the right way to get what they want.

  2. Teach an alternative behavior: Teaching your dog an alternative behavior to replace barking can be an effective way to stop attention-seeking barking. You can start by teaching your dog a simple cue such as "sit" or "place". When your dog starts to bark for attention, give them the cue for the alternative behavior and reward them when they comply. This will teach your dog that being quiet and performing the alternative behavior will lead to a reward, rather than barking.

  3. Be consistent: Consistency is one of the most important factors in effectively stopping your dog's demand barking. This means that everyone in your household should be on board with the plan and understand how to handle the situation when your dog starts barking for attention. If one person gives in and rewards the dog for attention seeking barking while another person ignores it, the dog will become confused and the barking behavior will continue. To ensure consistency, it's important to establish a clear plan of action for how to handle attention seeking barking in your household. This plan should include steps for removing the motivation for barking, teaching alternative behaviors, and ignoring the barking until it stops. Everyone in the household should be aware of the plan and be willing to stick to it.

  4. Provide plenty of exercise and mental stimulation: Boredom or a lack of mental stimulation in a dog's life can contribute to attention seeking barking. Dogs that are not given enough physical exercise or mental stimulation may turn to demand barking as a way to seek attention and entertainment. Therefore, it is important to make sure that your dog is getting enough exercise and mental stimulation to prevent this type of behavior. Physical exercise can include activities like daily walks, runs, or playtime in the backyard. Mental stimulation can include puzzle toys, interactive games, and training sessions that challenge your dog's mind. By providing your dog with enough exercise and mental stimulation, you are not only preventing demand barking but also promoting their overall health and well-being.

  5. Seek professional help: If your dog's demand barking is persistent and you're having trouble stopping the behavior, it may be time to seek professional help. A certified professional dog trainer can work with you and your dog to address the behavior problem and develop a training plan that works for your specific situation. With the help of a professional, you can learn how to effectively communicate with your dog and teach them alternative behaviors that are more appropriate plan.

In conclusion, demand barking can be a frustrating behavior to deal with as a dog owner, but it's not an unsolvable problem. By implementing the tips outlined in this article, such as ignoring the barking, teaching alternative behaviors, and providing enough exercise and mental stimulation, you can help your dog learn more appropriate ways to communicate their needs.

If you're struggling with attention-seeking barking and need help, don't hesitate to contact us at Best Buddy Dog Trainer today. Our certified professional trainers can help you address the behavior problem and develop a personalized training plan that fits your specific needs. Sign up for our services today and start enjoying a quieter and happier life with your furry companion. Don't wait, take action now and give your dog the training they need to thrive!

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