Barking for AttentionThu, March 22, 2012,
Barking for attention is common among puppies and small dogs. It’s considered to be a negative and unwanted behavior, however, many owners unknowing encourage it.
As a puppy, many dogs will bark and jump to get their owner’s attention. Upon hearing the barking, owners cannot resist the urge to pick them up and pet them. They think that by doing this they are reassuring their dog that everything is okay. In reality they are actually rewarding the dog for their bad behavior.
If not corrected early, the dog will soon learn that barking and jumping is the best way to gain your attention. If the behavior is not properly addressed at the puppy stage, it will likely carry on into adulthood.
Correcting the Behavior
It’s okay for your dog to ask for attention, but you need to teach them that it’s something that’s earned and not given.
- The next time your dog starts to bark and jump on you, tell him to sit.
- When he obeys you, you can then give him the attention and affection he’s been asking for.
- However, if your dog continues to make noise, tell him to sit and only pet him, do not pick him up.
By only petting him, you’re showing that he has only gained part of your attention, and will soon realize that he has done something wrong.
Remember that dogs will often perceive any response to their behavior as a reward. The best way to stop unwanted behavior is by ignoring the behavior you don’t want and recognizing the behavior you do.
For more information on barking please read our article “The Bark”.