Thursday, March 21, 2013
Bark all about it! De-stressing tip three: How to stop "give me that" barking
Do you have a dog that tends to bark in order to get something from you? There are lots of reasons why dogs bark, as it is their dominant means of communication, but this persistent “give-me-that” barking is when a dog continuously barks at you until they get what they want. As stressful and annoying as this behavior can be, “give me that” barking can be an easy thing to correct. Eliminating it can be simple, but the key is to be consistent.
The most common times your dog will bark are during dinner (to beg for food), playtime (to get you to throw a toy) and just before going outside (when seeing a leash), all in order to get your attention. Let’s break down these specific examples of “give-me-that” barking, and what tools you can use in order to discourage the behavior.
Barking for playtime: If your dog drops a tennis ball on your lap and starts to bark at you to get you to play, it is a prime example of “give-me-that” barking. You want to discourage this behavior by taking the toy away and ignoring your dog until they calm down. Once they stop barking and are calm, the toy can be brought back out, at least until they bark at you again. Keep repeating the same steps until your dog will play with you without barking. It is important to be on top of this behavior and reward your dog by initiating play while they are calm, before they get to the point of excited barking. A dog that is already wound up will tend to bark more as a way of releasing their energy.
Barking when putting on a leash: If your dog begins to bark at you when you are at the door with their leash in your hand, it’s important to put the leash away and sit back down in order to get rid of the behavior. Once your dog is calm, you can get up to bring your dog out again, but you must keep repeating the behavior until they stop barking. The process may seem long and tedious at first, but repeating this action will be worth it when you consistently get the desired behavior from your dog.
Barking at the table for food: Barking at the dinner table in order to get food can be extremely common with dogs. Not only is it an annoying habit, but it can be very stressful for the owner. As with other “give-me-that” barking, eliminating this behavior can be easy if you regularly follow the same steps. If your dog is barking at the table, you can try consistently giving them a time out, a small 30 second period where they are away from the family, until the behavior subsides. Another option is training your dog to do something else during your meals. A great example would be “spot,” or training your dog to go and stay in a particular place (preferably away from the table) until you release them.
If your pooch fits into one of these pesky barking habits, remember that this kind of training takes patience and consistence. If all else fails, consult a professional for advice! Morris K9 Campus offers training to help correct this behavior. Call 973-252-5100 for more information or visit www.MorrisK9Campus.com.