Greetings from the team at Hidden Fence, Australia!
Today, we’re diving into a topic that many dog owners find challenging: managing attention seeking barking. As dedicated professionals in pet care and behaviour training, we understand the nuances of this common issue and are here to offer practical advice and solutions.
Let’s delve into the heart of the matter. Attention seeking barking can disrupt the peaceful atmosphere of your home and can be a sign of deeper issues in your dog’s behaviour. After ruling out any underlying medical issues or environmental causes, the secret to tackling this issue effectively is rooted in prevention. But what if you’ve adopted an older dog or missed the early training window? Don’t worry, it’s never too late to address attention seeking barking, and we’re here to guide you through the process.
Intervention for Inadequate Early Training
If your dog missed out on early training or if previous training was insufficient, it’s crucial to start with understanding the cause of attention seeking barking. Is your dog barking due to boredom, anxiety, or as a response to environmental changes? Identifying the root cause is the first step towards effective intervention.
Revisit Basic Training Techniques
Once the cause is identified, begin with basic training techniques. Focus on commands like ‘sit’, ‘stay’, and ‘quiet’. Consistency is key. Ensure all family members use the same commands and rewards to avoid confusion. Positive reinforcement, such as treats or praise, is essential when your dog follows commands or exhibits good behaviour.
Establish a Regular Routine
Establishing a regular routine is an integral part of addressing attention seeking barking. Dogs thrive on consistency and predictability, which helps them feel secure and understand what is expected of them. They know the sound of your car or footsteps at the door. While they will exhibit some excitement to see you, avoid making a big fuss of them the moment you work through the door. Instead acknowledge them quietly and establish a regular routine for giving attention a few moments later when they are exhibiting calm behaviour.
Set a consistent schedule for feeding, walking, playtime, and rest. This not only helps reduce anxiety and boredom (which can contribute to attention seeking barking) but also aids in setting clear boundaries and expectations for your dog.
Incorporating training sessions into this routine can further reinforce good behaviour. Short, frequent training sessions are more effective than occasional, longer ones. Also, consider integrating mental stimulation into your dog’s routine. Puzzle toys, scent games, and interactive play can help keep your dog mentally engaged and less likely to resort to attention seeking behaviours.
A Note About Working From Home
The rise in working from home has presented unique challenges and opportunities for dog owners. On one hand, it allows more time with your pet and can help prevent separation anxiety, but on the other, it can inadvertently encourage attention seeking barking and dependency. Dogs might bark to gain attention or interact with you, especially when they notice you’re at home but not engaging with them. It’s important to set boundaries and help your dog understand that work time isn’t always playtime.
Creating a separate workspace can help your dog distinguish between work hours and leisure time. During work hours, engage your dog in quiet activities, like chewing a toy or resting in their bed. You could even incorporate a separate bed under your desk where they can enjoy being with you without demanding attention. Take regular breaks to interact with your dog, reinforcing the idea that they will get attention, but on a schedule. This balance helps your dog adjust to your presence at home without developing attention seeking behaviours.
Remember, a well-structured routine doesn’t just benefit your dog; it also makes your life easier. A predictable schedule will help you anticipate and manage your dog’s needs more effectively, creating a more harmonious environment for both you and your furry companion.
A regular routine will also help reduce any separation anxiety your dog may be experiencing.
Remember, retraining a dog that missed early training opportunities requires patience and persistence. Your dog may take longer to unlearn their established habits, but with consistent effort and the right approach, significant improvements can be achieved.
Use Training Aids
In cases where conventional training struggles to make an impact, it’s worth considering additional tools.
A bark collar, for instance, can be an effective supplement to your training efforts. At Hidden Fence, we recommend using a bark collar with adjustable settings to ensure it’s used as a consistent and predictable reminder rather than a punitive measure.
In summary, while attention seeking barking is a challenge, it’s not insurmountable. With the right training, understanding, and if necessary, the judicious use of training aids like bark collars, you can significantly reduce unwanted barking.
The Team at Hidden Fence is committed to helping you and your furry friend enjoy a peaceful and harmonious life together. Contact Us For Further Information