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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-13-2012, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
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Clingey?

Mattingly is now 8 months and is a very loving and affectionate dog. He behaves very well with my grandchildren and he loves my son's two puppy Jack Russell Terriers. The issue now appears to be his desire for attention, some times, while I'm at the computer he barks for my attention, he continues despite my firm "NO" and only stops when I walk away from him and the computer, ignoring him. I can then go back to the computer and he generally quiets down for a few minutes.

He will also bark at me if I'm doing something around the house, again my tactic has been to walk away from him and completely ignore him. Most times this has the appropriate behavior response but sometimes he continues.

I beleive I am the "alpha male" in our relationship but it appears he is pushing the line when it comes to my attention. Any suggestions are welcome!

Thank you
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-13-2012, 09:30 AM
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I think this is pretty normal behavior. I think it happens out of boredom or if they need something like wanting to play, going to potty or a good scratch. Think of an eight month old puppy like a 5 year old child. They want attention and when they need something they need it now - this very minute. The good news is they do grow out of this behavior eventually (both kids and puppies).

I work from home and Eli would whine and scratch and sometimes bark for my attention when I was working or on a conference call - not very professional! It was driving me crazy. If the behavior persisted after a firm "no" I would throw a toy to distract him or give him something to chew (yes, I did bribe with food). The other thing you can try, if he's crate trained, is to put him in his crate in another room. Give him something to keep busy while in there. Just know this is a stage and it will pass.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-13-2012, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Jwill275 View Post
Mattingly is now 8 months and is a very loving and affectionate dog. He behaves very well with my grandchildren and he loves my son's two puppy Jack Russell Terriers. The issue now appears to be his desire for attention, some times, while I'm at the computer he barks for my attention, he continues despite my firm "NO" and only stops when I walk away from him and the computer, ignoring him. I can then go back to the computer and he generally quiets down for a few minutes.

He will also bark at me if I'm doing something around the house, again my tactic has been to walk away from him and completely ignore him. Most times this has the appropriate behavior response but sometimes he continues.

I beleive I am the "alpha male" in our relationship but it appears he is pushing the line when it comes to my attention. Any suggestions are welcome!

Thank you
You don't have to worry about being "alpha". This is an outdated and incorrect theory of how dogs (or even wolves) operate.

Ellie is right, think of your little guy as a small child right now. He wants your attention, and is trying to figure out the best way to get it. What he is doing is called "demand barking". Most puppies try it to some extent, some are worse than others. Kodi was HORRIBLE about it when he was an adolescent.

You are doing the right thing by TOTALLY ignoring him when he does it. Even saying "no" to him is giving him your attention, which is exactly what he wants. It can be very frustrating, because it often happens that they bark MORE for a while before they finally give up, but eventually he will get the message that this is NOT how to get your attention. Sometimes just totally turning your back to them can be enough to remind them that this is not acceptable.

It is important to remember when working on curbing demand barking to make sure that you DO give him PLENTY of attention when he's quiet and behaving politely. It's sometimes such a relief when they finally leave you alone, that you kind of want to "let sleeping dogs lie". But these quiet moments are exactly the times you want to reward, not with any wild play, but with a little cuddle and a cookie.

Finally, getting rid of excess energy before you need them to be quiet will make it easier on both of you. A nice brisk 45 minute walk in the morning will take the edge off. He'll be more apt to want to nap than play for a while!

Like Ellie, I work from home, and those adolescent months were very trying. I'd say from 8 to 18 months were the worst with the demand barking. (but Kodi was about as bad as they get in this department!) There were days that I thought I'd never get any work done again!! Kodi is now 2 3/4. and all that is a (bad) memory. He spends his day curled up on the couch in my office, except to follow me to the kitchen when I get a cup of tea, or to come over politely every now and then for a little cuddle. He is great company! In the afternoon we go out for a walk together, and he still has a wild RLH time in the early evening. But he doesn't pester anymore. I'm sure part of it is training, but part of it is just plain growing up, too!


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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-13-2012, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
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thank you ! Mattingly doesn't behave this way when he has played with my son's dogs in the backyard for an hour or so during the day. So you are probably right about the boredom. After a day of play he collapses by 7 pm! Thanks again, I was afraid I was giving him too much attention.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-13-2012, 01:06 PM
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Baxter did this. Drove me crazy. I took the advice I got on this form and turned my head away from him when he barked for attention. It worked so well. He stopped completely within two or three days. DH couldn't believe i could actually train him to stop. Now, sometimes he will "silent bark" -- or just mouth a bark, when he really wants something. It is very funny.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-13-2012, 05:15 PM
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At 8 months, he is at that 'challenging' age where they test you a bit. Stick to your guns! Gucci would do that when she wanted to play and have me throw her stuffed toys around so she could chase after them, depending on how busy I am, I will stop for 3-5 minutes to play with her, I figure she needs the exercise and it would wear her out for a nap. Sometimes, I just say no and she'll eventually go sulk and I'll play with her when I can, I think you can still meet them halfway sometimes without losing alpha, I guess it depends if they need to play or go out, or are hungry, etc.

Kara
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-13-2012, 05:45 PM
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They seem to start the barky business around 8 months of age. I know Brody sure developed it and it's a struggle because he was doing it at work; barking for attention, barking whenever anyone came in the shop, barking if he heard people talking, etc. He went from my nice quiet boy who was really welcome at work, to a dog in danger of no longer being tolerated there which would really not work for me as I have no other options.

At home, I can ignore or turn my back on him as much as possible (I'm in an apartment and so I can't just let him go on forever) or I'll put him in his crate and lock the door and let him out when he's settled down. At work, however, I just can't let it happen so I have to do something. I have had, on a couple of occasions had to take his crate, with him in it and put it in my car for a while. Then I'd bring him back in and if he started again, out again he went. He also has a citronella bark collar to remind him. While these aren't my favourite choices, I can't have him barking at work and risk being told I can no longer bring him in.

Anyhow, every day last week and so far far today (and it's almost quitting time) he's been quiet and not barking at everything. It's been 4 months of this, so I am really hoping he's getting it that he needs to be quiet at work.

Tracy and Brody


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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-13-2012, 06:35 PM
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Dexter wanted or needed attention a lot when he was younger, he was so active! He wore me out. We had to run him outside in the late evening to wear him out. They just want to play. A tired Hav is a good Hav.



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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 06:08 PM
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Mattingly is a cutie from what I can see in your avatar . . . any chance we can see a few more pics?

Also try rewarding him for being quiet as well!
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 02:02 AM
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Originally Posted by misstray View Post
They seem to start the barky business around 8 months of age. I know Brody sure developed it and it's a struggle because he was doing it at work; barking for attention, barking whenever anyone came in the shop, barking if he heard people talking, etc. He went from my nice quiet boy who was really welcome at work, to a dog in danger of no longer being tolerated there which would really not work for me as I have no other options.

At home, I can ignore or turn my back on him as much as possible (I'm in an apartment and so I can't just let him go on forever) or I'll put him in his crate and lock the door and let him out when he's settled down. At work, however, I just can't let it happen so I have to do something. I have had, on a couple of occasions had to take his crate, with him in it and put it in my car for a while. Then I'd bring him back in and if he started again, out again he went. He also has a citronella bark collar to remind him. While these aren't my favourite choices, I can't have him barking at work and risk being told I can no longer bring him in.

Anyhow, every day last week and so far far today (and it's almost quitting time) he's been quiet and not barking at everything. It's been 4 months of this, so I am really hoping he's getting it that he needs to be quiet at work.
I just moved in to a home where we now have 4 dogs. The barking is just like what you are describing only times four. I am getting really sick of it.I just read a trick . I haven't tried it . You put pennies in a can or jar . You allow the dog to bark to let you know someone is coming or what ever. Give them a praise. Or just a pat and say something nice. Then if they continue to bark say quiet and shake the can. I read most dogs hate the noise. The article said now her dog only needs to see the can and will stop barking.

Maddie at 5mo old
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