Barking for Attention


Experienced Member
Hey everyone!

Luke my 4 month old doxie has developed a habit that I hoped would not be an issue.. barking for attention...

When I am trying to do things on the computer, Luke will be on my bed and bark at me... and he won't stop... I tied to interrupt him by using "AHHH!!" It scared him at first then he thought It was the greatest thing... so I stopped.. :p

I gave him a kong.. That worked for 10 minutes and the barking continued.. My mom cannot stand this and told me to smack him! I refused to do such a thing!!

If you ignore him he will just keep barking... I might have the babysitter to blame for this… As he lets Luke bark all day... so now it have become a habit... :(

I was thinking about buying him a citrus collar, where it sprays a lemony liquid into the dogs face when they bark... they sell them at the traning centre I go to...

Please any advcie will help...




Experienced Member
Unless you know WHY he's barking the solution may be hard to arrive at. Smacking is never a solution regardless of the reason. It usually makes things worse. Your Mom is coming from her own childhood when she tells you this. It's probably how she grew up when we all knew a LOT less about dogs and their behavior. So you can tell your Mom I said BAD MOM :dogblush: Joking but just a little. Smacking a dog esp a puppy is never acceptable behavior.

If he's barking for attention then he's bored silly and needs some exercise like fetching in the house since it's really cold where you are. Teach some tricks and mentally stimulate him too. He should get out on leash a little each day. You'd go nuts if you spent most of your time in your room too. Tired puppy = happy quieter puppy. Get him some extra puppy kongs and feed him treats or his dinner in them/freeze them so it lasts during the times he's most likely to bark. Since he's little you'll have to watch the calories but apple sauce, mashed sweet potato, a little kibble, and plug the ends with just a bit of peanut butter so it won't leak and freeze it. Also be sure he has plenty of safe chewie toys.

There's a good book called Help I'm Barking and I Can't Be Quiet by Hetts and Estep. If not on Amazon it's on dogwise. When you AHHH it's still giving attention. You've seen kids throw tantrums even though they get in trouble. Any attention, even bad attention is attention. So he thought it was cool b/c he got the attention he wanted and you unintentionally reinforced the behavior. So he does it more. You could try stepping out of the room over a doggie gate and out of sight for a second or two. Step out and close the door and leave him for just a few seconds. It may take 5 or 20 times but if he figures out that you leave when he barks he'll quit. Do you ever watch It's Me or the Dog on Animal Planet? Victoria Stillwell teaches loads of dogs with this technique and I used it on my dogs with great success.

I wouldn't use a citrus collar-since it might scare him and make it worse and some dogs learn if they bark long enough the collar runs out. Where is the babysitter and where is Luke when all this barking is going on? Is there any chance he needs to potty and is barking? I suggest the baby sitter ignore him and that he be crated with a nice kong to chew on. He should also get a walk and some exercise every 3 hours preferably (maybe 4 max) at 4 months old.

What do you think is making him bark all day? Is the babysitter interacting at all?

Remember too that he is a baby so he's going to bark at least some and he has to learn which will take a little time.

I posted another post on kong recipes or you can google kong recipes puppy and find a lot of good ones. Also remember some people food is poisonous to dogs like chocolate and grapes. See