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Fergus is definitely doing attention barking and it goes on and on and on. We've tried ignoring, to no avail... we just get more and louder barking (and jump attacks).
ignoring seldom works with attention seeking behavior a a number of reasons

1. most of the behavior are or have been inadverently reward. If they continue to be rewarded even on a intermitten level it oll strengthens the behavior. Behaviors that have been rewarded in the base and then are no longer successful simply do not go away, they get worse much worse before extinction would occur through a phenonenom known as an extinction burst

2. ignoring the behavior does not change the undelying emotional state causing the behavior. That is needing attention so if one behavior does not work the dog will simply come up with a even more obnoxious behavior that simply can not be ignored.

things that do work are 1. teaching the dog a more appropriate behavior to get your attention. The biggest problem with this method is to many people find it too easy to ignore the appropriate behavior, which then means it does not work for the dog so it must seek out a more effective and more obnoxious behavior.

being proactive in giving the dog the attention they need if the dog does not need to seek out the attention in the first place the behavior does not occur. A lack of mental and physical stimulation often leads to attention seeking behavior. Many do not realize is they think because the walk the dog twice a day it ies getting exercise. For most dog a walk at human pace is not excerise, the sniff etc can be mentally stimulating but it not exercise.

tug of war


[A little help with games, training, keeping new pup busy please?

Rather than having to maintain prolonged attention lock at reward etc that provide extend time period that you need not be focus on you like

kong Stuffing

buster Cube

Manners Minder

Render the attention as soon as the dog asks for it. A quicker response keep the behaviaor from esculating and over time the dog feels less need to ask for attention as well. It is the basis for the Harmonny Programme
It is so simple – following the “crying baby” model for filling the need as soon as it arises, ASBDs (atttention seeking behaivor disorders) can be entirely avoided as well as cured by giving focussed attention immediately and as soon as the request has been received.

This does not mean one has to put one’s entire life on hold or “run rings around the creature” – it is literally a simple little flash of attention at the right time and when first asked for it; the classic “a stitch in time saves nine” principle.

Rather than “rewarding” attention seeking behaviour, it never gets to escalate, the creature’s energy system remains balanced and the disturbed behaviours never need take place at all.

As the babies who are fed when they are hungry cry markedly less or not at all, creatures who receive attention energy (or love or recognition energy) when they ask for it, their attention seeking behaviours become markedly less frequent, markedly less dramatic and may cease altogether once the system has been in operation for a while and the creature has understood that not only can it get what it needs just the for the asking, but also it’s energy system has become more robust, more healthy, more resilient and won’t collapse when there is a time when attention is in short supply
Load noise, squirt bottles etc for most dogs are not punishment. Using the behavioral definition of punishment as somthing the reduces the likelihood of a behavior form reoccuring. What they are is disruptive stimuli. They stop the unwanted behavior temporarily, so they give you the oppurtunity to train a more appropriate behavior see Citronella Collar for more information on how the work and there effectiveness vs punishment.
[...]The concept of "disruptive stimulus" results from behavioral patterns. It can be defined as a jarring stimulus that interrupts the course of the sequence, which produces an expectation stage enabling enticement of the pet to another (desired) activity. The present study starts from this definition to show the usefulness of a citronella spray (device called ABOISTOP?, by DYNAVET, France) as such a stimulus in dogs showing territorial barking. 52 dogs spending at least 4 hours a day in a garden adjacent to a busy street were included. The trial compares the effects of a punitive stimulus consisting of a garden-hose spraying water, to the ABOISTOP? collar. Treatment was allocated at random. Once a week, each owner noted the frequency of barking towards 10 pedestrians. A first control was done on day 0 (which provides the reference figure), then every seventh day till day 35 when therapy was stopped. Relapses were to be assessed on day 90. It should be noted that every bark interruption by the device was immediately followed by a play session initiated by the owner (redirection of behavior). [emphasis inserted by Doug] In the "punishment group" we could note a sudden cessation of barking, as early as on day 7, which was subsequently steady until day 28. In the "disruptive group" the decrease of barking was more gradual (48.6% barking on day 7 - 16.9% on day 14) and a total disappearance could be heard by day 21. In addition, the relapse rate on day 90 was 86% in the "punishment group" versus 3.8% in the "disruptive group".
The think to all so consider is that barking is a normal and to some extent necessary dog behavior. As such many people try and control in in such a way that is contray to the natural fiber of a dog. quite fankly some dogs are more vocal than other trying to supress it is likely to fail. I have some that simply can not play without barking and other that are silent. Trying to change this natural hard wiring in a dog is an uphill battle that is general doomed to failure. Some dogs need and appropriate outlet to bark Most dog nuscense laws require barking in excess of 15 minutes continiuosly. If you have a play barker keep the secession below 15 minutes but don't ask or expect the dog to be quite either. it is not going to happen.
"You Won the Prize!"

10 Tips for Problem Behaviour

Pay particular attention on the section about allowing a dog to be a dog.

An abnormal amount of attention seeking can also be a sign of a dog without much self control Look at the [A little help with games, training, keeping new pup busy please? thread for self control training idea, pay attention to rewarding non[behavior. any dog can learn to live calmly, relaxation protocol.

If you focus solely on the behavior and not work a a solution for the cause you are going to have a hard time getting the behavior under control.

· Registered
9,871 Posts
What has worked for you? Is the next step teaching him a quiet command?
I never hasd success training a quite/shiss command. It may speak more to my inadequacies than the effectiveness of the technique. BUt if you look at those that say how good it work is there is generally a but or an exception , when there are buts or excepts I question the effectiveness. Sort of like those saying how effective squirt bottles are via "all I have to do is get the spray bottle out and he stops." An effective behavior modification means the unwanted behavior does not occur in the first place not that you can disrupt the behavior once it started. I have a higher standard or definition of "effective" when it comes to dog training than most.
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