August 29th, 2011

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  • severus

barking for attention

Marty has recently (within the past few weeks) picked up the habit of barking for attention. He's a year and a half old and until this recent developement he was a pretty quiet boston. He would bark if he heard a noise or someone came over but in general barking was never a problem. I understand that dogs bark and I have tried everything to see if it's something he needs or if he's upset in some way but I'm convinced it's just for attention. I've been trying nonstop to praise him endlessly when he's quiet and show him that he gets MORE attention when he doesn't bark at me but nothing is working. I've had to resort to putting him in his crate and covering it with a blanket until he barks himself to sleep. To give you a good example of exactly what I mean this was my day last Saturday:

He started barking after Steven, my fiance, left for work. I thought he had to go out so I took him outside for about 20 minutes. We walked the perimiter of my apartment complex which is about a mile. He went and when we got back inside he was quiet for about 10 minutes and then started barking at me again. I got his ball and threw it with him for about an hour when he stopped bringing it back anymore. I thought he was tired. Nope instead he'd just bark at me until I said "go get your toy!!" He'd get the ball, I'd throw it, he'd bark at me. This continued for another hour. Finally I went and got a handful of his food and decided to work on his training again. I was watching "It's Me or The Dog" and Victoria said to praise for being quiet. So I'd give him a treat if he was quiet for a minute, then 2, etc. As soon as the food was gone he barked at me again. He barked until I had a migraine and was crying. I just KNOW he's doing this for attention and it's so hard to ignore it and not want to yell. Everything I've read says that yelling is just giving him want he wants, attention!

Have any of you ever had a problem like this? We live in an apartment and he gets a lot of walks. We rotate his toys so he doesn't get bored with them and we play with him A LOT. I just want to strangle him hahahah. He doesn't do it with Steven because Steven plays really rough with him and wears him out. I can only do so much!!!

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