Dog Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have a one year old Golden Retriever which we brought home when he was an eight week old puppy.
He's a big softy who loves affection and being together.

At about 5 months old he started attention seeking barking. This was bad enough but that has for some months now "progressed" into barking at everything.

We have a large garden/yard (60ft x 40ft) which he has free run of. Every morning we let him out into the garden and after about five minutes I go out with him for a play session of about half an hour. I then come back into the house to get his breakfast ready, after which I call him to come eat. After he's finished eating he goes back into the garden. Then usually after several minutes have passed he come back into the house and starts his attention seeking barking. Eventually, I have no option than to go out and play more with him. I feel that this is giving in to his barking, but at least he stops.

His extended repertoire of barking consists of barking at just about anything as and when he feels like it. He will bark at anybody walking down the street, which is just adjacent to our garden. He's even mastered the art of barking while lying down.

The problem is really bad and is driving my wife and I crazy. It is only a matter of time before one or more of our neighbors complains. As you know, GR's have one of the loudest barks of all dogs.

Any help and advice will be much appreciated.

Neil J
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,209 Posts
A couple of things come to mind. If you playing with him is his main source of stimulation, maybe he is bored. Do you walk him, and do other activities like trick training, scent work or anything else?

The other thing is that you could teach him a 'quiet' cue but if he is bored he will just get frustrated at that - a little bit like taking the battery out of a fire alarm; the noise stops but your house still burns down.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Joanne,

Thank you for your quick reply.

Yes, my wife and I take him for a walk once a a day. Which, he absolutely loves. I have not tried trick training or scent working yet. I'll need to find out how that works.

I agree the problem could be boredom. But, my wife and I are home all day, I am retired. It's not as if we are away a lot of the day.

.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
258 Posts
I agree the problem could be boredom. But, my wife and I are home all day, I am retired. It's not as if we are away a lot of the day.
How much of that time is spent 'entertaining' the dog, though? I know mine looks askance at me any time I want to watch a movie instead of playing with her - even if she does usually settle for cuddling instead.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
115 Posts
We have a one year old Golden Retriever which we brought home when he was an eight week old puppy.
He's a big softy who loves affection and being together.

At about 5 months old he started attention seeking barking. This was bad enough but that has for some months now "progressed" into barking at everything.

We have a large garden/yard (60ft x 40ft) which he has free run of. Every morning we let him out into the garden and after about five minutes I go out with him for a play session of about half an hour. I then come back into the house to get his breakfast ready, after which I call him to come eat. After he's finished eating he goes back into the garden. Then usually after several minutes have passed he come back into the house and starts his attention seeking barking. Eventually, I have no option than to go out and play more with him. I feel that this is giving in to his barking, but at least he stops.

His extended repertoire of barking consists of barking at just about anything as and when he feels like it. He will bark at anybody walking down the street, which is just adjacent to our garden. He's even mastered the art of barking while lying down.

The problem is really bad and is driving my wife and I crazy. It is only a matter of time before one or more of our neighbors complains. As you know, GR's have one of the loudest barks of all dogs.

Any help and advice will be much appreciated.

Neil J
You state that you "...have no option than to go out and play more with him. I feel that this is giving in to his barking, but at least he stops."

It might be that you are unknowingly reinforcing the barking behavior. Unfortunately, this is essentially rewarding your dog for barking. This will be hard (but possible) to untrain - especially given that no matter how long you tried to ignore the barking, you would inevitably give in... which more or less tells the dog that - no matter how long it takes - if he just keeps at it, he'll eventually get what he wants.

You have to decide not to give in - no matter how long it goes takes. Wait for the very moment he gives up and becomes quiet (not right after barking, of course) - and then take him outside to play as he desires. Giving the attention he craves only when quiet will reinforce the notion that good behavior earns good rewards 😉
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,127 Posts
Joanne,

Thank you for your quick reply.

Yes, my wife and I take him for a walk once a a day. Which, he absolutely loves. I have not tried trick training or scent working yet. I'll need to find out how that works.

I agree the problem could be boredom. But, my wife and I are home all day, I am retired. It's not as if we are away a lot of the day.

.
Does he bark a lot during the walk?

My first thought was that he probably needs more exercise. Walking him a couple of times a day, or for a much longer distance, might help. Cycling with him or jogging with him might help as well. If you aren't in a position to do that yourself for some reason, then hiring a walking service might be worth considering.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Does he bark a lot during the walk?

My first thought was that he probably needs more exercise. Walking him a couple of times a day, or for a much longer distance, might help. Cycling with him or jogging with him might help as well. If you aren't in a position to do that yourself for some reason, then hiring a walking service might be worth considering.
He does not bark at all during the walk. Also, he never barks in the night time (thank goodness)
His barking is predominantly attention seeking. He seeks a lot of attention. He wants to be together with either me of my wife all of the time. Unfortunately, this is not possible as we have things to get on with. Although, we are trying to give him more of our time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
258 Posts
He does not bark at all during the walk. Also, he never barks in the night time (thank goodness)
His barking is predominantly attention seeking. He seeks a lot of attention. He wants to be together with either me of my wife all of the time. Unfortunately, this is not possible as we have things to get on with. Although, we are trying to give him more of our time.
I can sympathize. I learned how to play tug of war holding the toy with a foot while washing dishes because of mine. 😅

I've found that keeping a schedule that alternates 'play time' with 'quiet time' helps a lot. Play time usually means a walk, training or an active game. Quiet time is for her to play with her chewy toys or nap. Attention seeking (specifically barking or whining - I don't mind if she just checks in with me or follows me around as I do chores) during quiet time also results in a 'time out', in which she is ignored until quiet. Likewise, if she's being good during quiet time, I'll often offer a quick pat or other low-key attention.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
We have a one year old Golden Retriever which we brought home when he was an eight week old puppy.
He's a big softy who loves affection and being together.

At about 5 months old he started attention seeking barking. This was bad enough but that has for some months now "progressed" into barking at everything.

We have a large garden/yard (60ft x 40ft) which he has free run of. Every morning we let him out into the garden and after about five minutes I go out with him for a play session of about half an hour. I then come back into the house to get his breakfast ready, after which I call him to come eat. After he's finished eating he goes back into the garden. Then usually after several minutes have passed he come back into the house and starts his attention seeking barking. Eventually, I have no option than to go out and play more with him. I feel that this is giving in to his barking, but at least he stops.

His extended repertoire of barking consists of barking at just about anything as and when he feels like it. He will bark at anybody walking down the street, which is just adjacent to our garden. He's even mastered the art of barking while lying down.

The problem is really bad and is driving my wife and I crazy. It is only a matter of time before one or more of our neighbors complains. As you know, GR's have one of the loudest barks of all dogs.

Any help and advice will be much appreciated.

Neil J
Our Aussies do the same thing for attention, we live in a apartment. Hope we don't get yelled about it even though my manager knows of it and neighbors are cool with it... However we still live around other homes so it's a concern for us..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
Sometimes the solution to excessive attention seeking behavior is a 2nd dog ... and sometimes a 2nd dog makes the problem twice as bad. Also, they may be seeking attention because something they heard or saw stresses them . Personally I favor combining "negative and positive reinforcement" for this problem... and no, NR is not punishment. The trigger can be a doorbell, an outside noise ... something that they either "wanna see and interact with" or something that "makes them uncomfortable". A doorbell ring can serve as triggers for both responses.

In the beginning you can enhance this with trials using family members equipped with treats to ring the bell. Stand at your desired point that you do not want them to cross, leaving them to their desires and then have a family member ring the bell. When the doorbell rings and dogs bark and come running to the door, block them. They want to go to the door and see who it is ... denying them access is negative reinforcement. Tell them to sit and provide a treat when they do.

Step backwards towards the door. If they stand and try and go to the door, provide multiple stimuli to discourage the undesired behavior. Step towards them and display a hand gesture such as pointing to the spot you want them not to cross (visual)* / at the same time issue a unique verbal ** command associated with you wanting them do stop and pay attention to you. When they sit, give them a reward

* visual stimulus can be to arms pointed towards them palms open or can be an arm pointing gesture as many use to accompany go to "crate" command.
** It could be a word, it can be a mono or nonsense syllable like "out" or "eh", it can be a sound like snapping your fingers (but nothing loud or intimidating as that would startle them increasing stress or excitement levels)

Repeat the backwards steps and if they move, stop, repeat the hand gesture and verbal stimuli when needed. Start to open the door and if they move from a sitting position, close it and repeat the audible and visual clues.... no treat this time. When you can open the door w/o them moving, hold the "guests" at the door and toss them a treat. Walk towards thedoigs, guests behind you while looking at them, body blocking them if they try and go around you. When past the threshold. Have your fake guests give them treats. In my experience this behavior modification is picked up very quickly.

For other outside stimuli, distraction is the key. While sitting down watching TV or whatever, pick a visual and audible cue or combine both such as "snapping your fingers" while holding your hand at snout level . When they sniff your hand, open it so they find the treat you're holding. Eventually substituting "happy thoughts" for excitement and stress will release stress / excitement levels that cause the undesired behavior.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top