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How to Stop a Puppy from Barking for Attention?

Black lab puppy barking on a park bench

Barking is the most natural thing a dog will do. However, excessive barking can be a problem for neighbors and the owner. There are many reasons why a dog bark unnecessarily at you. We’ll discuss these reasons in great depth. Keep reading to know why your puppy is barking for attention, and learn how to control this behavior.

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Why Does My Puppy Bark at Me for Attention?

Dogs are loyal and intelligent creatures with a specific consciousness and capability to communicate their intentions. Barking is the primary way for a dog to communicate with their owners. Some breeds are quieter and calmer, like the Basenji, Great Dane, or Shina Inu. Meanwhile, others are more loud and active, like Beagles and Cairn Terriers.

The first and most significant step is identifying why your dog barks. As mentioned before, it can be because of many different reasons. Sometimes it can be to gain your attention. Other times, the dog is going through stressful or uncomfortable events. Let’s look at all these reasons with a deeper insight to understand them in a better way.

Greeting the Owner After A Long Time

German shepherd puppy sitting on brick looking up at the camera

We’ve already said this many times, and by now, if you’re a dog owner, you must know that dogs are one of the most faithful and loyal creatures on the planet. There’s a reason why dogs are called “A man’s best friend.” It is only natural for dogs to get emotionally attached to their owners.

So, if the owner is away for some time, the dog may feel alone and will start missing the owner. Even if the dog is not alone, it might feel incomplete without its owner around him. Eventually, when the owners return, they will notice how the dog starts wagging its tail and barking at them with affection at first sight. This barking is natural as the dog is happy to see its owner after some time.

Wants to Play

Golden retriever puppy chewing on an orange rope toy

When the dog is playing with you in a garden or park, or if a dog goes out for a walk, it will exhibit the same behavioral pattern as discussed above. The main reason is that the dog is cheerful and happy and he/she will bark with joy.

Alert Barking

As mentioned before, dogs are intelligent and vigilant creatures. They can sense something out of place. You might’ve seen a lot of news on how a dog saved the life of its owners by alarming them of a gas leak or an intruder. That shows how dogs can be life savers.

How do you think the dog made its owner aware of the dangerous situation? Exactly! With barking. The barking of dogs is aggressive when they perceive something dangerous. So the next time your dog barks aggressively at something, check the situation with caution, as the dog might’ve sensed something that you haven’t.

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Sudden Movements And Sounds

Beagle with head thrown back howling

Dogs have heightened senses. They can detect even minor sounds and movements that are sometimes hard for human beings to notice. It is not uncommon for a dog to bark when you slam a door or thunder is rumbling outside. Sometimes the dog might even bark at a sudden gust of wind. Such responses can be a nuisance for the owner and neighbors.

Separation Anxiety

Dogs can grow attached to their owners to such an extent that they feel uncomfortable when their owner is not around them. It can cause the dog to start feeling anxious and alone. Dogs usually start barking as they suffer from separation anxiety.

Thirst Or Hunger

Jack Russel terrier puppy with full food bowl on a blue background.

Unless trained correctly, dogs will act rashly when hungry or thirsty. They will bark at their owner until they get what they need. Such a thing can be very annoying for the owner.

How Do You Respond to a Dog Barking for Attention?

There are different types of owners, and all of them take their dogs barking differently. Some may put up with the barking, while some are annoyed by it. First, you must determine whether the barking is aggressive or joyful.

If the barking is joyful, there is not much you can do as the dog is in a cheerful and joyful mood and who doesn’t want that? However, if your dog is barking aggressively at something or someone, you should first check if something is wrong.

If the dog barks regularly at something for no particular reason, Then you should discipline your dog accordingly without extreme measures and punishments. We strongly do not condemn debarking your dog. Removing your dog’s vocal cords is inhumane, resulting in a raspy bark. We also don’t recommend using shock collars, as they make the dogs more stressed and scared rather than joyful and cheerful.

How Do I Discipline My Puppy for Barking?

Fluffy tan puppy sitting in grass with a person pointing their finger at the dogs nose as if fussing at the dog

We never recommend using force or punishment as training for dogs or pets in general. However, you should always discipline your dogs if they exhibit rash behavior, such as unnecessary barking. There are different scenarios in which your dog might bark excessively, and there are different solutions.

Teach Your Dog Some Basic Commands

When the dog greets the owner after some time, it may get taken away with joyful and cheerful emotions. In such cases, it may bark extensively. It would be best if you discipline your dogs with a few commands like “sit” or “quiet” so that the dog knows how to keep its composure.

Provide Interactive Toys

Mastiff puppy laying on the floor playing with a colorful ball

When your dog feels bored or anxious when you’re not around, provide him with toys of different sizes and shapes, so the dog keeps itself occupied. Also, leave some food for the dog if it gets hungry and you’re not around.

Train Your Dog

You must not reward your dog if it barks at you when feeling hungry or thirsty. If a dog barks at you for food and you provide it, it’ll learn that barking will result in him getting food. This behavioral pattern will instill in its mind, and the dog will follow it naturally.

If a dog barks at you, watch the empty dish, do something else, and come back after a while and fill the dish with food. It’ll teach the dogs that their barking isn’t effective.

Hire an Animal Behaviorist

Jack Russel Terrier puppy sitting indoors

If your dog barks at every small stimulus, it might need therapy sessions from a certified animal behaviorist. Normally, the certified professional will treat the dog with non-harmful drugs and instill new response mechanisms in their behavioral pattern instead of barking.

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