How to handle a puppy that barks for attention
For any new dog owner, handling all of the loud barking of a new puppy can be quite an unnerving experience. Most new dog owners are not prepared for the intense amount of barking and yelping that young puppies start doing the minute they arrive in their new home. Although it is totally natural, some puppies do not give their owners the luxury of quieting down, especially at night.
One of the biggest phases that a puppy will go through is the fear of being alone. And I’m not talking about being alone in the sense of you leaving the house. Some puppies will go absolutely nuts even when you only leave the room for a split second. They just can’t bear to be alone because they are used to having their mommy or littermates around non-stop.
When faced with this situation, what you do? If you run to your puppy to sooth and caress him every time he cries, then you are only feeding the behavior and creating a spoiled dog. On the other hand, if you ignore him and let him bark his brains out, the rest of the family (especially your spouse) will become very annoyed with you for letting the barking go on.
It’s like being stuck between a rock and a hard place, however, we do have some tips to help you deal with your puppy barking situation:
The first step is to try to ignore your puppy’s barking if at all possible without yelling at him. Yelling will either scare him from wanting to come near you or will further add to his anxiety levels that and he will continue barking.
There is a product called a “teaching lead” which will enable your puppy to be around you at all times in the house. Use these types of tools so that your puppy can be around you while he is getting used to his independence.
When you leave the house, try to refrain from long and drawn out departures. Although it’s understandable to want to pet your puppy and talk sweet to her before leaving the house, it only creates more stress because she will start to associate your behavior with you leaving her side. The same advice goes when you arrive home. Avoid big and exciting welcomes after walking through the door.
Try using a simple training aid to get your puppy to quiet down immediately when she is barking. A water bottle that sends a quick burst of streaming spray is a perfect idea. Or you could use a small tin can filled with a few pennies in it. When you go to leave her side and she starts barking, simply throw that can in her area. It will create a startling noise while at the same time diverting her attention.