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Dogs, attention, jealousy and barking

January 17th, 2009, 02:31 PM
I'm new to these forums and have several areas I'd like some advice in. I'll start with the first and most annoying behavior. We acquired an Australian Shepard mix back in June. He was losing his baby teeth when we got him so I guessed him around 4-6 months which would make him just about a year old now. We don't know much of his background before he came to live with us. My husband had been helping a friend clear some storm debris from a rental property when they noticed a neighbor threatening to shoot a puppy if it didn't leave his farm. Apparently the puppy had been the offspring of his Australian Shepard and a neighbor's dog. I guess he was the only puppy left and pretty much thrown out to fend for himself. My husband and friend couldn't deal with knowing that this puppy could be shot so they brought him home.

We named him Sleven and he became a part of the family immediately. He had his shots immediately as I didn't know if he had had them or not and we began potty training and teaching basic voice commands, such as sit and come. He potty trained in just two days, learned sit, shake, and come almost immediately. He's never shown any signs of aggression and believes that he is a lap dog. He is affectionate and loves attention more than anything in the world. We go for walks often and honestly he's been a great addition to the family.

All that said we are having a few problems that I haven't been able to curb. First of all there's the excessive barking if anyone in the house pays any attention to anyone other than him. It doesn't matter who it is, if my husband and I are sitting next to eachother he barks and tries to get in the middle. If I'm holding my 4 y/o he'll bark and bark the entire time I'm giving her attention. Same with her and my husband. If my 4 y/o plays with the other dog he does the same. It's so bad that when we have company he demands their attention too. He has to be the center of everyone's attention. I've heard that you don't give them attention when they are acting like that, which I don't. If I'm with my daughter I make him wait until I'm free to play with him, but nothing seems to curb the behavior. I have many more questions, but I'll start with this and post more later.

Thank you for all tips and advice.

January 17th, 2009, 04:43 PM
Wow!! Welcome and Awsome you guys for saving this guy!!!!!! I have heard of jealousy in dogs but not to that degree. Sounds like you are doing everything you can. When he barks do you move away from whoever is with you?? Is he crate trained?
The only thing I can think of off hand is keep ignoring him when he acts like that. Or does he know a "no barking" command?
Sorry I am no help on this. Again Welcome and we would love to see some pics!!!

January 17th, 2009, 07:56 PM
first off, good on you guys for saving this pup! your doing the right thing by ignoring him when he is barking for attention. its going to take alot of work and patience to stop this behavior. Also when you ignore him, turn your back completely on him, make no eye contact with him and dont talk or pet him , while doing this. this should teach him to understand that when he barks and whines for attention he isnt going to get it. when he stops, even just for a second, immediately praise him. practice this as often as you can, the more you do , the better he will be.

January 18th, 2009, 09:48 AM
He is acting like a bit of a spoiled child - "love ME, look at ME not each other!!!" This behavior is a red flag: he wants to be the rock star in the family, but you need to be his rock star instead. You would do well to work on all of his obedience skills and keep him busy doing things for you throughout the day.

For attention getting behavior you have 3 choices.

1. Ignore the behavior - don't even look at him and he will learn it doesn't work so he will quit.

2. If it is very annoying behavior then correct the behavior and teach him that barking at you will get him negative pressure - like sending him out of the room. Empower yourself and your space. Turning away from him empowers him because you respected his space and his barking! You backed away and that might stop the barking in the moment but it doesn't stop him from doing it again. Instead you need to march in to his space and back him away - even out of the room. He needs to learn to make a better choice out of respect for you.

3. Get his brain busy - a busy brain doesn't have time to misbehave. Give him some jobs to do - like a sit/stay 10 feet away from you. If he breaks it then correct him and start again. He should only challenge you 3-5 times and then he will submit and stay put. Set him up for success - put him into a sit /stay and then approach your partner, use low energy at first and build towards ummm....:rolleyes: greater energy. Remember this is about teaching your dog good manners try not to get too carried away with your partner:eek:just yet.:lovestruck: