Charlie Bear here with a great article from the Oh My Dog! blog Mom Peep follows. I don’t bark much, but I hear many dogs do. They “demand” something and bark to get it. I like to sit quiet in front of a person, look at that person with pleading eyes, and usually I get what I want. Manipulation? Yup. I admit it.

But anyway, if you have a dog or know of a dog that does this, you might want to try the training cues given below.

Demand Barking

  • AUGUST 13, 2013 from the writer of OMD! Oh My Dog!

When I first started working on this post, I thought about getting some video of Cooper to illustrate the problem… but then I realized just how annoying it would be to watch a video of him barking his face off.

Demand barking.

Cooper and demand barking

From discussions here and on Facebook, it sounds like a lot of us are faced with this behavior. Your dog barks (and barks and barks) to get something from you: food, attention, play, to be let out, to be let in, and so on.

Cooper does this all the time. In fact, he made a spectacle of himself this weekend when we had company in town, and he insisted on barking at one of our friends for tortillas… of course, she kept giving it to him, so the barking continued.

He also barks at Emmett and Lucas. He wants Lucas to play, so he barks in his face until he relents. He wants the toy Emmett is chewing on, so he barks in his face until Emmett gets frustrated, drops the toy, and walks away. He wants the bed they’re laying on, so he lays in front of the bed and barks until they get annoyed and leave. In each instance, Cooper wins.

So I started doing a little research to devise a training plan.

Here’s how we’re going to tackle Cooper’s demand barking:

  • Don’t “correct” the barking with any verbal cues. To Cooper, that’s rewarding him with attention. (Aside: This is REALLY hard for John. He always wants to shhh! him, so this will be the difficult part for him!)
  • Ignore the demand and replace it with an incompatible behavior. He wants my chips? I’ll hand him a chew toy instead.
  • When he demands something from Emmett and Lucas, it’s a little tougher, but we’re going to remove Emmett/Lucas with the toy Cooper is demanding. It’s sort of like a “time out” for Cooper because – gasp! – he won’t have his brothers right with him.
  • Sporadically reward him for quiet. For example, if I’m eating carrots at my desk and he barks at me for a carrot, I’ll do step one (perhaps ask him to go on his bed with a chew), then wait for a few seconds of silence, then give him a carrot. This has to be very random because we don’t want to risk setting up a chain reaction where: barking for a while + not barking for a while = treat.

Seems simple enough, right?

However, in my research, I encountered the idea of an “extinction burst.” Your dog was successful in getting what he wanted by barking at you for a very long time. Now that you’re stopping, he’s going to be super confused! It always worked before… what the heck is going on? Perhaps they didn’t hear me. So he’ll bark at a greater intensity: longer, louder, more frantic, etc. It’s critical not to give in at this point because otherwise you’re setting your pup up to think, “Okay, now I have to bark at THIS level to get what I want.” So, hold strong!

I’m actually curious to see what his “extinction burst” is going to be like…

That’s our plan! For now, anyway. The great thing about plans like this is that we can remain flexible and adjust as needed, as long as we keep the goal in mind: Extinguishing demand barking!

Does your dog do this? Have you tried a training plan to extinguish the behavior? Any tips or tricks? Anyone want to attempt this plan along with us? 

* * * * * *


Charlie Bear back again. Isn’t that a great article? Mom Peep is always trying to help people to work through any issues with their dogs to make the home environment better. Lots of us have issues (heck, I did), and I’m very thankful I’m in my lucky home.

How about you? Any issues you need to work on?

Have a wiggly day,
Woofs from Charlie Bear

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I Want, I Want, I Want…
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6 thoughts on “I Want, I Want, I Want…

  • August 25, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Hello, CB,
    It’s Beaugie here,
    I always or at least most times get my way by barking and I don’t have to change tunes either, never been a whiner so none of that stuff. I just bark, bark and bark some more til I get what I want. One of my peeps is gone for awhile now so my other one(real) one is p0utting a leash on me so to speak but she does not think its helping a lot yet, but we’ll see, i’m counting on it not working. Do not give her any ideas now. So long for now, CB.
    Woofs & wiggles,

    • August 26, 2013 at 6:46 am

      You rascal you…you’ve found the way to get what you want! Can’t blame you for that (from one dog to another). More treats! Bring on the treats!
      Wiggles and Woofs,
      Charlie Bear

  • August 21, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Help, Charlie Bear!! Clyde whines. He did it as a puppy. I thought he’d outgrow it. He whines like a baby, but he’s a 96 pound Lab. Any tips for whiners?

    • August 21, 2013 at 6:27 pm

      Hey Julie,
      Okay, the whining thing. Does he get attention when he does it, like the dogs that bark? If you shush him or give him a treat to quiet him, it maybe reinforces him doing more of it? Just a thought, but maybe ignore him at all costs. Walk away (that’s what they told my Mom Peep to do when she wanted to chase me when I ran off with something that was hers and it was really special). They say to just ignore the bad behavior. It takes a while sometimes though so don’t give up.
      Wiggles and woofs to you,
      Charlie Bear

  • August 21, 2013 at 3:49 am

    Hi, CB,
    Hey, Bailey and Skippy here. All Skip has to say is, “Shhhhhhh. I’ve got my mom AND dad peep wrapped around my little furry toes with my barking act. No wonder I’m twice the size I should be. Woof!”

    • August 21, 2013 at 7:42 am

      Bailey and Skippy,
      We catch more flies with honey than with vinegar my Mom Peep always says. Guess that means I should be sweeter rather than a pain in the you-know-what? I’m working on it!
      Wiggles and woofs to you both,
      Charlie Bear


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