Attention Seeking Barking

DogWalker.com caught up with professional dog trainer Marc Elias from Pooch Pals in New York City to learn a thing or two, particularly around barking. To our surprise we learned that there are actually six different types of barks i.e 1) excited play, 2) fearful, 3) dominance, 4) territorial, 5) boredom and 6) learned barking. Today we chatted about the later, learned barking which is also known as attention seeking barking. Enclosed is a snippet from our conversation:

An owner’s attention is often one of the most demanded assets your pup wants. One way your dog interprets ‘attention’ is through your body language, your voice and physical touch. It’s not uncommon that owners inadvertently reinforce barking by speaking to their dog in hopes to correct a bark i.e. “NO” or leaning down to say “STOP IT”. Instead, turning your back on an attention seeking bark and walking away is one way to communicate through body language to diminish barking behavior.

I had the opportunity to work with a lovely client whose Havanese barked when it wanted to play fetch with the owner. Instead of simply not playing the activity, we created specific time frames each day for play. At any time during play time if the dog barked, the owner was instructed to take the toy and immediately walk out of the room behind a door and wait for ten seconds. And, to not begin playing again until there was a lull in the barking.

This type of abandonment training is simple to do. With some very basic knowledge about canine communication, this owner realized he could use his attention as a training tool. This was a light bulb moment for the owner!

Whether we realize it or not, us two-legged hominoids are almost always either correcting or reinforcing our pet’s behavior in some way, shape or form. Distinguishing this is key to shaping your dog’s behavior. It’s easy, it can be fun and most importantly it works!

Marc Elias is the Canine Executive Officer for Pooch Pals LLC in New York and an accredited ABCDT dog trainer certified with the Good Dog Foundation. Learn more about Marc at www.poochpalspetcare.com.

Dog Walker’s Christmas Tip: Advice for Dog Owners

Tipping a dog walkerDuring the Christmas and holiday season, many of us create a list of people we want to thank for their excellent service throughout the year. Giving a Christmas tip for a dog walker is a great way to say “thanks” for taking care of our four legged friends. I want to share some advice and guidance on giving a monetary XMas tip or a special gift.

When it comes to tipping a dog walker (or giving a gift to a dog walker), I think most would rather have money than a gift. With money, your dog walker can choose to buy whatever he or she wants, which is appreciated during the holiday season when spending goes up. At DogWalker.com, we recommend giving one week’s salary to your dog walker, assuming it is a service you use regularly throughout the year. To illustrate this, if you pay your dog walker $25 a walk, four days a week, a $100 tip would be greatly appreciated.

If you use a dog walker irregularly, say once a week or twice a month, we recommend giving tipping the dog walker for an extra walk or two. For instance, if you pay your dog walker $15/walk, you should consider giving an extra $15-30 as a tip.

If you would like to give a more personal gift instead of cash, most dog walkers would be happy with that as well. A gift card from Starbucks, Olive Garden, Macy’s or other local establishment is something that would be appreciated. If you noticed your dog walker can use a new pair of sneakers, perhaps a gift card to Zappos or Foot Locker would make a nice Christmas gift. People understand that money can be tight, and something that is homemade, like cookies or fudge, would also be appreciated (make sure you ask about allergies!).

As with every other type of service, you aren’t obligated to give a tip to your dog walker. Doing so, however, is a very nice gesture to show your dog walker that you care about them and appreciate that he or she takes care of your dog during the year, and it will be appreciated.

Photo: Flickr

A Walk in the Park

I love dogs and being outside. I take my pup, along with a few others to Fort Funston everyday for a minimum 1 hour walk on the trails and at the beach. We have a great time. If you are looking for someone to care for your dog and give him/her lots of exercise, call me.

While You R Away

South Orange Counties premier Pet and Home Care Services. Our services are exceptional and tailored to your lifestyle. We are an alternative to boarding with a wide range of services. We also have a robust software back end allowing our client the flexibility to make their own reservations as well as 24/7 365 services and connectivity. Your pets will thank you for calling us. We are ” The Better Alternative in Pet Care “

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