One of my clients is a Tibetan terrier. He is totally adorable and just as demanding. When we’re in his mom’s kitchen after our walk, he barks relentlessly for treats with a shrill ear-piercing woof. In the past, when I’ve tried commands such as “Enough, or no bark,” he merely turns up the volume as if to say, “Didn’t you hear me? Don’t you understand?
So today, I thought I’d try something different: namely just to ignore Timmy. And when that didn’t work, he tried to get my attention by butting me with his head. It took what little self-restraint I possess not to crack up laughing. But I ignored my little guy, no eye contact, no vocalizations on my part, nothing.
And you know what, he stopped barking. I finished my business at his house. I keep a journal written from my canine client’s perspective and left quietly. What a difference! While this technique may not be effective in all contexts — for instance when your dog is barking at another dog or the mail carrier, it is very helpful when your dog is vying for your attention.