For the first Tip From Our Trainer, Chopper P. asked, “How do I get my Pug to not bark at me for treats when I am sitting at my kitchen table talking to a family member?” Barking for treats or any other sort of attention can be a little annoying and rude to your guests/family members, I know
The best way to get rid of the behavior is to stop reinforcing it and redirecting that energy elsewhere. Chances are, if you were talking to someone and your dog barked to get attention, and in-turn you gave him a treat, your dog has now learned that barking will get him something yummy, and will likely do it again. I like Dr. Sophia Yin’s approach of ignoring bad behavior and rewarding good behavior – and by ignoring, I mean ignore, ignore, ignore. No attention will be given as long as the dog is barking, jumping, or demanding your attention in a rude way. Don’t look at him or say “no!”, because that in itself is attention too. It will take patience and a willing friend or family member to practice with. Dogs often associate the kitchen with, what else? food! You can easily teach your dog to politely ask for attention or a treat with Dr. Yin’s Sit to Say Please technique. When the dog barks for your attention, turn away and ignore; make it clear that you are ignoring and wait it out. The minute he is quiet or better yet, sits, THEN give him attention. Praise your dog to let him know know he did something right (“Yes, good puppy!”), or use treats as a reward. To see Dr. Yin’s Sit to Say Please technique, click on here. Below is a great example.
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